Election Day is only four days away, so earlier this week SCPC installed an exhibit in the front gallery of Thomas Cooper Library tracing the history of Presidential Elections from Eisenhower to Obama using items from our collections. Through this exhibit, visitors can see how, over the past 70 years, campaigns have changed in some ways but remained the same in others. The exhibit includes things like campaign buttons, political cartoons, strategy materials from campaign workers, fundraising letters, and much more.
In particular, we’ve tried to highlight unique materials produced by various campaigns’ supporters and opponents. For instance, Eisenhower was a popular war hero before he became president, with both Republicans and Democrats looking to add him to their own ticket. But inevitably after the election he had his detractors. One fellow produced a sarcastic, little booklet listing the “accomplishments” of Eisenhower, including “Helped big business rescue nation’s resources from ravages of nature” and “No president served so few, so ably, at the expense of so many.”
Barry Goldwater’s failed 1964 campaign in particular also produced a plethora of unique and interesting items. One such item is a record by “The Goldwaters” whose album cover proclaimed that they “sing folk songs to bug the liberals.” We have both of these items on display.
The exhibit will run through the end of November.