Posted by: Ed Darrell | March 6, 2012

Berryman cartoons on running for office

Clifford Berryman drew some of the best and most famous political cartoons ever, for newspapers in Washington, D.C., over a career of more than 50 years.  Berryman drew the cartoon of Teddy Roosevelt and the bear cub TR refused to shoot, that caused the story of TR and the bear to become famous, which led to the creation of the “Teddy bear” stuffed animal we all know today, for one example.

Our National Archives featured an exhibit of Berryman cartoons on running for office.  The exhibit is long gone, but the materials from the exhibit live on, on line, waiting for students to study, and teachers to use for presentations, assignments, and tests.

Go check it out.  Great resources.  There’s a piece that describes some of the symbols and symbolism used in Berryman’s cartoons.  Some of the cartoons seem awfully prescient to today:

Nearing the End of the Primaries, May 3, 1920; cartoon by Clifford Berryman

"Nearing the End of the Primaries," cartoon by Clifford Berryman published May 3, 1920. Caption from the Archives: "Today candidates usually secure their party’s nomination during the primary season, and the nominating convention merely provides the party’s official stamp of approval. In 1920, however, when the primary process was still new, it did not produce a clear winner for the Republican Party. As the Republican convention neared, there was no front-runner for the G.O.P. Presidential nomination. This cartoon shows the frazzled Republican elephant surrounded by conflicting newspaper headlines while the Democratic donkey makes pressing inquiries. Warren G. Harding was eventually chosen as the Republican nominee. U.S. Senate Collection Center for Legislative Archives"




  1. […] Borrowed with express permission from Mr. Darrell’s Wayback Machine. Share this:TwitterStumbleUponDiggRedditFacebookEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  2. is this cartoon picture explaining how sometimes their is two run up’s that may have almost same amount of fallowers and it show how hard and difficult the competions is being?

    • The Democrats had pretty well decided who they wanted to nominate, but the Republicans didn’t have a big favorite — so it took longer. Ultimately the Republicans nominated Warren G. Harding, and he picked Calvin Coolidge as his running mate.

      Harding won.

      Does anyone remember who the Democrats picked?

      Anyone? 1920?

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