OCC retired professor Dick Woodworth is bringing his you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it display of political memorabilia to campus on Super Tuesday! His collection spans back to the 1824, the year Andrew Jackson was elected President. Woodworth has amassed more than 2,000 items including coins, buttons, pins, posters, signs, ties, hats and more. The exhibit is titled “Art of the Campaign” and will be located in the lobby outside Storer Auditorium Tuesday, March 1 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. It’s free and open to the public. March 1 is referred to as Super Tuesday because more than a dozen Presidential primaries will be held on that day.
Woodworth’s fascination with political memorabilia started nearly 50 years ago. “In 1967 I was on the interstate driving through Tennessee when I stopped at a truck stop and bought a John F. Kennedy poster for $2. A couple of years later I picked up a Kennedy button. Then one of my friends gave me a Barry Goldwater button. Before I knew it, I had a hobby,” he said.
Nearly a half-century later, Woodworth’s Syracuse home is filled with political memorabilia, and the items related to President John F. Kennedy are among his most treasured. When the nation remembered the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s death in November of 2013, Woodworth put his memorabilia on display at Syracuse’s Palace Theater. People of all ages attended, from students in OCC’s History Club to people old enough to remember where they were when they heard the news of Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963. “It was wonderful how many people came. They remembered and wanted to reflect on that time,” said Woodworth.
Woodworth has no idea how much his collection is worth and he wouldn’t sell it at any price. One of his old Kennedy campaign posters has photos of both Kennedy and his running mate, Lyndon Johnson. “This poster is very rare because there are two people in it who became President. About five years ago the Lyndon Johnson Museum in Texas was looking for one of these, but I decided I didn’t want to sell it,” Woodworth said. “There’s something magical about looking at these posters. You look at them and they take you back to that time.”
We hope you’ll come experience the magic of the “Art of the Campaign” exhibit on Super Tuesday on the OCC campus.