New items for my political collection, including a missing inaugural pin

I spent this weekend out in the Black Hills, working on a couple of things that I’ll talk about later, but the big thing to share is that when I was in Spearfish, I located a couple of shops with political buttons, including an gubernatorial inaugural pin that’s been missing from my collection for quite some time:

So, the Snoopy for President tab will end up in the frame with other “Snoopy for President” items I have – including a flasher pin. Snoopy doesn’t have quite the top of mind popularity the Schultz cartoon characters had in my youth, but they’re still a fun item. The VOTE GOP ’74 pin was an off-presidential year, so a little more rare, and will go with my GOP items.  The Clinton/Gore is more unusual, campaigning for the native vote, but as it’s not specific to South Dakota, I’ll probably just speculate on that.

The big “Get” for me in this group was  the George T. Mickelson pin I managed to find for $25 – which is a very good price. Near mint condition, including the back paper, this is one that I have not been able to put back with my collection for YEARS. The other George T. Mickelson pin for ’49 is been a lot easier to find, but this one has been tough.  As a bit of trivia, the design for this is almost identical to the Joe Foss 1955 pin.

To complete my set, that leaves me the 1933 pin, the 1953 Sigurd Anderson pin, and the large 1975 Kneip pin.

The other find this weekend just came off of eBay, and no one really picked up on it except me. I was the sole bidder on a pin for Ed. S. Johnson for US Senate, a pin I’ve never stumbled across before in over 30 years of collecting:

Edwin Stockton Johnson, was an unsuccessful candidate for SD Governor in 1912, and you see those pins around, and they pop up on eBay several times a year. I might even have an extra.  But this pin is for Edwin’s US Senate race, in which he had far more success:

(Johnson) was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate in 1914 and served from March 4, 1915 to March 3, 1921. He was the first Senator popularly elected from South Dakota and also the first Democrat to represent South Dakota in the Senate.

From Wikipedia.

So noted, the US Senate pin for Johnson is one I’ve not come across before. Looks like it might have a rust spot or two, but not having it my collection, it was happy win to the sale for this 7/8″ pin for me.

Great items from South Dakota’s political past!

3 thoughts on “New items for my political collection, including a missing inaugural pin”

  1. The Edwin Johnson for Senate pin is a real find….he has relatives in the Yankton area who may have family heirlooms, but this is a rare find and a truly significant artifact of South Dakota History. As I understand my South Dakota History, Johnson was a Populist, who, after that third party withered away, chose to join the Democrat Party, rather than follow the majority of Populists into the Republican fold. Democrats were generally more “conservative” than Republicans in that era if you consider the record of Norbeck and McMaster, both Republican Governors and US Senators. I believe Senator Johnson was more “liberal” than most of the other Democrats on the ballot.

  2. ES Johnson had a pile of kids. Started before going to DC, when I think he was a banker in Wagner. After finishing in the senate, he came home and had more children. One of the later kids I met. His son was my campaign treasurer, and my doc, Dr Ken Johnson , then of Watertown and now retired in Colorado Springs.
    Ken’s father never knew about his dad’s time in politics, as it all happened well before he was born.
    I put together a full set of ES’s pins that Ken gave his dad. Ken’s dad told me he had never seen them. Seemed to me that his family had put politics behind him when he came home. Even Ken mentioned ES to me, his grandpa, in an off-handed way, something like “I had a relative in some kind of politics”.

    Ken also held an annual 4th of July party on his acreage (then) west of Watertown that Sen Thune regularly attended.

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