Pinback button promoting Alfred Smith for president, 1928. The Whitehead & Hoag Co., Newark, New Jersey.
The most successful Tammany Hall politician, four-term New York governor Al Smith was the first Roman Catholic to run for president. Though popular with the working class and minorities, Smith was the decided underdog in the race with the universally admired Herbert Hoover, the Republican nominee.
One of the more picturesque candidates (with his trademark derby and cigar) Smith's faith and vocal opposition to temperance laws proved a liability in the conservative, Protestant South and Midwest, and he lost in a landslide. His subsequent falling-out with Franklin Roosevelt, who would defeat Hoover in 1932, led Smith to abandon the Democratic Party, and he would endorse Republican candidates in 1936 and 1940.
We offer a celluloid button from Smith's unsuccessful 1928 campaign.