Jan. 18, 2008

As we gear up for this year's presidential election, The Baylor Collections of Political Materials invites you to take a look at the campaign materials from the presidential elections of years past. You will be able to view campaign materials from some of our beloved presidents like Kennedy, Eisenhower, Roosevelt, and Johnson, as well as some presidential hopefuls like Barry Goldwater, Wendell Willkie, Eugene McCarthy, and Ted Kennedy.

Objects on display show how each candidate used different types of materials as a way to appeal to different audiences and gain their support. Objects such as bumper stickers, buttons, brochures, ribbons, pennants, and hats were all used to get the candidates name, image, ideas, and message out to the public.

The exhibit also examines the clever use of the slogan throughout presidential campaigns and shows how some candidates have used rather striking colors (aside from the traditional red, white, and blue) to capture the attention of potential voters. Other noteworthy items on display in the exhibit are personalized materials, an assortment of unique buttons, rare pennants and FDR banners, and select items including a Kennedy campaign hat, Reagan elephant visor, and a "Nixon for President" necktie.

In a time when political campaigning is highly driven by television and the Internet, the tangible objects that are left behind remind us of a different time when these items were nearly all candidates had to get their name out to the people and get the vote. Stop by and encounter these familiar, and maybe not so familiar, pieces of presidential campaign history.

RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE is on display in the W.R. Poage Exhibit Gallery now through summer 2008.

For more information, contact Ben Rogers, 254-710-3540.

-Erin Wolfe
Museum Studies Graduate Student/Exhibit Intern, BCPM