Government, Politics, and Reform
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln are all represented in the Museum's collections—by a surveying compass, a lap desk, and a top hat, among other artifacts. But the roughly 100,000 objects in this collection reach beyond the possessions of statesmen to touch the broader political life of the nation—in election campaigns, the women's suffrage movement, labor activity, civil rights, and many other areas. Campaign objects make up much of the collection, including posters, novelties, ballots, voting machines, and many others. A second group includes general political history artifacts, such as first ladies' clothing and accessories, diplomatic materials, ceremonial objects, national symbols, and paintings and sculptures of political figures. The third main area focuses on artifacts related to political reform movements, from labor unions to antiwar groups.
"Government, Politics, and Reform - Overview" showing 1 items.
- Cesar Estrada Chavez, the founder of the United Farm Workers of America, is one of the most recognized Latino civil rights leaders in the United States. A Mexican American born in Yuma, Arizona, his family lost their small farm in the Great Depression (1930s). Like many Americans, they joined the migration to California and worked for low wages in its great agricultural fields. The agricultural industry in the West was a modern, market-driven phenomenon. In 1965, the United Farm Workers of America, led by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, began its five-year Delano grape strike against area grape growers for equal wages for foreign workers. Filipino and Mexican Americans who labored in California vineyards were suddenly visible in the eyes of American consumers. The movement to boycott table grapes mobilized students and educated consumers across America. The text on this poster, printed around 1970, describes Chavez's vision of political and economic emancipation for farm workers. La Causa, or The Cause, as it was known among Mexican Americans, was the political and artistic touchstone of the Chicano movement.
- Currently not on view
- associated person
- Chavez, Cesar
- associated institution
- United Farm Workers
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- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center