Donkey-Elephant Display Base, ca. 1956

Donkey-Elephant Display Base, ca. 1956. Cornell University Library, Rare & Manuscript Collections, Susan H. Douglas Political Americana Collection

Take a deep breath, the presidential debates are finally over. But brace yourselves, we still have a couple of weeks of campaigning left until the actual elections. Why the negative tone? Well, the Washington Post reported that “59 percent of Americans are sick and tired of the election”–and that was way back in July! And we’re not just sick and tired, we’re also stressed: in a more recent poll by the American Psychological Association, 52 percent of American adults said the upcoming election is a significant source of stress.

Can we interest you in a tour of more innocent days from Cornell University’s Political Americana Collection in Artstor’s public collections? Days in which campaigns featured such lighthearted items as songs like “Grant is the Man,” promoting Ulysses S. Grant, or “Let’s O-K, I-K-E,” about Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower.

Singing not your thing? Maybe you’d prefer a Franklin D. Roosevelt creamer for your morning coffee, which you can drink out of a Taft coffee mug*.

Personally, we’re drawn to the candidate-free political party swag, such as the fetching Republican elephant bag from 1952, or even better, this Democratic donkey liquor bottle from 1960 (from the Jim Beam company!).

Still stressed? Perhaps you’d like to see campaign memorabilia from a president we can all stand behind: Abraham Lincoln, from the University of Saint Mary De Paul Library’s Bernard H. Hall Abraham Lincoln Campaign Collection. Or the one who got the highest number of votes ever won by a presidential candidate, from Cornell’s Obama Visual Iconography collection. Or maybe you just want to go underwater and look at fish. Yeah, us too.

*Yes, we know that’s a different Taft than the one Roosevelt ran against. Just indulge us.

More collections from Cornell University: