Political Campaign Memorabilia on Exhibit at WSU

PULLMAN, Wash. — A collection of political memorabilia will be on exhibit in
the Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections area of Washington State
University’s Holland Library Oct. 30 through Dec. 29. The exhibit, “Presidential
Politics 1824-1992: The Frank and Marty Mullen Political Memorabilia
Collection,” will include a chronological display of presidential campaign
buttons and pins, as well as bumper stickers, postcards, sheet music, old
newspapers, banners, hats and yard signs. Additional displays focus on
third-party candidates, humor in politics and House Speaker Tom Foley’s
memorabilia. A history of the collection will also be on view.

The items in the exhibit have been selected from a gift of more than 1,800
buttons and pins and a wide range of paper items from Martha “Marty” Mullen
to the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service. The gift
has been appraised at more than $55,000.

An opening reception for the exhibit will be held at 3 p.m. Nov. 3 at MASC,
which is off the ground-level library atrium. Lance LeLoup, chair of the WSU
political science department and C.O. Johnson Distinguished Professor and
interim director of the Foley Institute, will deliver comments on how political
campaigns have changed over the years; and Mullen will discuss her
experiences building the collection. Mullen is also serving as curator of the

Mullen, who has coordinated programs including the Compton Union Gallery,
the Visual Performing an Literary Arts Committee, and Art a la Carte for the
CUB since 1972, made the gift in memory of her husband, William F. “Frank”
Mullen. Frank was a WSU professor of political science from 1968-86, when he
passed away. He was one of the first two Burlington Northern Excellence in
Teaching award recipients at WSU, and was noted for his commitment to his
students both in and out of the classroom.

Both of the Mullens were active in Democratic politics. Frank served several
terms as Whitman County Democratic Party chair, and together they were
county coordinators for Foley’s congressional races from 1978-86. They also
attended the 1976 National Democratic Convention in New York City, Frank as
a delegate and Marty with press credentials. Marty went again in 1988, this
time to Atlanta, as an alternate delegate.

The Mullen collection will be housed in the Foley Institute, where portions of
it will be on periodic display. By mid-November, a virtual version of the exhibit
will be available on the MASC Web site at
www.wsulibs.wsu.edu/holland/masc/masch.htm under the category “exhibits.”