LeRoy Was Here

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Text on Button LeRoy was Here!
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Illustration of an elephant wearing a hat behind a fence with black text on fence, all on yellow background.

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This is most likely a reference to LeRoy Smallenberger. LeRoy was a bankruptcy judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana after getting his degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Louisiana State University Law Center. He was an alternate delegate to the 1948 Republican National Convention, held in Philadelphia, and the 1952 conclave, which met in Chicago.

The image of a face hanging over a fence is an homage to, "Kilroy was here". Kilroy is an American meme that was prevalent during WWII. Soldiers would often graffiti Kilroy was here, the image and text, to indicate that Allied soldiers were there or had passed through. Similar themes popped up in other countries, likely all inspired by Australia's Foo was here graffiti in WWI.

Using Kilroy as inspiration for someone who had passed through, LeRoy likely used this theme for souvenirs from his trips to the Republican National Convention.


Kestenbaum, L. (2019). The Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians: Smallenberger to Smita. Retrieved 2 October 2019, from http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/smalley-smit.html

What’s the origin of “Kilroy was here”?. (2000). Retrieved 2 October 2019, from https://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1812/whats-the-origin-of-kilr…

Catalog ID PO1038