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Political Campaign Buttons on Display in Ellis Library

The Sandi and Barry Garron Campaign collection represents a lifetime of collecting by 1971 University of Missouri Political Science and Journalism alumnus Barry Garron. Garron is the former president of the Television Critics Association and is a longtime reporter and television critic for the Kansas City Star, The Hollywood Reporter and numerous other publications. He is also a prolific collector of presidential campaign buttons, something he has done for most of his life. In 2021, he donated the entire collection to the Truman School of Government and Public Affairs.

The collection spans the presidential election of 1896, the first with campaign buttons, through the 1996 presidential election, with some buttons from more recent elections. Garron said that he felt like a century’s worth of buttons was a good goal and he has certainly accomplished it. The collection includes buttons for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees, as well as third party candidates. The buttons both promote and oppose the candidates. Looking at the collection is a colorful, dynamic and fascinating way to learn about the political history of the 20th century in the United States.