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Mudslinging, Muckraking and Apple Pie: Presidential Campaigns, the Great American Pastime

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 | 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm |Community Room

Political campaigns are getting down and dirty. How did this campaign craziness get started? Believe it or not, they have actually gotten more civil over the years.

Don’t believe it? In this program, hear the stories of the mudslinging and muckraking of the Jefferson v. Adams campaign of 1800, the Jackson v. Adams of 1828, the Lincoln v. Douglas of 1860, and Grant v. ANYONE! Also covered in this program is the 1912 campaign when Teddy Roosevelt decided to start his OWN political party.

Please stop by the Reference Desk or call 262-785-4980 to register.


Book Discussion Program

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 | 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm |Community Room

Professor John Savagian from Alverno College will lead a discussion of the book, 1912: Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft, and Debs by James Chace.

Copies of the book are now available at the Library's Circulation Desk.

Please stop by the Reference Desk or call 262-785-4980 to register for this free program.

Book Discussion:

Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari Berman

May 11th, 2016
7:00-8:30 p.m.

Community Room

Led by Professor Russell Brooker from Alverno College. Click here to learn more.

      Give Us the Ballot

Please stop by the Reference Desk or call 262-785-4980 to register.

Film, Lecture, and Discussion:

Voting patterns and turnout in Wisconsin as related to U.S. presidential elections

May 25th, 2016
*Film: 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Lecture & discussion:
7:00-8:30 p.m.

Community Room

*(The film will also be shown May 17th and May 18th at 7:00 p.m.)

Led by Professor Mordecai Lee from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. The documentary film, Primary, will provide background for the discussion. Click here for more information.


Let's Talk Presidential Elections: Looking Back

The New Berlin Public Library recently applied and was awarded a 2016 Wisconsin Humanities Council grant entitled, "Let’s Talk Presidential Elections: Looking Back". 

See the left column for information about the four programs that we've planned about presidential election history. We'll also be displaying reproductions of posters from presidential campaigns from the Library of Congress.

Follow the links below to learn more about presidential election history and topics.


TED Ed Talks - Videos

“Does your vote count? The Electoral College explained” by Christina Greer (5:21 minutes)  A great review of how the Electoral College works.

“Why do Americans vote on Tuesdays?” by Jacob Soboroff (3:27 minutes)
Learn a little about why we vote on Tuesdays. Recorded a few years ago, the “Weekend Voting Bill” mentioned in the video did not become law.

“The oddities of the first American election” by Kenneth C. Davis (4:06 minutes) How did George Washington become president? Some surprising facts about America’s first presidential election.

“Gerrymandering: How drawing jagged lines can impact an election” – by Christina Greer (3:52 minutes) Learn each political party tries to gain the advantage over the other party by carefully drawing the shape of either “packing” or “cracking” a district in an effort to win elections.

Here are two longer TED Talks that you might be interested in viewing:


Visit the Wisconsin Historical Society’s website to learn some fascinating history of Presidential elections. 


Online Exhibit

"That's The Ticket: A Parade of Presidential Elections" and learn about the leaders, issues, and final outcomes of 39 presidential elections. The exhibit begins with the 1856 presidential election and proceeds chronologically through 2008.


Learn about Wisconsin’s first election in 1836, before it was even a state! Read the essay, “Wisconsin's First Election.”

Did you know that before 1912, you couldn't even vote in a presidential primary? Read the article, “Historic Changes in Wisconsin Primary Law” and learn more.

Learn about the Women’s Suffrage Movement in Wisconsin, led by, Theodora Winton Youmans, who grew up in Prospect Hill, a pioneer crossroads community located in part of the present day New Berlin. Read the essay, “Theodora Winton Youmans and Women's Suffrage.”


Funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the State of Wisconsin. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Wisconsin Humanities Council supports and creates programs that use history, culture, and discussion to strengthen community life for everyone in Wisconsin.