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Political Lessons from Presidential Campaign Buttons

Ken Hubbard's collection of campaign memorabilia offers a look into elections long ago

For President’s Day weekend in a campaign year, it’s a good time to  look at what’s most memorable and lasting about elections. Duke alumnus and former trustee Ken Hubbard's collection of several hundred political buttons is a tribute to U.S. presidential campaigns.

In the video, Hubbard reflects on the lessons that can be learned from his massive collection of presidential campaign buttons. Hubbard recently donated his collection spanning from 1840 to 2012 to Duke's Rubenstein Library.

Winners and losers alike are part of the collection. The pennants, shields and shiny disks that also evoke the moods of the election years when they were worn: "Franklin D. Roosevelt-A Gallant Leader" and "Geeks for Dean" tell us more than just who was running for president.