Pinback button promoting Charles Hughes for president, 1916.
Charles Hughes may be little remembered today, but he was a towering figure in American politics during the first half of the 20th century. The governor of New York during Theodore Roosevelt's administration (he defeated William Randolph Hearst for the office), he was appointed to the Supreme Court by Taft. Stepping down in 1916 to accept the Republican nomination for president, he lost to Woodrow Wilson in one of the closest elections in history.
As Secretary of State in the post-war Harding administration, Hughes negotiated a peace treaty with Germany after the Treaty of Versailles was rejected by the Senate. Appointed Chief Justice by Hoover, Hughes returned to the high court, where he successfully fended off FDR's attempt to "pack" the body with justices supporting New Deal programs. Long an advocate of disarmament, his retirement coincided with America's entry into the World War (1941).
We offer an original button from the 1916 campaign picturing Hughes.