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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

History & Politics

Monday, April 28, 2008

In 2008, you can't turn a corner without running into politics.

For the Buena Vista County Historical Society stalwarts, when it came time to choose a theme for their annual main exhibit, it was an easy decision to go with the flow.

"This place is blooming out in red white and blue," laughs Janice Danielson, stepping over the piles of bunting strewn across the floor while putting some finishing touched on the display this week.

In the process of formulating the exhibit, many treasures have emerged from the community - from portraits of Abe Lincoln to 1800s newspaper clippings to a collection of rare campaign buttons dating to McKinley in 1896.

"There's some really nifty stuff here," Danielson said, showing off a collection of biting 1960s political cartoons, and a local voting booth that was used until the 1950s when mechanical booths came into style.

One of the most unusual items is a dress worn at Teddy Roosevelt's inaugual ball by Oma E. Barton Thomas, Storm Lake, wife of Lot Thomas - a Congressman from the city. Thomas's story, by the Pilot-Tribune, is available to read. The dress was provided by Barbara Kearny of Storm Lake.

There are also collections of memorabilia from well known Storm Lake political figures over the years - including beloved figures who have recently passed away, state legislator Mary Lou Freeman and former mayor Andy Lynn Statz.

One entire wall features a storm of current political advertising from the 2008 crop of presidential candidates, as collected at one Storm Lake household.

A special mini-exhibit within the show will be devoted to John F. Kennedy.

The show, themed, "Politics Then and Now" will open to the public Sunday, April 27 with an Open House at 2 p.m., at the museum on West 5th Street in Storm Lake.

Speakers will include some well known local political figures - Iowa Rep. Gary Worthan, former legislator Russ Eddie, and County Supervisor Lorna Burnside. There will be an audience question and answer session, and refreshements will be served. Everyone is welcome.



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