McKinley for President - 1896!
Students will learn about the connection between Cleveland and
the 1896 Presidential Campaign of William McKinley. Students will
understand the significance the campaign button and slogan played
in the 1896 presidential campaign and identify its contribution
to current campaigns.
- What was Cleveland's connection to the Presidential election
- What are "campaign buttons" and how are they used
- Because 1996 is also a Presidential Election year, discuss
the campaign with the students. Who is running for president?
With what political party is the candidate affiliated? What have
been some of the issues, slogans, advertisement campaigns? Ask
students how the candidates get their messages to the American
- Have students imagine that it is the 1896 Presidential Campaign.
Who is running? What political parties are involved? What are
some of the issues? Students can gain this information by researching
in their texts or by teacher presentation. Ask students how the
candidates of 1896 might have delivered their "messages"
to the American People? How were they able to "advertise"
their name and political party and position?
- Brainstorm with students on how we can personally advertise
causes and beliefs we have today. (wearing ribbons on our lapels,
wearing a T-shirt with a slogan, bumper stickers, etc.) Give background
information on the political button and its use in the1896 election.
- Distribute Handout #1 - Creating a Presidential Campaign Button
to students. Have students decide on a candidate they would like
for President of the United States (it does not have to be one
of the declared candidates, just someone they think would make
a good president) They should identify qualities they think are
important about their candidate, perhaps develop a slogan, and
then design their campaign button. As an alternate activity you
can focus on a class or school election rather than the Presidential
This activity also works well as a cooperative group activity.