Delaware Public Media

Governors past and present kick off new archives exhibit

Oct 20, 2016

Delaware political junkies will have plenty to explore as the state archives debuts a new exhibit exploring the history of Delaware’s governors.

Campaign buttons, lawn signs and even a voting machine line the halls of the Delaware Public Archives for its latest exhibit, Delaware Votes.


Visitors can wade through more than a century’s worth of electoral history, including inauguration speeches and even hear a 1950s rendition of the state song, “Our Delaware.”


A handful of former governors helped celebrate the exhibit’s debut, along with current Gov. Jack Markell (D). He says it’s a great way to reflect on the evolution of politics in the First State.


“When you’re in the middle of a campaign, sometimes you lose sight of the fact that this is a stretch of history and there have been campaigns going back now a couple hundred years. I think it’ll be interesting, I think it’ll be fun to see sort of the context, how campaigns have changed over that time,” Markell said.


Others, including former governors Ruth Ann Minner, Tom Carper and Michael Castle also toured the new space.


State Archivist Stephen Marz says these kinds of projects bring people together.


“You see individuals walking around and they’re all pointing and looking at things and you see Governor Minner out there – it brings back memories that are precious to them and they’re able to tell other people,” Marz said.

Another feature of the exhibit shows Delaware’s Return Day through the decades, including the ox roast in the Georgetown Circle.


Delaware Votes: The History of Gubernatorial Elections in Delaware is free and open to the public and runs through next March.