The Wendel Willkie Campaign "Smart Alec" Buttons

Discussion in 'History & Past Politicians' started by JohnHamilton, Feb 11, 2024.

  1. JohnHamilton

    JohnHamilton Well-Known Member

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    Wendel Willkie ran for president in 1940 against Franklin Roosevelt. Willkie was a surprise choice. He had been a Democrat until he became disillusioned with the New Deal a couple of years before.

    Willkie had the support of many corporate leaders. Unlike today, a number of mainstream news publications, like Time Magazine, supported him. "Willkie Clubs" sprouted up though out, the country and, for a time, it looked as if Willkie might deny FDR a third term as president.

    I've been collecting many of the Willkie slogan buttons that were issued during the 1940 campaign. Street vendors made a living selling them for 5 or 10 cents apiece. The slogans are a lot of fun. Some of them are obscure today, and requite some research to learn what they met at that time.

    I am going to post the six boxes of buttons I have collected. There are over 100 pieces here. Overall there are around 900 known varieties. I tend to avoid buttons in different colors or lettering fonts with the same slogan. If I had collected all of those, I would be a lot closer to the 900 number.

    If there are any of these slogans that you find interesting, we can discuss them.

    Willkie Button Box #1

    Willkie Slogan 1.jpg

    Willkie Button Box #2

    Willkie Slogan 2.jpg

    Willkie Button Box #3

    Willkie Slogan 3.jpg

    Willkie Button Box #4

    Willkie Slogan 4.jpg

    Willkie Button Box #5

    Willkie Slogan 5.jpg

    Willkie Button Box #6

    Willkie Slogan 6.jpg
     
  2. Independent4ever

    Independent4ever Well-Known Member

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    1940 was a historic election as some of the buttons referenced comparing FDR to wanting to be a king by running for a 3rd term. I don't think that had occurred for an incumbent prior. Election wasn't even close

    @JohnHamilton - thanks for continuing to share all of this great history
     
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  3. JohnHamilton

    JohnHamilton Well-Known Member

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    The election didn't seem to break until about mid October. Earlier, the Democrats were concerned.

    For the record, U.S. Grant made a strong effort to run for a third term in 1880, after he had been president from 1869 to 1877. The Republicans denied him their nomination, but their convention was so badly split that they had to nominate a dark horse, James Garfield. Grant's opponent at the convention was James G. Blaine, who was labeled as a leader of the "reform movement." LOL. Blaine had serious ethical issues.
     
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