Tell Me Something Good: Presidential campaign memorabilia collector

Tell Me Something Good

(WSYR-TV) — The roots of Dick Woodworth’s career in government were formed in the early 1960s. That was also the start of his lifelong hobby.

“I was on my way to college,” said Woodworth. “And I picked up a poster for my dorm room, which we thought was well done. And it was this Kennedy for President campaign sign.”

That poster was the first of what is now 2,400 pieces of presidential campaign memorabilia. They date back to the campaign of Andrew Jackson in 1824.

As time went by, a lot of the campaign items were shaped like horseshoes, because they went on horse harnesses. You couldn’t put a bumper sticker on a horse.

Dick Woodworth

Dick is really proud of his collection, going from President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden all the way back to earlier campaigns.

Dick also has an early edition of the Chicago Tribune, prematurely giving the 1948 election to former New York Gov. Tom Dewey over former Vice President Harry Truman.

“Last I heard, there’s only 72 papers of this left in the country,” said Dick. “Dewey defeats Truman. This is the original. When it was new, it was only four cents. And now, they’re worth about $2,500.”

He often shows his collection to the public and for years he taught government, marketing and political science at Onondaga Community College.

When he started collecting, anyone could walk into local campaign headquarters and pick up buttons and bumper stickers. But, in today’s big-money political campaigns, things have changed.

It’s much more difficult these days. You often have to contact their national headquarters and people like me belong to a national club and we can buy, sell, trade. They’re still out there, but you buy them now, they’re not free.

Dick Woodworth

But, they are a part of our history.


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