Once again, politics have permeated our airwaves and our attention. In a timely fashion, a new exhibit at the University of Nevada, Reno's Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center offers a snapshot of Nevada's political past and explores the men and women who campaigned for offices in Nevada. Entitled On the Road to Office: Campaigns, Elections and Governance, the exhibit, presented by Special Collections and University Archives, will run from now through Nov. 18, 2016.
Through the files of the many political papers housed in Special Collections, the exhibit explores how people grappled with issues of the day, ran for and remained in office, and assisted others in gaining a role in the democratic process. One highlight of the exhibit is Paul Laxalt's continued role in the campaigns to elect and re-elect Ronald Reagan as President of the United States. Friends since they were governors of their neighboring states and often referred to by media as "the First Friend," Laxalt was called upon by Reagan to be his national campaign chairman in pursuing the nation's highest office beginning in 1976.
"While their first attempt failed, Reagan's 1980 election and his 1984 re-election changed the course of national politics and political dialogue," Jacquelyn Sundstrand, manuscript and archives librarian at the University, said. "During his work for Reagan, Laxalt also ran his own re-election campaigns for the U.S. Senate in 1980 against his challenger, Democrat Mary Gojack. Items from Gojack's manuscript collection show her fight in that election."
The Laxalt-Reagan materials shown within the exhibit come from a newly prepared section of the Paul Laxalt U.S. Senatorial Papers made available from a recently received grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Nevada State Library and Archives.
William J. Raggio, the state's longest serving senator, is also featured in the exhibit as are materials from other numerous Nevada politicians.
Located on the third floor of the Knowledge Center, On the Road to Office: Campaigns, Elections and Governance is open for viewing from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. For further information, please contact the Special Collections at (775) 682-5665 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.