Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

For Immediate Release: September 20, 2004
Event: Exhibition "Every Four Years: Electing a President."
Contact: Holly Milledge 816-268-8245, Media Relations.

Truman Presidential Museum & Library presents an exhibition
"Every Four Years: Electing a President."
September 26, 2004 - February 21, 2005

Independence, - Every four years Americans go to the polls to elect their President. Over the years the process of choosing a leader has become steeped in tradition but has also evolved as society and technology have changed. Campaigning for President combines ritual, celebration, marketing, and bombast, all leading up to Election Day when citizens enter the voting booth to exercise their solemn right to choose their leaders.

"Every Four Years: Electing a President" examines Presidential elections, with a particular emphasis on elections in the last 80 years when radio and television brought these campaigns into the living rooms of homes across America. Text, photographs, graphic images, original artifacts and campaign memorabilia, as well as audio and video stations are featured in the exhibition. In addition, a series of activity areas invite visitors to participate in election activities such as mock voting and campaigning. The exhibition opens Sunday, September 26th and runs through February 21, 2005. This exhibition is made possible by the generous support of AFL-CIO.

Theme areas will survey the aspects of Presidential campaigns and elections over the years. The areas represented are:
The Prize: The Power of the Presidency. This introductory section summarizes the powers a President has as set forth in the Constitution and established by years of precedent.

The Candidates: Party Conventions. This section focuses on the process of selecting party nominees. Photographs, campaign buttons, posters, candidate pamphlets with position statements and other memorabilia are displayed.

The Chase: Political Campaigning. A centerpiece of the exhibition focuses on the political campaigns of Presidential candidates between the nominating conventions and the general election, primarily on the campaigns of the last 100 years.

The Image: Marketing the Candidates. A sub-section of "The Chase" focuses on the mass marketing of political candidates in the age of television.

The Choice: Election Day. Capturing the solemn mood of Election Day, examples of ballots from past presidential elections, along with photographs of voters going to the polls.

The Coronation: Inaugurating the President. Presidential Inaugurations are highlighted using original objects such as Inaugural invitations, menus, along with dresses worn by Bess Truman and Hillary Clinton.

The Truman Presidential Museum & Library is one of ten Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. It is located at U.S. Highway 24 and Delaware in Independence, Missouri. For more information on the Museum and programs, call (816) 833-1225 or visit www.trumanlibrary.org.

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