Every summer the APIC, American Political Items Collectors, hosts the largest convention celebrating the art of gathering paraphernalia. The non-profit organization founded in 1945 originally sparked the interest of history buffs, political junkies, and scutelliphiles (collector of badges, buttons, and patches) but now has a much broader appreciation. During the week’s convention you can attend guided tours, attend exhibitions, and of course buy, sell, or trade your collectables.
Busy Beaver’s own Christer Carter attended and came back with a box full of buttons to add to the Button Museum. Check out a few of our favorites:
1. “No More Pills Doc!”
2. Stop Time
4. Friends of Mary Jo and Ann
5. KYYX 96.5 FM Rock of the 80’s
6. Learn about the Birds and The Bees…But Don’t get Stung!
7. Puerto Rico
8. Get Off Dead Center
9. All power to the Thinking People
Look forward to these gems being added to our online chronicle of the Button Museum!
We’re always keeping our eyes peeled for more buttons to add to our Button Museum. Recently we’ve picked up a plethora of new pinbacks ranging from a McDonald’s “Super Size Me” 3 inch beauty to an additional “Legalize Streaking” button to add to our collection. The jackpot of this haul however came in the form eight 2×3″rectangle movie buttons from our favorite titles in the years of 1999-2001. We’re so excited with this score, we’d like to reminisce with you these cinema treasures.
1. What Woman Want (2001)
This is not a new plot device. This is an old one. The character Nick (Mel Gibson) thinks he is a gift to women; a ladies’ man but he is just a man’s man who does not understand women. After a freak accident, Nick has the ability to read the opposite sexes’ minds. We actually haven’t seen this movie but we’re told Nick abuses this new power and cheats his way to a higher position, learns how to treat people nicely, and then is forgiven at the end of the film for saving a life or two. We think we now know what women want though.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 54%
Busy Beaver Score: >54%
2. Cast Away (2000)
If you haven’t had your annual Netflix re-watching of Cast Away I highly suggest this film if you have been questioning your hope for humanity and where your FedEx packages usually end up. Tom Hanks delivers a solid performance that is only comparable with his role in You’ve Got Mail. Hanks will make you cringe one moment and cry the next. The ending is realistic, but not too realistic because after all cell phones are everywhere now, probably even a deserted island.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%
Busy Beaver Score: One Wilson friend out of one Wilson friend
3. Galaxy Quest (1999)
Coming off the success of the beloved sitcom “Home Improvement”, Tim Allen takes the role of a lifetime in this coming to age satire that we feel is not nearly quoted enough. The story follows the lives of five dissatisfied Sci-Fi actors from a since cancelled series who are recruited by an alien race to save their kind. Allen has a couple heartfelt scenes and you’re sure to laugh at the parody of the entire movie. Oh, and the CG holds up pretty well 17 years later.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%
Busy Beaver Score: 110%
4. Coyote Ugly (2000)
Tyra Banks acting. Need we say more? It’s hard not to smize at this romantic drama surrounding a Jersey girl’s dream of becoming a songwriter. This dream somehow turns into a saloon dance off, but, whatever, Tyra Banks. John Goodman saves the day by being John Goodman.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 22%
Busy Beaver Score: All the Coyotes
Not to be confused with 1997’s George of the Jungle, Disney’s Tarzan tugs on your heartstrings with cinematic excellence while serenading you softly with the sounds of Phil Collins. This in fact was your average millennial’s introduction to the Genesis’ drummer and Rosie O’Donnell. A legend of a man raised by gorillas only to be inundated with an identity crisis when more humans enter the jungle. This is indeed the prequel to the future summer block buster being released this year, The Legend of Tarzan.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%
Busy Beaver Score: Shooby doop dobby dop dobby doop dobby dah dah doo dap
At the time of our first presidential election, only 6% of the population was allowed to vote. If you weren’t a white male property-owning Protestant citizen over 21, well, voting was out of the question. Women, immigrants, Native Americans, and non-white male citizens were left out of the electoral process—or discouraged through discriminatory regulations—for decades.
It’s taken two centuries of acts, amendments, marches, and heated debates to get to the (mostly) inclusive voting system we have today. And although the popular pinback button wasn’t patented until 1896, buttons in some form have been in use for just as long.
So now that the smoke of our nation’s sordid voting history has cleared, let’s take a button-powered look back at the progression of our voting rights.
1789 George Washington is elected first president of the United States—by a Congress made up of only white male Protestant property-owners over the age of 21.
“Long Live the President” button used to announce the first presidential inauguration.
1810 Religious prerequisites for voting are removed (hallelujah!).
1848 The Seneca Falls Convention takes place, helping spark the women’s suffrage movement.
“Votes for Women” button (circa 1910) used by the National Women’s Suffrage Association.
1856 Property ownership prerequisites removed.
1868 After Lincoln helped abolish slavery, the 14th Amendment is passed, granting former slaves citizenship.
“A. Lincoln” button, circa 1864.
1870 The 15th Amendment is passed: The right to vote cannot be denied “on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Former slaves and (male) African Americans are allowed to vote—though use of poll taxes, literacy tests, and other means of disclusionary regulations prevent most from doing so.
1876 The Supreme Court rules that Native Americans are not citizens as defined by the 14th Amendment and, thus, cannot vote.
1882 The Chinese Exclusion Act bars people of Chinese ancestry from becoming U.S. citizens, thus excluding them from voting.
“Grover Cleveland” button used in his 1884 presidential campaign. Cleveland campaigned against voting rights for African Americans and extended the Chinese Exclusion Act originally signed by President Arthur.
1896 Celluloid Pin-back button invented and used in the McKinley vs. Bryan campaign.
1900s Buttons become popular tools for campaigning to younger voters.
“First Voters” clubs spring up on college campuses helping secure Theodore Roosevelt’s 1904 win.
1919 Native Americans given ability to earn citizenship—thus the right to vote—through military service.
1920 The 19th Amendment is passed extending the vote to women.
The “League of Women Voters” was founded in response to 20 million American women having the newfound right to vote.
1946 Filipinos and indigenous people from India become eligible for U.S. citizenship.
1952 The Walter-McCarran Act grants all people of Asian ancestry right to become citizens.
1961 The 23rd Amendment is passed, giving residents of Washington D.C. the right to vote in presidential elections.
“I Toured The White House” button.
1963 The March on Washington takes place, encouraging the Civil Rights Act (1964) and giving precedence to the Selma Voting Rights Movement.
“March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom” button.
1964 The 24th Amendment is passed, prohibiting poll taxes from federal elections (previously used to deter minority voters).
1965 Encouraged by the Selma Voting Rights Movement, the Voting Rights Act is passed, forbidding discriminatory voting restrictions.
1971 The 26th amendment is passed, lowering the minimum voting age to 18.
“If I Were 21” button.
1975 An amendment to the Voting Rights Act requires voting materials be made available in multiple languages.
“¡HÁGALO! button (Spanish for “Do it!”).
1976 The satirical Nobody for President campaign emerges, highlighting voter apathy while offering real suggestions to counteract it—including making Election Day a federal holiday (this is still being proposed to this day).
“Nobody for President” button.
1993 The National Voter Registration Act (aka the “NVRA” or “Motor Voter Act”) is passed, making voter registration more accessible.
“Let’s All Vote” button.
2001 The National Commission on Federal Election Reform urges states to allow felons to regain voting rights after serving their time.
2008 Barack Obama is elected, becoming nation’s first black president.
“Obama Victory Rally” button.
2013 The Supreme Court strikes down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which required states with a history of racial discrimination get clearance from Congress before changing any voting laws. Several states take it as an opportunity to pass controversial voter ID laws.
“Fight Racism” button.
2016 You use your hard-fought right to vote THIS election season.
Find these buttons and more at the Busy Beaver Button Museum.