I thought it would be an interesting look into our nation’s political cartoon history if, this month, I took a look at a different editorial cartoon each day that won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning. Do note that we’re talking basically 1922-1967 here, as since then, the Committee has almost always awarded cartoonists generally for their work, not for an exemplary single cartoon. So in many ways, this is a snapshot of American politics (for better or for worse) over a forty-five year period. Here is an archive of the cartoons featured thus far.
Today we look at Nelson Harding’s 1928 award-winning cartoon.
I wrote about Nelson Harding’s previous Pulitzer Prize winning cartoon here. Harding is notably the only cartoonist ever to win the Pulitzer Prize in back to back years, 1927 and 1928.
Interestingly enough, the cartoon that Harding won for in 1928 was likely finished AFTER he knew he won in 1927, so he likely had no idea that he had any chance at repeating.
The topic of the December 1927 cartoon was one of the most famous Americans of the day, Charles Lindbergh, who had just recently completed his famous non-stop trans-Atlantic flight.
The United Stated decided to use the world-wide acclaim of Lindbergh for some good will, and in December of 1927, the U.S. sent him on a mission of good will to Latin America, including a non-stop flight from Washington D.C. to Mexico City.
It is this flight that Harding writes about in his cartoon, “May His Shadow Never Grow Less.” Harding clearly is also tying in the upcoming Christmas holiday, and some overall Christian themes.
Interestingly enough, and of course, unknown to Harding at the time, the US Ambassador to Mexico – the man who came up with this plan – had a daughter who, in a little over a year, would soon be Lindbergh’s bride!