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Presidential Elections - the Vote and Campaign Buttons

Updated on March 7, 2016
1968 Robert Kennedy Primary Campaign Button
1968 Robert Kennedy Primary Campaign Button | Source

Your Vote, My Vote - Always a Responsibility

There are always too many Democratic congressmen, too many Republican congressmen, and never enough U.S. congressmen. ~ Author Unknown

Each election season, especially each Presidential election season, I find that I turn into a News Junkie, flipping between cable channels of varying points of view and political alignment. I need to have the full spectrum of news, commentary, debate, blog and periodicals in order to make the most sound and confident decision I feel I should make in casting my one single, solitary vote. I believe the definitions between voting being a right or a privilege are often muddled and much disagreed upon, however I personally believe that voting whether viewed as a right or privilege is most certainly a responsibility, a responsibility that each citizen should take seriously. Yes, I do get very irritated/annoyed with those who feel voting is unimportant.

While pondering the upcoming 2012 elections for some reason I flashed back many, many years ago to the Presidential campaign of 1968, and as you can see from the photo above I was rooting for Robert F. Kennedy. Although I would not have been able to vote in the 1968 election, since I was only 18 years old and the 26th Amendment had not yet been ratified, I was whole-heartedly following the campaign and wearing my Kennedy button each day at school. As we know 1968 was a year filled with tragedy. First, with the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee in April, and later on June 5th, after having won the California Democratic Primary election, with the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California. I remember sitting up into the wee hours of the morning watching the coverage of RFK's assassination with my mom and dad. I remember crying and I remember putting my Kennedy button into my jewelry box.

My Kennedy button has been moved from one jewelry box to the next over 43 years, It is, I suppose, a reminder of youth, of history .... of deep sadness and continued hope. The Kennedy campaign button I wore in 1968 is a very small item by size, but for me its significance has always been huge.

VOTE!!!

There is a Poll further down the page. I hope you will take the time to participate and give your opinion. Thanks!

I also included some really interesting videos from YouTube about campaign buttons. Enjoy your time here. Suggestions and comments are always welcome.

1960 Campaign Button

John F. Kennedy 1960 Campaign Button
John F. Kennedy 1960 Campaign Button

2012 Presidential Buttons

Ron Paul 2012
Ron Paul 2012
Mitt Romney 2012
Mitt Romney 2012
Barack Obama 2012
Barack Obama 2012

2012 Presidential Candidates

Democratic Party: Running for reelection was President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden

Republican Party: Nominated at the Republican Convention of 2012 for president was Mitt Romney and his vice presidential candidate, Paul Ryan

Running independently as a Republican: Ron Paul received 26,204 write-in votes or 0.02% of the popular vote.

Republican primary candidates of 2012 included Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman, Michelle Bachmann and Herman Cain.

1992 Republican Campaign Button

George Bush  and Dan Quayle
George Bush and Dan Quayle

Political Campaign Momentos

Quoted from Adventure of Cyber Bee - Political Memorabilia

"Active presidential campaigning and the use of mementos for advertising did not begin until the mid eighteen hundreds. One reason was that through 1812, a majority of presidential electors were chosen by state legislatures rather than by popular vote. A second reason was that it was not considered proper to openly seek the office of president. After being nominated, most candidates stayed at home and awaited the results.

It was Andrew Jackson's bitter loss to John Quincy Adams in 1824 that led him to plan political assaults and win against Adams in 1828 and Henry Clay in 1832. A few items such as snuff boxes, thread boxes, clothing buttons, tokens, ribbons, and ceramic plates were made to appeal to the electorate."

Evaluating Campaign Buttons

Really informative video for those interested in collecting.

American Political Item Collectors Showcase

The Lincoln-Hamlin 1860 ticket portrayed on a campaign button.

The Lincoln-Hamlin 1860 ticket portrayed on a campaign button.
The Lincoln-Hamlin 1860 ticket portrayed on a campaign button.

Democratic Party Candidates 1904 Presidential Election

Alton Parker & Henrey Davis
Alton Parker & Henrey Davis

So who are these two guys??

Judge Alton B. PARKER of New York and Henry DAVIS ran as Democratic candidates for President and Vice President against Theodore Roosevelt and Charles Fairbanks in the election of 1904.

George Washington Button

G.W. Long live the President
G.W. Long live the President | Source

Early Tintype Campaign Buttons

Campaign buttons actually date back to our very first President, George Washington, but those early buttons were actually brass clothing buttons.

It was during the late 19th century that the use images on buttons were made possible. These early buttons were made from either a tintype (also known as ferrotype) photo process.

Tintype was an easy and inexpensive early photographic process made by creating a direct positive image on a thin piece of iron and then coating it with a lacquer. They were most popular during the 1860s and 1870s. Tintypes were mostly taken inside a studio, and they were extremely popular method of capturing portraits of soldiers both Union and Confederate. Tintype, however was not the method of photography used by Matthew Brady, famed Civil War photographer and considered the father of photo journalism.

Most recently tintype photos were used on the battlefield of Afghanistan by photographer and California National Guard Staff Sergeant, Ed Drew.

http://eddrew.com/combat.php

Tintype Button Millard Fillmore

Millard Fillmore
Millard Fillmore

Millard Fillmore,13th President of the United States (1850-1853) and the last member of the Whig Party to hold the office of president. He assumed the presidency after President Zachary Taylor's death.

Tintype Button Joseph Lane

Joseph Lane
Joseph Lane


Joseph Lane was the Vice President nominee who ran with the pro-slavery southern wing of the Democratic Party in 1860 alongside Presidential candidate John C. Breckinridge, a strong pro-slavery candidate.


Tintype Button Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln

Tintype Button Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln

A Country Divided - 1860 Presidential Elections

Republican Candidate, Abraham Lincoln during the 1860 campaign. The 1860 presidential election is noted as the first to use a photographic image on a button.

The 1860 Presidential election was held just prior to the beginning of the Civil War. The division of the country could be seen in the four political parties and their presidential canidates.

Republican Party: Presidential candidate, Abraham Lincoln and Vice President running mate, Hannibal Hamlin -- carried 17 states

Southern Democratic Party: Presidential candidate, John C. Breckinridge and Vice President running mate, Joseph Lane -- carried 11 states

Constitutional Union Party: Presidential candidate, John Bell and Vice President running mate, Edward Everett -- carried 3 states

Democratic Party: Presidential candidate, Stephen A. Douglas and Vice President running mate, Herschel V. Johnson - carried 1 state

Tintype Button Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant and Schuyler Colfax
Ulysses S. Grant and Schuyler Colfax

1868 Presidential Campaign

1868 Republican Candidate, Ulysses S. Grant and running mate Schuyler Colfax

The 1868 Presidential Election was the first election to be held after the end of the Civil War and during the period of time known in U.S. history as Reconstruction. The Democratic candidate was Horatio Seymour and running mate Francis P. Blair, Jr.

A 13 Year-Old Girl's Thoughts on the Assassination of JFK

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Source

November 22, 1963 & My Math Teacher

I was 13 years old when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Friday, November 22, 1963. I remember that I was in my Math Class when the announcement came over the intercom that the President had been shot. I also remember my math teacher, Mr. C. fighting to hold back his tears as he spoke to a classroom of confused and stunned .... and crying 13-year boys and girls. We were in Jr. High, (6th & 7th grades) ... the term used back in the early 60's, and we were a generation that was now being shoved squarely into the realities of a very tumultuous decade of American History. We left school that day to spend the weekend with the TV coverage, Conkrite, and parents who wiped their own tears and clutched our hands ... at least my parents did.

Mr. C, my math teacher, gave us an assignment over the weekend ... not math (which I hated, usually flunked and waited until the last possible minute to do), but a writing assignment. He told us to write about our feelings ... write about how we felt about the President's assassination. We brought the assignment in to the next class. He did not collect this assignment, instead he told us to keep it for the rest of our life.. never throw it away. Thank you, Mr. C .........

I tucked my paper into my jewelry box (where later the RFK button would find a resting place) and have had it all these many years. I have on occasion taken the now yellow binder paper out ... the writing in pencil fading and reread what this old baby boomer thought on her first day of reckoning with the adult world.

Please forgive the misspelling and grammar of a 13-year old :

"What I have learned and felt about the death of President Kennedy I think I will always remember. Really in a way the death of the President has been the fault of the whole nation. I think before that the American people never really did and want to co-operate with the government. With the death of the President I think that everyone has realize that there is much they can do and much they must and should do in order to run a good government. Also before the President death I felt and I think that most people did that the world was far apart. By this I mean that I felt that no one really liked each other. ( I mean between people in different countries - like the relationship of Russia and U.S.) With the death of Kennedy I think people all over suddenly felt a wanting and a love for each other. The whole world not only the U.S. has suffered a great loss. All the leaders of forgein countries knows that John F. Kennedy was a man striving for peace. All the other countries also want peace not only America. President Kennedy in any decision he made was for the best of the whole world and men like de Gualle and other dignatries know this. But the whole world I think has realized the President Kennedys death was for a worthy cause. His death has brought great knowledge to the people everywhere. I really can not explain what this great source of knowledge is and I don't think that many people could but I think that many people do feel inside a strange and more wanting, and helping relationship with people everywhere."

It's not profound, it's only the thoughts of a young girl trying to make sense of what she was seeing and hearing.

************

Your vote counts!


Campaign Button Tutorial

Build a Campaign Button

Great tutorial if you are ever so inclined to design your own political button.

Build-a-Button Online Design Tool for Graphic Buttons

Jimmy Carter Peanut Button

You gotta love this button!

2008 Obama and Biden Campaign Button

Obama and Biden 2008
Obama and Biden 2008

2008 McCain and Palin Campaign Button

McCain and Palin 2008
McCain and Palin 2008

Geraldine Ferraro - 1st Woman on a Presidential Campaign Ticket

Geraldine Ferraro, the 1st woman running mate to Democratic candidate, Walter Mondale in the 1984 Presidential Elections.
Geraldine Ferraro, the 1st woman running mate to Democratic candidate, Walter Mondale in the 1984 Presidential Elections.

Links for Collectable Campaign Buttons & Other Political Memorabilia

The most important political office is that of the private citizen. ~Louis Brandeis

If you are a collector of Campaign Buttons or other Political Memorabilia below are a few excellent sites that I have found on the web.

  • Politics 1: At Politics 1 you will find a great resource of political memorabilia, as well as a directory of Gubernatorial, Senatorial and Congressional Candidates for the current election cycle. http://www.politics1.com/buttons.htm
  • Lori Ferber - Presidential Memorabilia, Campaign Buttons: A wonderful source of original, unique, vintage and recent buttons from the campaigns and inaugurations of United States presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama. http://www.loriferber.com/

Barry Goldwater
Barry Goldwater
Barry Goldwater
Barry Goldwater

Poll: Is voting a right, privilege or responsibility? - What do you believe?

"How one views voting rights is clearly a moral judgment. By asking ourselves if the ability to vote should be a privilege, right, or responsibility, we ask ourselves, "what is the true nature of democracy" and "what is ultimately just." Dean Searcy at FairVote.org

The Center for Voting and Democracy
Voting: A Right, A Privilege, or A Responsibility?
by Right to Vote Blog, Dean Searcy // Published April 20, 2011

http://www.fairvote.org/voting-a-right-a-privilege-or-a-responsibility#.TxPZYIHeliw

Do you consider voting to be a right, a privilege or a responsibility.

See results
George Wallace
George Wallace
Dwight Eisenhower
Dwight Eisenhower

What a Hobby! A cheerful video and original song from a political button enthusiast ...

Harry Truman
Harry Truman

Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr.
Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr.
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan

Richard B. Nixon Favorites

Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon

Avid collector - Al Feldstein Here's another fun and factual video ... enjoy!

More Campaign Buttons ...

Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Adeli Stevenson, Democratic candidate in 1952 & 1956
Adeli Stevenson, Democratic candidate in 1952 & 1956
Grover Cleveland, the 22nd & 24th President of the United States
Grover Cleveland, the 22nd & 24th President of the United States

Just think of the possibilities ....

I love Bullwinkle .... he's got my vote!

This guy has been running for years!

He always looks so sad.

The Fonz
The Fonz
John Travolta
John Travolta

The Fonz without a doubt...no contest here!

Presidential Election Campaign Buttons - Facts and Fun

© Jeanne Rene (ForEverProud)

Thank you for visiting. Comments are always welcome.

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    • ForEverProud profile image
      Author

      Jeanne Rene 5 years ago from Northern California

      Thank you to those who will be stopping by and commenting. Your comments are always appreciated and they will help me to keep my lens updated.

    • DebinSC profile image

      DebinSC 5 years ago

      Very interesting and enjoyable stroll through campaign button history!

    • ForEverProud profile image
      Author

      Jeanne Rene 5 years ago from Northern California

      @DebinSC: Thank you Deb for visiting and for also adding your store!

    • profile image

      Paula7928 5 years ago

      Great lens! I enjoyed seeing the photos of the old buttons.

    • ForEverProud profile image
      Author

      Jeanne Rene 5 years ago from Northern California

      @Paula7928: Thanks for stopping by Paula. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    • buttonhead lm profile image

      buttonhead lm 5 years ago

      Great lens! Political buttons are little pieces of history.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is a wonderful lens. I loved reading your personal reflections about Robert and John Kennedy. And I loved seeing the old campaing buttons. All the best.

    • ForEverProud profile image
      Author

      Jeanne Rene 5 years ago from Northern California

      @buttonhead lm: buttonhead,

      Thank you for stopping by and reading. I agree ... political buttons are little pieces of history.

    • ForEverProud profile image
      Author

      Jeanne Rene 5 years ago from Northern California

      @anonymous: Dave,

      Thank you for reading and your kind comments. I appreciate your visit!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      VERY cool lens with a great message! Absolutely voting is a privilege and a responsibility, but personally, I say "Judge Judy for President!"

      These buttons show how I feel about it...

      Republican Circus Elephant and Tent by brainbendersDesign your own photo pins from zazzle.com.

      Democrat Circus Donkey by brainbendersBrowse Democrat Buttons

    • ForEverProud profile image
      Author

      Jeanne Rene 5 years ago from Northern California

      @anonymous: Thank you for your comment Quidama. Thanks for posting your links too ... great stuff!

    • LaurisB LM profile image

      LaurisB LM 5 years ago

      Excellent lens! Lots of good historical information.

    • ForEverProud profile image
      Author

      Jeanne Rene 5 years ago from Northern California

      @LaurisB LM: Thank you, Laurie.

    • profile image

      TMKtshirts 5 years ago

      Informative and intelligent! A great selection of campaign buttons!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 5 years ago from Vermont

      Way cool presidential campaign buttons! We're the same age and I have vivid memories of that horrible day in 1963 when JFK was assassinated. I

    • ForEverProud profile image
      Author

      Jeanne Rene 5 years ago from Northern California

      @Lee Hansen: Thank you so much for reading. I had fun researching campaign buttons.

    • ForEverProud profile image
      Author

      Jeanne Rene 5 years ago from Northern California

      @TMKtshirts: Thank you TMKtshirts!!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      This is a great collection of political buttons. I love the Jimmy Carter peanut button! How nice of your math teacher to assign that paper and that you kept it.

    • ForEverProud profile image
      Author

      Jeanne Rene 5 years ago from Northern California

      @Scarlettohairy: Scarlettohairy,

      Thank you so much for dropping by and reading. Also, thank you for the Squid Like! I glad I've kept the math teacher's assignment too. :)

    • loveanime22 profile image

      loveanime22 4 years ago

      great lens

    • ForEverProud profile image
      Author

      Jeanne Rene 4 years ago from Northern California

      @loveanime22: Thanks for stopping by and reading!

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 4 years ago

      Unique and brillant-Blessed

    • ForEverProud profile image
      Author

      Jeanne Rene 4 years ago from Northern California

      @siobhanryan: Thank you so much for your kind comment!

    • JimHofman profile image

      JimHofman 4 years ago

      Very interesting and informative! I just completed a lens and an eBook on the U.S. vice presidents.

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 3 years ago from Europe

      Hurrah for Mr C, what a great teacher.

    • ForEverProud profile image
      Author

      Jeanne Rene 3 years ago from Northern California

      @JimHofman: Thank you for stopping by Jhofman. I will be sure to visit your lens!!

    • ForEverProud profile image
      Author

      Jeanne Rene 3 years ago from Northern California

      @Erin Mellor: ErinMellor ... Thank you for your visit and comment.

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