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Highlights Archives

Political Campaigns of the Past: 1850-2009

Franklin D. Roosevelt campaigning for the presidency in Milwaukee in 1932
WHI 54380

Have you ever wondered how candidates communicated their message to voters before campaign commercials, robocalls and social media? Candidates in the past spoke face to face with citizens. They rode trains or buses across the country, stood in open wagons and convertibles to give speeches, entered floats in parades and set up booths at state fairs. They also bought space in newspapers and magazines, printed posters, fliers and bumper stickers, gave away buttons and jewelry. Opponents and supporters ran political cartoons in newspapers and magazines. The Wisconsin Historical Society has a vast archive of political campaign memorabilia dating from 1850 to the present day, much of it now available online.

:: Posted October 29, 2012

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