Library Of Congress
Abraham Lincoln-Hannibel Hamlin campaign button from the 1860 presidential election.
With the presidential election less than a month away, there is a barrage of political paraphernalia and tchotchkes everywhere you look. Probably even the places you don't look, if you live in a swing state. Over time, whether red or blue, some of these items will gather meaning (and possibly value) and become prized possessions, serving as a reminder of maybe the first election you participated in, a campaign you donated to, or a historical object passed down from a politically passionate family member.
Do you have any political memorabilia you are saving? We want to see the material from past presidential elections that still resonates and holds meaning to you. Share your photos and their stories with us.
How do you participate?
- Submit your photographs on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag: #NBCNewsPics
- In the caption (or a tweet), tell us why this object is important to you.
- Or simply upload your photo in the box below:
We’ll select our favorites and publish them on PhotoBlog next week. Stay tuned!
Smithsonian's National Museum of American History
Souvenir Kraft Macaroni & Cheese boxes from the 1996 Democratic and Republican national conventions.
The Smithsonian's National Museum of American history has an entire collection of these objects. The curators of its political division, Harry Rubenstein and William Lawrence Bird, attend both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in order to maintain the museum's status as “the largest holding of presidential campaign material in the United States.” In a conversation with NBC News published this past August, Bird says of the collection:
There are about 100,000 objects. They have been gathered to reflect the nation’s political culture since the beginning of the colonial settlements up through the current 2012 political campaigns. The Smithsonian Institution made a commitment to build a major national collection to show the political process and the story of American democracy when it opened the National Museum in 1964.
Sen. John F. Kennedy makes his way through a crowd of supporters and journalists as he arrives in Los Angeles, July 9, 1960 for the Democratic National Convention.
Library of Congress
A poster for the presidential campaign of Theodore Roosevelt, with Charles W. Fairbanks for Vice President.
Paula Bronstein / Getty Images
A customer looks at U.S. President Ronald Reagan memorabilia for sale at the Political Americana shop which specializes in original presidential political items, on June 10, 2004 in Washington, DC. Tourists from all over the country have come to the nation's capitol to honor former U.S. President Ronald Reagan who died at the age of 93 on June 5 after a ten year battle with Alzheimer's disease.
Robyn Beck / AFP - Getty Images
Judy DeVries from California poses with her pins at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida, on August 30, 2012 before the start of the last day of the Republican National Convention (RNC). The RNC will culminate later today with the formal nomination of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as the GOP presidential and vice-presidential candidates in the US presidential election.
Jim Young / Reuters
A supporter of U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) attends a campaign rally at The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, October 18, 2008.
- Undecided voters tell us what their deciding factor is
- Slideshow: On the campaign trail
- Wearing their party on their head at the DNC
- Accessorize! RNC attendees show off their buttons