November 14, 2008
Across the Smithsonian Institution, historians are collecting artifacts from the campaign and that historic night, Tuesday, November 4, 2008.
Smithsonian curators Larry Bird and Harry Rubenstein from the National Museum of American History have been carefully collecting artifacts throughout the primary and election season—everything from McCain and Obama campaign buttons and posters to sample ballots—even convention confetti (check out the video above). Curators at the National Museum of African American History and Culture snapped up a bunch of material, as well, including phone notebooks, photographs and furniture from an Obama field office.
Asked to recall a pivotal moment, Bird offered this: “Probably when we were in Iowa the night Barack won the caucus. Going to a caucus in the suburbs and then going to his victory speech in Des Moines. It was a seminal moment in American electoral politics. We had been collecting that day up to that moment. We have as an icon of that day a handmade, hand lettered Iowa corncob poster that we got from Obama’s Des Moines, Iowa, headquarters.”
Let us know in the comments about your election night experiences and what mementos and memories you plan on keeping to tell future generations about last week’s historic election.
(Video courtesy of the National Museum of American History)
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