Sunday, March 16, 2014

Ray Smith Republican Club button

Picked this item up at the Portland Expo Antique & Collectable show earlier this month.
Don't know a whole lot about these 'Republican Clubs', it appears though from looking around the archives of  Oregon newspapers that they were around as late as the 1950s. You can find several articles mentioning the election of new officers and adoption of various policies for the Oregon GOP platform. Here's an article from the Bend Bulletin reporting on the highlights of the convention that this particular pin is from.

One of the interesting proposals adopted at this convention was a civil rights policy regarding African Americans:

A last minute matter put before the resolutions committee on the place of the negro in the Republican Party in Oregon was handled by a resolution which "reiterated" principles of the party standing for equality for all, declaring negro citizens would be welcome and encouraged in taking part of party activities, including formulation of policy. (The Bulletin 12/5/1954)

Ray Smith was active in the Republican Party of Oregon in the 40s and 50s. He got himself appointed a Tax Commissioner in the late 40s.. with some sort of controversy. It involved the ousting of two other commissioners. The Eugene Register Guard covered the appointment. 

If you know more of the history of these clubs, feel free to share.

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