Pinback button, a souvenir of Wesleyan Taft Day, Middletown, Connecticut, Nov. 12, 1909. The Whitehead & Hoag Co., Newark, New Jersey.
While campaigning for president in 1908, Taft addressed a mass meeting presided over by Dr. William Arnold Shanklin. Taft and Shanklin hit it off, and when the latter was elected president of Wesleyan University, Taft sent his congratulations and promised to attend Shanklin's inauguration ceremony. The town of Middleton went all out to welcome Taft, staging a massive parade and lending the rotund president a chair that George Washington had once sat in. The university probably ordered this button made, which Whitehead & Hoag produced by overprinting papers left over from production of a Taft campaign button.