Have an EPIC Election!! Exhibit Opens in Library Cultural Arts Gallery

Epic Election exhibition flyerAn election history exhibition Have an EPIC Election!! 100 Years of National and California Elections opened Sept.7 in the California State University, Dominguez Hills Library Cultural Arts Gallery. Through newspaper headlines and campaign materials of older campaigns juxtaposed with more recent elections, the exhibition presents a case for how much things have changed and how much they’ve stayed the same.

Have an EPIC Election!! 100 Years of National and California Elections
Library Cultural Arts Gallery
10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon-Fri
Through Dec. 16

“The newspaper headlines in this exhibition are sort of an abbreviated Twitter of the past. Headlines like ‘Hoover Landslide’ or ‘Ike Wins’ or ‘Read My Lips It’s Bush’ communicate dramatic and often surprising election results,” according to Greg Williams, curator and director of archives and special collections at CSUDH.

The exhibition focuses primarily on U.S. presidential elections and California gubernatorial elections and how they have intertwined throughout the last century. The exhibition features campaign posters, bumper stickers, pins, and other propaganda from nearly every election between 1916 and 2016, as well as letters from Governor Earl Warren, President John F. Kennedy, Adlai Stevenson, President Harry Truman, President Bill Clinton, and invitations to presidential inaugurations and inauguration souvenirs. Also included are opposition pamphlets and posters. One 1962 pamphlet excoriates California Governor Edmund “Pat” Brown for daring to consider a presidential run. His accuser: Richard Nixon.

election bumper stickersAnother area of interest in the exhibition is the 1934 run for California governor by author Upton Sinclair. A socialist until he joined the Democratic Party, Sinclair ran an energized race that offers parallels to some aspects of Bernie Sanders run for presidency in 2016. Sinclair went on to win the primary but after media campaigns by California newspapers, movie studios, and chambers of commerce lost to his Republican opponent. The exhibition title is a reference to Sinclair’s EPIC (End Poverty in California) campaign organization.

Materials displayed in the exhibition are taken from CSUDH Archives Department’s John Ahouse/Upton Sinclair Collection, Glenn Anderson Collection, Juanita Millender-McDonald Collection.

Have an EPIC Election!! Runs through Dec. 16. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Curator tours are available for groups and classes. For more information, call (310) 243-3895.

The Library Cultural Arts Gallery is located on the first floor of the University Library (LIB 1940) adjacent to  “Where Cultures Meet” world sculpture. Parking is available in campus lots for $6. For a map and directions, go to www.csudh.edu/visitus.

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