Delegate's Cheesehead Hat


Patricia Hawley decorated and wore this hat while serving as a Wisconsin delegate to the 1996 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. The hat is an official "cheesehead" manufactured by Foamation Inc. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Before arriving at the Chicago convention, Hawley collected the bumper stickers from earlier political events and purchased the pinwheel at the Ford Pharmacy in Appleton, Wisconsin.

It is not known when delegates began the tradition of decorating their hats at political conventions. Over time, delegates' decorations have become more elaborate assemblages. These creations are often statements of a party loyalty, emblematic of a particular cause, or, as was the case of this cheese hat, expressions of local pride. Most are meant to be fun and a celebration of individual participation in the political process.

Date Made: 1996Associated Dates: 1996-08-11-1996-08-161996-08-24-1996-08-30

Described: Clinton, BillGore, Jr., Albert A.

Location: Currently not on view

Associated Place: United States: Illinois, Chicago, United Center

Related Event: Presidential Campaign of 1996Democratic National Convention of 1996


See more items in: Political History: Political History, Campaign Collection, Government, Politics, and Reform, Clothing & Accessories, National Treasures exhibit


Exhibition Location:

Related Web Publication:

Related Publication: Kendrick, Kathleen M. and Peter C. Liebhold. Smithsonian Treasures of American History, National Museum of American History. Treasures of American History online exhibition

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1996.0311.01Catalog Number: 1996.0311.01Accession Number: 1996.0311

Object Name: hat

Physical Description: paper (overall material)styrofoam (overall material)plastic (overall material)orange (overall color)red (overall color)white (overall color)blue (overall color)black (overall color)neon green (overall color)triangle (overall shape)Measurements: average spatial: 14 1/2 in x 13 1/2 in x 14 in; 36.83 cm x 34.29 cm x 35.56 cm


Record Id: nmah_1180976

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.