One of the earliest and rarest political buttons, from the most lopsided, landslide victory of Franklin Roosevelt over Alf Landon in 1936. Landon was from Kansas, thus the unique felt sunflower backing. By winning 523 electoral vote, Roosevelt received 98.49% of the electoral vote, the highest percentage since 1820. (Wikepedia). The above botton was enlarged 8x for clarity.
But, not everyone liked Roosevelt as we see below…
HISTORICAL POLITICAL BUTTONS – ANTI
FDR was one of the most popular, successful US Presidents, but he wasn’t without his detractors, witnessed by these buttons circa 1940s
‘I LIKE IKE,’ ‘Nixon’s The One,’ Kennedy-Johnson, Scranton for President, Viva Kennedy (Robert Kennedy for President), Ike and Dick, Draft Lodge, etc…
Slogans were more popular in the 50s and early 60s.. ‘I Like Ike was the biggie… I can even remember as a young boy seeing the slogan on buttons and stickers everywhere. . ‘I’m the Guy Who Put the Oaks in Oakland’ not sure about – Can anyone shed any light on that, probably a guy running for mayor trying to take credit for the popular minor league baseball team…
The smaller buttons were free back then and I started collecting during the Goldwater-Johnson campaign and picked up a lot of earlier ones and later ones along the way. It was when I was working at Dad’s ‘Coit Ramsey’ hotel in Oakland that I met a very nice man, Mr. Westergreen. who I believe gave me the ‘Landon Knox’ button along with an original photo of Amelia Earhardt’s last haircut at the Hollywood Barber Shop in Oakland , among other things…
Rarest of political buttons, the Landon Knox sunflower state button from the 1936 Presidential election
You would think with the modern times and advancement there would be more creativity today in all realms including political advertising. However, we find back in the day election bumper stickers, buttons were not only more widely seen but much more creative than today. It’s rare to even see a simple ‘Obama-Biden’ bumper sticker or ‘Romney-Ryan’ buttono these days but FIFTY YEARS ago they were EVERYWHERE – and it was an ART FORM. Of course, the cars on which people put the bumper stickers were much more CREATIVE, too, back in the futuristic, post-war era.
If it were based on creativity alone, back in ’64 we think Goldwater would have won the presidential election. There were clever lines like ‘ Light Bulb Johnson, Turn Him Out in ’64’ . There was even a button that depicted an atomic bomb with the caption ‘That is the ugliest thing I have ever seen’ which was referring to a painting of Johnson that he had disliked and made the well-documented statement.
Click on the images a couple times to enlarge and note the detail...
GOLDWATER – MILLER ’64 BUMPER
The Goldwater strategists made Goldwater’s famous horn-rimmed glasses a sort of trademark, much like the rock and roller, Buddy Holly did in the ’50s. ‘AuH2O’ , the chemcial name for Gold+Water is another device they used. They even had individual bumper stickers for the various nationalities they were targeting, as below… American Indians, Chinese-americans and Mexican-Americans. Alas, perhaps politcal advertising only works so far as Goldwater was trounced by Johnson in perhaps the most one-sided persidential election in history
Goldwater – Miller even had specific bumper stickers for the various targeted nationalites
GOLDWATER ’64 SPECIALTY ADVERTISING
Goldwater even came out with a giveaway, paper phonograph record, his famous ‘A choice Not An Echo’ speech, as below (in black).
JOHNSON – HUMPHREY BUMPER
STICKERS, BUTTONS, SPECIALTY
We will say that Johnson-Humphrey did a pretty good job with the buttons. Here we have ( though you can’t tell) two flash buttons, one for LBJ and one for HHH where two different images appear when the pins move slightly. This ‘early hologram’ effect seemed pretty neat at the time. Today’s politicians could do a lot more but we don’t see it – and they are charging $5 a small button for Obama. Lady Bird was pretty popular back then so we even have a button for the ‘first lady.’