410 South Third Street    River Falls, WI 54022 715/425-3567 archives@uwrf.edu


Political Activism
& Memorabilia
at UW-River Falls

William McKinley campaign button, 1896.
   

The 1896 Election

 
  Campaign buttons first appeared during the 1896 presidential election between Republican canidate William McKinley and Democratic candidate William Jennings Bryon. There are over 800 known varieties of McKinley buttons alone.

The slogan "a full dinner pail" was popular among McKinley supporters and refers to the prospering economy of the day.
 
   
 
 
1896 campaign button for William Jennings Bryon.
 
 

In 1896, the Democrats campaigned on the issue of promoting unlimited coinage of silver money by the federal government, i.e. "free silver."  Above: 1896 campaign button for William Jennings Bryon.

 
 
 

"Jugate" campaign button for Wm. McKinley and Garret Hobart.

This type of button is called a "jugate," which referrs to the paired images. Jugate campaign buttons featured a picture of the presidential candiate and his running mate.
Above: McKinley and his vice-presidential running mate, Garret Hobart. Below additional Jugates (L to R): Calvin Coolidge and Chas. Dawes, 1924; Wm. Jennings Bryan and John Kern, 1908; Alton Parker and Henry Davis, 1904
Campaign buttons: Calvin Coolidge and Chas. Dawes, 1924; Wm. Jennings Bryan and John Kern, 1908; Alton Parker and Henry Davis, 1904

Despite the fact that both William McKinley and Garret Hobart died in office (Hobart died of heart failure in 1899; McKinley was assassinated in 1901) their campaign buttons do not hold a great deal of value because of their plentitude.
 
   


More political buttons...



For More Information:
 
Correspondence with the Student Senate:
UWRF Series 8
 
Grassroots Political Conference Materials:
UWRF Series 127
 
"Joe Must Go!" Papers:
River Falls Micro 2
 
Student Senate Records:
UWRF Series 101
 
Student Newspapers:
UWRF Series 96
; UWRF Series 97
 
University Archives Photograph Collection:
UWRF Series 26
 
Go to University Archives Homepage.


    
River Falls students with John F. Kennedy in North Hall on one of his two trips to River Falls; JFK campaign button.











Left: River Falls students with John F. Kennedy in North Hall in 1959 during one of his two trips to River Falls (note the mispelling); Students for Kennedy campaign button.

       

Other politicians, pundits and stumpers to visit the UW-River Falls campus include Sen. Eugene McCarthy (1973, former presidential candidate); Eleanor Roosevelt, Indira Gandhi (1962); George Lincoln Rockwell (Nazi Party leader, 1967); Paul Newman (stumping for McCarthy, 1968); Jesse Ventura (before his term as governor of Minnesota), and former WI Governor Tommy Thompson...

 

Right: Student Peace Demonstration during Vietnam era (in front of Cascade Avenue overlooking North Hall). View more rallies and demonstrations.

Richard M. Nixon, Memorabilia

Congratulatory telegram from President Richard Nixon to Eugene Kleinpell, President of UW-RF
Congratulatory telegram from President Richard Nixon to Eugene Kleinpell, President of UW-RF (known then as the Wisconsin State College-River Falls)


Richard Nixon campaign buttons.
 

   
Political organizations:
Young Democrats, 1955
Young Republicans, 1956
Young Democrats, 1955 Young Republicans, 1956
Agitation for student government began in the 1920's. By May of 1 937 a Student Senate, complete with a constitution, was fully formed.
Student Senate, 1943

Rallies and demonstrations:  
Anti-war protest on UW-River Falls campus, 1972
The 1960's was an exciting decade on the River Falls campus. It was the era of civil rights and Vietnam. The Student Senate adopted a guide supporting student rights to participate in peaceful campus demonstrations and "teach-ins." Unrest was not limited to issues of national interest. Students rallied for changes on campus including having more freedom in dormitories, banning the obligatory freshman "beanies," and allowing the sale of beer on campus.
1972 anti-war protest on campus
Student strikers along Cascade Street, 1970
Student strikers along Cascade Avenue, 1970
Students participating in a Moratorium march, 1969
Students participating in a Moratorium March, 1969
George Lincoln Rockwell, leader of the Nazi Party, visited campus in 1967 and was greeted by many protestors. Police in riot gear at 1972 student protest activities along Elm Street in River Falls
George Lincoln Rockwell, Nazi Party leader, visited campus in 1967 and was greeted by many protesters.
Police in riot gear at 1972 student protest activities along Elm Street in River Falls 


Newspaper articles and editorials:  
While the Student Voice remained the newspaper of the majority, several underground newspapers, including the Stifled Vice (below), began to appear on campus during the 1960's. See UWRF Series 97 (Misc. Student Newspapers) for more.
       
Student Voice article discussing collegiate turnout in the 1936 election of FDR.
pg. 1
Student Voice article discussing collegiate turnout in the 1936 election of FDR.
con'td

"Stifled Vice Underground" discussion of Kent State, 1969.
pg. 1
"Stifled Vice Underground" discussion of Kent State, 1969.
cont'd
Student Voice article discussing collegiate turnout in the 1936 election of FDR.

"Stifled Vice Underground" discussion of Kent State, 1969.

Sources used:
Hake, Theodore L. Encyclopedia of Political Buttons. (New York: Dafran, 1974)

Historical File: (UWRF Series 43)
Miscellaneous Student Newspapers: (UWRF Series 97)
University Archives Photograph Collection: (UWRF Series 26)
Campaign Buttons donated to the River Falls ARC.

Walker Wyman and James King, Centennial History: the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. (River Falls: UW-RF Press, 1975)

Read Copyright & Use Statement
[Created 5/2006]