Campaign Clocks of Franklin D. Roosevelt 1933 – 1945

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EXHIBIT : 4th floor, Library, Notarianni Political Collection – last 3 sections of the exhibit case.

One of the interests of presidential campaign memorabilia from past elections is the light they shine on the values and attitudes of their time. On Dec 5, 1933, FDR repealed Prohibition. The clock face shows the bartender with a mechanical arm shaking a drink while the room behind him burns in a fire.

The message is subtle: Prohibition resulted in people drinking secretly in crowded fire-traps. FDR helped the nation by repealing this dangerous amendment. Is this clock face an example of changing times? Would a candidate today depict graphically a picture, or film clip of a horrific disaster on his/her campaign item? It does not seem likely.

The Archives would love to hear from you if you have an opinion on this question. Please email me with your answer.
Elizabeth Cook, Archivist.


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