Republican National Convention of 1976 in Kansas City, MO

I interrupt slow vacation coverage and other musings to report on my recent archaeological trip to the Missouri Valley Special Collections to waste a day off photograph some artifacts from the Republican National Convention, hosted in Kansas City’s Kemper Arena in 1976.

Although someone had swiped “nine items listed on the initial 1976 inventory” including “a broom, some placards, a plastic horn, a frisbee, and drinking glasses” I was able to take pictures of other materials, such as pamphlets, pins and trash bags, apparently not as prized by the thieves.

Looking back, it’s pretty clear that Ronald Reagan lost the nomination to Gerald Ford only because no one could imagine or spell Vice President Schweiker. A winning strategy for President Ford was picking a running mate with a four-letter name – Dole, which then was successfully used by Reagan in 1980 when he ran with someone named Bush.

The Order of Business contains many familiar names such as Karl Rove, then the Executive Director of the College Republican National Committee.

Some talking points:

A pamphlet about gay rights:

Seating chart:


The 2nd Union Station Massacre.

Don Greenwell III, age 14 provided this information sheet. He might be a lawyer nowadays.

Delegate planner.

The magazine written by children.

This was also in the box. Posted for the name only.

Some bling.



Honored guest.

Long banner.

Official Jerry Ford trash bags.


If you are still here, check out this clip from the floor of the Convention only to remind yourselves how nice is not having to wear a huge antenna on your head in order to talk to someone few hundred yards away.