Campaign Paraphernalia 1976 Jimmy Carter Presidential Election

U.S. National Archives

A presidential campaign involves time, money, staff, and good messaging. The forms of campaign messaging include posters, buttons, t-shirts, campaign commercials, and stump speeches. This exhibit illustrates the ways in which the Jimmy Carter campaign and his surrogate groups (Peanut Brigade) used to promoted the candidate and his message during the 1976 presidential election.   

Buttons

President Ford received a lot of criticism from Americans, especially Democrats, because one month into his term, he pardoned President Nixon for any crimes he may have committed while in office- referring to the Watergate Scandal.

However, historians now agree that Ford’s Pardon was the right thing to do to protect the “Office of the President” and allow the country to move on and heal.

Georgia Delegate to the DNC Convention, New York City, July 15, 1976

Carter Family Collection
By Jimmy Carter Presidential Library by Columbus Ledger Enquirer

Button, political. Green button with white text, “Grits ‘N Fritz in ’76.” The name Grits is a reference to Jimmy Carter’s southern roots. Fritz is Walter Frederick Mondale’s nickname.

Button, political. White button with cartoon image of a peanut with human features, in particular, Jimmy Carter’s hair and smile, and waving a flag. Text reads “I’m Your Peanut Pal.” References Jimmy Carter’s life as a peanut farmer. No other information.

Button, political. Green button with a large cartoonish smile and the text, “The Grin Will Win.” The smile references Jimmy Carter’s wide, toothy smile that became a trademark.

Button, Political. Green button with white lettering, “Amigos de Carter.” (Friends of Carter) Used in the 1976 campaign.

Wearable 
Chip Carter wearing campaign shirt, c. 1976                          Carter Family Collection By Jimmy Carter Presidential Library by Charles M. Rafshoon

T-shirt. White ringer T-shirt with dark green bands around sleeves and neckline. Black and white image of Carter in the center of a green circle that reads, “Jimmy Carter for President.”

At bottom,in small black letters, "Pd. for by the Carter Presidential Campaign Committee, R. J. Lipshutz, Treasurer".

T-shirt. White ringer t-shirt with dark green bands around sleeves and neckline. “Georgia Loves Jimmy Carter” with the image of a heart and a peach.

In small letters at bottom, "Paid for by the Jimmy Carter Presidential Campaign Committee, R. J. Lipshutz, Treasurer, P.O. Box 1976, Atlanta, Georgia 30301."

Gold Pin. The name “Carter” is stylized to look like a donkey, the Democratic Party symbol. Used in the 1976 campaign.

Necklace, Red, white, and blue enamel pendant on a gold-tone chain. Made in 1976 for the Carter Presidential Campaign.

Fun
Delegate Wearing Camping Hat, DNC Convention, New York City, July 15, 1976. Carter Family Collection By Jimmy Carter Presidential Library by Columbus Ledger Enquirer

Key ring. Metal key ring with white plastic tag attached and black drawing of Carter’s face. Used in the 1976 campaign.

Pendant. A pewter pendant, on obverse, Carter in profile and the capital building, "1976" along left edge "Why not our best? Carter for President".

On reverse, "The sad duty of politics in the establish justice in a sinful world." An olive branch is on each side of quote.

Why Not the Best was the name of Carter's autobiography that he published in June 1976 to introduce himself to the American people. He had served as governor of Georgia from 1971-1975.

Lillian Carter Carrying the Peanut Bag (left) with Amy Carter (right), DNC Convention, New York City, July 15, 1976

Carter Family Collection
By Jimmy Carter Presidential Library by Columbus Ledger Enquirer

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign...
Peanut Brigade, Ohio, c.1976. Rita Thompson Collection By Jimmy Carter Library 

Matchbook. White cardboard cover with green lettering "Jimmy Carter for President '76." On reverse, "For America's third century why not our best? Elect Jimmy Carter President."

As told in An Hour Before Daylight, President Carter never smoked as his parents and three siblings did smoke and all died of cancer.

Stickers. Three stickers on a wax paper strip from the Carter Campaign. Stickers are round with image of Jimmy Carter in black and white in the center. A green border and white lettering surrounds the image, “Jimmy Carter for President.”

Campaign Pamphlets
Rita Thompson Collection
By Jimmy Carter Library

Poster. Green background with image of Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale in black negative photographic image.

White lettering, "Jimmy Carter/ Walter Mondale/ to bring America/ together again", below photo in black text, "In the spirit of '76/ for full employment/ and a fuller life/ International Ladies Garment Workers Union, 1710 Broadway, New York, New York/ Sol C. Chaika, President."

Poster was paid for by the ILGWU and supported Carter during his campaign

Credits: Story

This online exhibit was made possible through the combined efforts of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum staff.

Co-Curator - Ryan Rutkowski, Archivist

Co-Curator - Danielle Bevacqua, Program Support Assistant

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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