Saturday, August 25, 2012

Election Memorabilia: The Stuff of American Campaigning

A new exhibit opens Sunday, September 9, in the Our Town Gallery of the Woolley House—just in time for the high-stakes months of the Presidential Campaign. The exhibit, “Election Memorabilia: The Stuff of American Campaigning,” showcases an impressive collection of political campaign buttons, banners, signs, photos, and news clippings. The artifacts ,both Republican and Democratic, include material from our own collection (a gift from the Mullaney family) and loaned items from local collectors.
It’s no surprise that the stuff of American political campaigning is colorful.  Consider the characters it represents. From our first President to our current, slogans, buttons, ads, and bumper stickers vie to tell a candidate’s story and win votes.
Here are just few fun facts:
•  Even the father of our country wore a campaign button. His was a brass, sewn to his coat, and read “Long Live the President.”
•  William Henry Harriso
n was the first to run an “image” Presidential campaign (1840). Though born rich, he chose the log cabin as his logo and coined what may be the first Presidential
political slogan, the famous “Tippecanoe and Tyler, too.”
•  The campaign button sums up the candidate in a few words. Remember “I like Ike?” Jimmy Carter’s went one step further. It had no words at all, just a golden peanut!
From the start, American campaigning has been rough and tumble and this exhibit captures the fun and fight of the contest. It’s a window into the history of campaigning. It’s an overview of the election process from local contests to the selection of President. Perfect for adults and children (who will be hearing a lot about elections this campaign season), it’s one more good reason to visit the Eden Woolley House.
“Election Memorabilia: The Stuff of American Campaigning” runs through the end of November.

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