History with all the interesting bits left in

What do elephants have to do with HSOSC? Read on!Remember in school, where it seemed history class was all about dates… when did Hannibal invade Switzerland? How boring. The fascinating part was the elephants, right?

The Smithsonian agrees. That’s why they leave the interesting bits in.

For example, did you know that one Siamese twin was drafted into the Confederate Army, but excused because the other did not agree?

• The Unusual Bunker Brothers.Chang and Eng Bunker are best known as “the original Siamese Twins.” Natives of Siam (modern Thailand) and joined at the sternum, they became a popular attraction with traveling museum exhibitions. In 1839, they bought 110 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina and settled down. They married sisters, built a successful farm (with slave labor) and became naturalized citizens and devoted Confederates. In 1865, Union General George Stoneman raided North Carolina and decided to draft some of the locals, regardless of sympathies; the names of men over 18 were put into a lottery wheel. Eng’s name was drawn, but he resisted the draft. Since Chang’s name was not drawn, there was little General Stoneman could do; the brothers were not only joined at the sternum, their livers were fused. Neither one served in the war, but their eldest sons both enlisted and fought for the Confederacy.

The Smithsonian site is also ideal for broadening your knowledge about our museum holdings. For example,

what was going on in 1882, when the Bidwells were building their home?

Help the Historical Society of Sarasota County leverage your gift

Let's meet the CHALLENGE! Our donations can benefit the Historical Society on March 27 and 28th. Click to read more!

P.S. What does the elephant have to do with the Historical Society? It’s there to remind you NOT TO FORGET: If you haven’t had a chance to plan out your donation strategy during the upcoming 36-Hour Giving Partner Challenge, please take a moment to do so. You could double the value… or even more… with no cost to you. In fact, even if you cannot donate at this time, you could help us win thousands of dollars just by asking your friends to CLICK!

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