Ohio has seen its share of political campaigns eight of which resulted in the election of favorite sons. Before there were television ads and mass mailings, robocalls and other high tech tactics there were buttons, badges, flags and banners that presidential hopefuls used to spread the word.
The Ohio History Connection, the official museum and library for the State of Ohio, is located on the Ohio State Fairgrounds and publishes a quarterly magazine called Timeline. The current issue features examples of Ohio campaign memorabilia from the museum collection. You can find the magazine on the shelves in the Reference Department of the Upper Arlington Public Library.
There are two more interesting articles about Ohio’s political past in the current issue. One is Moment of Decision; Joshua R. Giddings and the 1860 Republican Convention by John Patterson. Ohio native Giddings, an ardent anti-slavery advocate and Congressman from Jefferson, Ohio had a dramatic impact on the Republican National Convention of 1860.
The other is William McKinley: A Sense of Duty by Republican campaign strategist and historian Karl Rove. Rove expounds on the campaign of 1896 when McKinley ran against William Jennings Bryan. He states that McKinley was “uniquely suited for the moment” to guide the country’s growth and modernization. In the article he draws from his recent book The Triumph of William McKinley, Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters
As we await the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland July 18 - 21, we can read fascinating accounts of campaigns of earlier eras and compare them to our own.