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On The Campaign Trail

The 2004 campaign season is in full swing with a media blitz unlike anything before. Candidates for President may use the Internet and television to get their messages across, but they still meet face-to-face with the electorate as they seek votes.

"President Franklin D. Roosevelt Arriving by Train," ca. 1936 [Republican campaign worker, Harriet Vittum, sitting at a desk and speaking on the telephone], 1916

You can take a look at past presidential campaigns in many areas of the Library's Web site. In addition to photographs, materials relating to presidential campaigns of the past include Theodore Roosevelt's campaign speeches, song sheets, such as "Mr. Harding, We're All for You," and a March 4, 1841, letter from former President Jackson to outgoing President Van Buren on the day of President Harrison's inauguration. Jackson praises Van Buren's "dignified" administration and denounces President Harrison's campaign and his "undignified" speeches that "abused" Van Buren. Jackson predicts that supporters of President Harrison will abandon him within two years and that Van Buren's "merit will be proclaimed by all the honest & moral portion of our country." President Harrison died in office on April 5, 1841, after contracting pneumonia.

Much more can be found by searching on "presidential campaigns" in the American Memory search page.

A. Harry M. Rhoads, photographer. "President Franklin D. Roosevelt Arriving by Train," ca. 1936. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and an unidentified man stand on the back of a train during the president's 1936 presidential campaign, Colorado or Wyoming. Denver Public Library. Reproduction information: See link

B. [Republican campaign worker, Harriet Vittum, sitting at a desk and speaking on the telephone], 1916. Vittum was working to recruit support for the Republican Party. In 1916 she was named chief of the women's bureau for Republican presidential candidate Charles Evan Hughes, who lost to Woodrow Wilson. She was also president of the Northwestern University Settlement House. Chicago Historical Society. Reproduction information: Cite as: DN-0067012, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society. See also: link