Election Memorabilia on Campus

Primary season is in full gear as we approach the November general election! Do you collect campaign buttons or posters? How about hats with your candidate’s face on the top? As you keep abreast of the twist and turns of this year’s campaigns, take a look at the memorabilia that McKeldin Library displayed ahead of the 1968 election. That year, University graduate student Dale E. Wagner’s collection traveled to the Democratic and Republican conventions before making its way back to McKeldin Library.

Hat
Photo of Dale E. Wagner with his memorabilia by Howard Lalos

The Diamondback reported that Wagner’s buttons, ribbons, posters, and mementos dated back to the election of 1840 (William Henry Harrison vs. Martin Van Buren). McKeldin Library’s exhibit also featured recordings of famous speeches by presidents such as Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and John F. Kennedy. As the article notes, the humorous, often satirical 1968 campaign buttons quickly drew the attention of “the non-history major.” What are some of your favorites from the 1968 campaign (see below)?

 

 

Mayor Daley
The most controversial item: Article author Tom Basham writes that the average reaction to the We Love Mayor Daley (former Democratic mayor of Chicago) sign is “What the hell is that thing doing in there?” Photo by Howard Lalos.

The Diamondback is the university’s primary student newspaper and records the voice of the student body. The University Archives has embarked on a digitization project to make articles like this one (see below) accessible online for future enjoyment and research. Thanks to generous donations and a successful Launch UMD initiative, the University Archives is on track to make all of these articles available and searchable in 2016. This post is the sixth in a series by graduate student assistant Jen Wachtel is collecting data for the project. Check out the Twitter hashtag #digiDBK or the DigiDBK tag on the blog for previous posts. Don’t forget to check out the current University Archives display honoring the 70th anniversary of Gymkana on the first floor of McKeldin Library by the elevator and in the Portico Lounge on the second floor!

Article

 

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