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“New Frontier” anti-JFK board game

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

I recently came across what is now one of my favorite things in the Collection:  a board game entitled “New Frontier.”  This witty, politically-inspired game offers a spin on the popular Parker Brothers game MONOPOLY, complete with its own currency (Jack scrip), real estate (including “Humphrey’s Hot-Air Heating Co.” and the “Deficit Finance Co.”), and a GO square (here called the “Seat of Government”, where you “move fawhwad” through the “leadership gap” only by paying $2000 Jack in taxes).

The game was copyrighted in 1962, shortly after President John F. Kennedy took office on January 20, 1961, after winning a close election against Richard Nixon.  Kennedy first used the term “New Frontier” during his speech at the 1960 Democratic National Convention.  The term became a slogan representing the campaign and, later, the Kennedy Administration’s goals of eradicating poverty and propelling the space program.

The board game, “The Game Nobody Can Win” is the self-proclaimed “Funniest Political Game of the Century!” and game equipment includes a “Pad of paper to print your own money (There’s not enough Jack in existence to finance New Frontier).”  This game speaks for itself—the instructions read, in part: “….An educational exercise for all registered voters…Under the New Frontier business profits are pitilessly taxed away and all players eventually go bankrupt and have their properties socialized…”

Ironic or simply hilarious, this game not only offers commentary on 1960s politics, but illustrates many parallels to current political debates in this presidential election year.

Click to enlarge rules

See the game on Collections Online.

Sondra Reierson, Collections Assistant

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Anti-presidential candidate button

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Anti-presidential candidate button

“Are you kidding? / humphrey – wallace – nixon” anti-presidential button, manufacturer unknown, 1968.

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Vote Crocker

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Vote Crocker

Minnesota has a strong tradition of progressive politics, so it should come as no surprise that in 1942 it elected Betty Crocker to the U.S. Senate, making her the first woman to serve in that body. Crocker was a household name, having promoted General Mills since 1921 through print advertisements and radio programs. When wartime rationing curbed the market for baking products, Crocker seized the opportunity to jump into politics. Her campaign caused quite a stir, but she won by a landslide. Senator Crocker served a single term, returning to General Mills in 1949 as the postwar baking boom blossomed. The Minnesota Historical Society’s collections include numerous photos and ephemera pieces from Crocker’s history-making run.

Update: No, Betty Crocker didn’t actually serve as a senator. In fact, she isn’t even a real person. The pin was manufactured by General Mills, Minneapolis, Minnesota, by Wendell Northwestern Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota, circa 1950. Click on the photos to see the original, unaltered versions.

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Leading Minnesota: Items from four governors and their times

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Mark Dayton was inaugurated on January 3, 2011, as the 40th governor of Minnesota. In honor of this event, the Minnesota Historical Society created this slideshow featuring unique items from the MHS collections related to four of Minnesota’s past governors: Alexander Ramsey, Knute Nelson, Floyd B. Olson and Harold Stassen. These are just a few of the many manuscripts and objects associated with Minnesota politics in the Historical Society’s vast collections.

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Democratic donkey cuff links

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Democratic donkey cuff links

A pair of square sterling silver cuff links with an image of the Democratic donkey carved on the front. They were owned by Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey and worn during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

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Stassen for President campaign sign

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Stassen for President campaign sign

Elephant holding a sign with “Stassen for President.” One side is signed by both Harold and Esther Stassen. This sign is from either 1948 or 1952: he ran for president in both years as well as 1964, 1968, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992. In 1938 he was the youngest person ever elected governor of Minnesota at 31.

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Humphrey campaign dress

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Humphrey campaign dress

During his 1968 presidential bid, Hubert Humphrey opened a retail store in Washington, D.C. that merchandised a variety of campaign paraphernalia. Clothing was particularly well stocked, and one of the most unique items in the store was this women’s go-go dress. Featuring prominent African-American leaders, entertainers and sports heroes of the era, the dress represented both Humphrey’s Civil Rights crusade and his strive for the African-American vote.

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Recounts in Minnesota

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

This is Not Florida

We just received this book for the MHS Library Collection this week. How timely.

Jay Weiner. This is Not Florida: How Al Franken Won the U.S. Senate Recount. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010.

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Window display promoting election voting machine

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Window display promoting election voting, Dayton's, Minneapolis

Window display promoting election voting, Dayton’s, Minneapolis
Photographer: Norton & Peel
Photograph Collection 10/26/1956

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Peacetime Slackers Are Those Who Do Not Vote

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Peacetime Slackers Are Those Who Do Not Vote

Peacetime Slackers Are Those Who Do Not Vote
Creator: Saint Paul Civic Union, Inc.
Poster Collection, One-sheet poster 1926

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An Ounce of Preservation: A Guide to the Care of Papers and Photographs