‘The Best Circus’

With election day practically on top of us, now is a good time to remind everyone to visit the South Carolina Political Collections gallery to check out ‘The Best Circus’: Campaigning for President, 1952 to 2000 before it comes down at the end of this month.

This exhibit is filled with campaign memorabilia from our collections.  It starts with the 1952 "The Best Circus": Campaigning for President, 1952 to 2000presidential campaign of Dwight D. Eisenhower (R) v. Adlai Stevenson (D) and ends in 2000 with George W. Bush v. Al Gore, Jr.  Some items, like classic bumper stickers, people will remember; other items are more obscure, like a ‘We Like Ike’ elephant bobble head beanie, a macaroni and cheese box from the 1996 Democratic National Convention, and a set of holographic campaign buttons from the 1960s and 1970s.

The title is taken from a quote by American humorist H.L. Mencken, “A national political campaign is better than the best circus ever heard of, with a mass baptism and a couple of hangings thrown in.”

Flat Thomas visits SCPC's gallery

Even Thomas Cooper himself came to check out the exhibit this morning. He enjoyed it and you will, too. Thomas Cooper was particularly interested in the earlier campaigns of Dwight D. Eisenhower (Ike!), Barry Goldwater, and Richard Nixon, but if you’re more partial to the 1980s and 1990s, we’ve got something for you, too. Photo by Jane Olsgaard.

Remember, our gallery is in the Hollings Library, accessible through Thomas Cooper Library. You can follow Flat Thomas’ adventures throughout the University Libraries on Thomas Cooper Library’s Facebook page.

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