The Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives invites students, faculty, and researchers to learn more about the history of political campaigns and elections in the United States by viewing the recently installed exhibit titled “Campaigns and Elections: The Race for Political Office.” The history of political campaigns and elections in the United States can be traced back to 1788 with the ratification of the Constitution. Over the next two centuries, the process of campaigning would evolve from simple word of mouth speeches to the complex and highly technical websites of today. In addition, the right for citizens to vote has greatly expanded. Originally reserved for only white male adult property-owners, voting rights are now available to women, African-Americans, and people of at least 18 years of age.
Using letters, campaign buttons, bumper stickers, yard signs, and other campaign paraphernalia, the exhibit explores the history of presidential, congressional, state gubernatorial, and local elections. Highlights of the exhibit include a signed letter by John F. Kennedy seeking support for his presidential bid, materials related to local Greensboro area Representative Howard Coble, a signed letter by North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms, and a letter and materials relating to Al Gore’s failed 1988 presidential bid.
This exhibit will be on display in the Hodges Reading Room from September 1, 2012 – January 7, 2013.
The Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives is open Monday through Friday, 9am until 5pm. For questions or comments, please contact the exhibit curator, Sean Mulligan at 336-334-5763 or at Sean_Mulligan@uncg.edu.