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Weird Nebraska Would You Vote For These Candidates? 

As the saying goes, "politics makes for strange bedfellows," although in the case of these items developed for Nebraska political candidates, politics makes for strange campaign memorabilia.

Paper headdress, "I Like Nobby" paper headdress from Norbert Tiemann's gubernatorial campaign.
Source: Nebraska State Historical Society, 11959-21&22

"Heintze for State Treasurer" hat card, "like heck it's yours, put it back"
Source: Nebraska State Historical Society, 7956-5949


At first glance this little pig and binoculars do not look like campaign memorabilia. When you look through the hole in the pig's behind, however, you'll see an image of William Jennings Bryan and the words "For President." This funny little item is called a stanhope. Stanhopes contain miniature photographs and magnifying lenses and this technique was incorporated in many novelty collectables produced from the mid-nineteenth century onwards. Nebraskan William Jennings Bryan ran for president in 1896, 1900, and 1908, but was never elected.

Stanhope Pig & Binoculars, WJB
Source: Nebraska State Historical Society, 11055-926

In 1956 Terry Carpenter, delegate to the Republican National Convention from Scottsbluff, Nebraska, was unhappy about the lack of a challenger to Richard Nixon's nomination as vice-president. Carpenter decided to protest by casting his vote for the fictional "Joe Smith," throwing the convention into an uproar. Although "Smith" never made it to the ballot, the Democrats adopted him as an anti-Nixon symbol. Carpenter, known by some as "Terrible Terry," served a term as a Nebraska congressman and many years as a state senator. He also ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate five times and for governor four times. He even created his own town just outside of Scottsbluff.

Welcome to Carpenter Park sign   Terrytown watertower
Sources: Robert C. Pettit, Lincoln; F. C. Radke Collection, Courtesy of Joanna R. Cook, Evanston, Illinois and Mark F. Radke, Columbus, Georgia; Nelle Bender Estate, Wymore

Americus Liberator of Valentine, Nebraska, ran for president of the United States in 1968, 1972, 1976, and 1980. In 1968 the retired cowboy campaigned on a platform of "Patriotism" and received 1,314 votes in the Nebraska primary election. Liberator was a Pennsylvania coal miner before drifting west to work on ranches in South Dakota and Nebraska. His parents had emigrated from Italy.
Source: Dory Marsh, on Behalf of Shirley and Frank Marsh, Lincoln. 13002-3


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Last updated 26 February 2007  

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