While out on a day trip through various second hand stores and antique shops I stumbled upon this wonderful pin from the early career of Dan K. Inouye. Most Oregonians have probably never heard of Inouye. He was the first member of Congress ever from the state of Hawaii. Elected, he took office the same day Hawaii became a state.
This is an amazing pin. Stunning red and blue. The best part was, this pin was only $4.95! What a deal! I believe this pin is from his 1962 campaign for the U.S. Senate. He defeated Republican Benjamin F. Dillingham II by an overwhelming margin. He would go on to win 9 terms to the U.S. Senate from Hawaii. He holds the record for the second longest service in the senate. He held his seat from January 3, 1963 – December 17, 2012 (just 16 days short of 50 years).
In terms of both House and Senate service he is the 4th longest serving member in American history. He served 53 years, 118 days in Congress. He died while serving in office in 2012.
Always interesting to see what political items make their way to Oregon. Did this journey over with the original owner? Someone that voted for Dan while they lived in Hawaii in 1962? Was it a fellow collector living in 1962 that wrote the Inouye campaign asking for swag? It's fun to think about.
Other fun bit of trivia. Inouye was the last member of the Senate class of '62 at the time of this death, still serving in the Senate. Ted Kennedy was another freshman senator in 1962. He passed away in 2009. Of the freshman elected in 1962, only Birch Bayh of Indiana remains living as of this writing, but he has not served in the Senate since 1981. This also made Inouye, the last member of the Senate to be elected at the same time as Oregon's Wayne Morse, and probably the last member of the Senate to have served with Wayne Morse.