Pinback button promoting Charles Hughes for president, 1916. The Whitehead and Hoag Co., Newark, New Jersey.
Charles Evans Hughes may be little remembered today, but he was a towering figure in American politics during the first half of the 20th century. A protege of Theodore Roosevelt, he was elected governor of New York in 1906, defeating newspaper magnet William Randolph Hearst for the office. In 1910, he was appointed an associate justice of the Supreme Court by William H. Taft. Stepping down in 1916 to accept the Republican nomination for president, he lost to Woodrow Wilson in one of the closest elections in presidential 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 Herbert Hoover, Hughes returned to the high court, where he successfully fended off Franklin Roosevelt's attempt to "pack" the body with justices sympathetic to his New Deal iniatives. Long an advocate of disarmament, his retirement coincided with America's entry into World War II (1941).
This celluloid pinback picturing Hughes dates to his 1916 presidential campaign.