Object #2: FDR Campaign Pin

IMG_0758The 2nd object in this series is a replica of a Franklin D. Roosevelt campaign pin from the Election of 1940. FDR was the first president to seek a third term in office. This was not originally in his plans, as he was dealing with dangerous hypertension by the last year of his second term. The outbreak of World War II in Europe, as well as the Empire of Japan’s aggression in Asia, added to FDR’s stress levels on a daily basis. He ultimately decided to seek a third term due to the uncertainty in the world. There was also a lack of a strong successor at this time, as the Democratic Party had different factions. FDR was also worried about a “rookie” president trying to learn on the job with the tense international situation. He knew that he was taking a risk by seeking a third term as president, breaking the unofficial tradition that was started by George Washington in 1796. Washington could have easily won a third term, but he was exhausted by the end of his second term, and wanted to retire to his estate, Mount Vernon. Undaunted by the unofficial tradition, FDR won the Democratic nomination for a 3rd term.

His opponent was businessman Wendell Willkie (one of the most unique names in American political history!) Willkie ran a very spirited campaign, and made a much better showing against FDR than his opponents in the previous two elections. However, the uncertainty in Europe, as well as FDR winning traditional Democratic strongholds, led to a comfortable victory. The President won 449 electoral votes to Willkie’s 82.

I purchased this replica pin at FDR’s Presidential Library and Museum at his home in Hyde Park, New York. Hyde Park is about an 8 hour drive from Cleveland, and it is located in the beautiful Hudson River Valley. The museum is excellent, and has many great exhibits and artifacts. My two personal favorites are FDR’s actual Oval Office desk, exactly set up the way it looked on the day he died in 1945. The other would be his customized Ford convertible coupe. The car has a hand brake, as FDR could not use his legs due to his polio. If you are even remotely interested in Presidential History, this historic site is well worth the drive.

Object #3 will be up later this week. Thanks for reading!