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Channel: The Henry Ford
In this segment from The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation, Mo Rocca meets with curator of public life Donna Braden to learn about the presidential campaign memorabilia found in the collections of The Henry Ford.
Presidential candidates use catchy slogans and recognizable symbols to appeal to voters and gain support during election years. Slogans and symbols sum up a candidate’s point of view and serve as a rallying cry for supporters.
Buttons used to promote presidential campaigns can be dated back to 1896 with candidates William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan. While buttons have been a popular way to show support for a candidate, some campaigns have modified the button. The Calvin Coolidge campaign used radiator caps in the 1924 election with the slogan "Keep Coolidge."
Many buttons have messages that don’t require any knowledge of a candidates campaign. In 1976, Democratic candidate Jimmy Carter endeared himself to many potential voters by using the symbols of the humble peanut — denoting his family peanut farm in Georgia — and his toothy grin, which his supporters felt appeared genuine and down to earth. But pro-Gerald Ford buttons turned the peanut symbol into a negative appeal against Carter.
The presidential campaign artifacts featured here all help tell the story of American voting, culture, and heritage.
Check out our curated expert set to learn more about the presidential campaign materials in the collections of The Henry Ford: https://www.thehenryford.org/collections-and-research/digital-collections/expert-sets/101285/
Related video: Presidential Limousines https://youtu.be/y9B6dNplXJU
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Video length: 3:28
* This article was originally published here
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