Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dewey's your Man!

Isn't it interesting how we tend to forget those candidates who were not successful in their presidential attempts?  Here's one of them:

I got this fantastic brochure in the same lot of ephemera as these amazing artifacts from my friend Robin (in fact, you can see it front and center in the photo!).  I have been saving it all this time because I knew at some point I wanted to do a series about all of this political ephemera.  What better time than now?  :D

Of course, I'm sure most of us know about Dewey because of that famous photo of President Truman holding up the Chicago Tribune edition where they wrongly proclaimed that Dewey won the 1948 presidential election.  He was this close to becoming our president, that many folks thought it was in the bag.  *SOAPBOX ALERT*  This is a prime example of why it is SO important to vote!

Okay, I'm done.  :)  So, other than that, I really didn't know much about him except that I have quite a few Life magazines where they fawn all over him.  Then I got this brochure.

The first thing that struck me about it was the copy!  There is NO WAY, sadly, that campaigners could get away with a brochure like this nowadays - no one would take the time to read it!  But I did, and I'm glad, because I wrongly assumed that this was a brochure for one of his runs for president, probably 1944 (judging by the photograph).  WRONG!  Apparently there was a group of Wisconsin delegates who wanted him on the ballot in 1940 (that distinction eventually went to Wendell Wilke, who I'll be talking about tomorrow)!

Here's another thing that fascinated me - back then, there was actually a liberal faction of the Republican party, of whom he was the leader.  Say what?  Pardon me?  Can you EVEN imagine any Republican 'fessing up to this today!?  I guess Nelson Rockefeller (who I mentioned on Tuesday) was also part of this faction, which is why he didn't make it to the ticket in '76.  Incredible!!  Oh, to return to the days when our country wasn't divided in half....

Sorry, I digressed again.  :)  What I love about ephemera like this is that it's such an effective tool for learning history!  If I were a history teacher, and I could get away with it in my curriculum, I would much rather teach using this kind of stuff, rather than a history book.  THIS actually happened!  It's right in front of us!

I have learned FAR more from my ephemera in nearly every subject than anything I was ever taught in school.  Maybe if we study this historical political ephemera, we wouldn't be doomed to repeat mistakes of the past?


  1. Can you photo copy this?? I would love to teach this in our homeschool. I am a huge History buff. I am not one who teaches straight from text books. I sometimes get great ephemera for journaling and it ends up in our curriculum instead. Another Fav of mine to use is the penmanship before 1950. They don't really teach that much anymore. I just love old fashioned penmanship. I digress.... Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed the brief history lesson!!! :)

    1. Hi Kim!

      You may certainly photocopy this, if you like, as long as you give me credit for it! :D

      It's so great to hear teachers using ephemera in their classrooms! This stuff is REAL! It belonged in the world at the time, and it's here for us to teach others who arrive after us. How totally awesome. :D

      P.S. I don't know if this is what you meant, but I have a post about penmanship if you'd like to use it! :D

  2. I homeschool my daughter, that is why I have the freedom to teach history in a way that is honest and fum. I would love if you could show me some penmanship material. I think it is a lost art form. I love the stuff I get from Paper flea market and swaps that have penmanship on them. I'm weird.... I know. Yes, I would definitely love anything you can provide for me to use as a teaching tool. I could even have my daughter post a follow-up project on your site if you would like?? Keep up the good work. :)

  3. Kim, feel free to use any of my posts in your teaching - I would be honored! :D Thanks so much for reading! :D