Yep, it was on July 6, 1854 that the Republican Party had its first official meeting. The party was formed by anti-slavery activists (imagine that next time someone stereotypes you as a racist for being Republican). Sure there were other things for which the party stood and for which it would stand over the years, but it was born as part of the anti-slavery movement. Soon it was the party of Abraham Lincoln, and the rest is history including Ronald Reagan and right through to today.
For more info on the Republican Party - of which I will admit I am still a member despite my grumblings about dropping out not too long ago - go to:
All the best,