Join us for a free lecture by: Steve Mihaly! Steve has one of the largest collections of Presidential marking memorabilia in the United States. Enjoy a light-hearted look at the many ways presidential candidates have marketed themselves throughout history.
Steve Mihaly, former Vice President of the HJ Heinz Co., Pittsburgh began collecting political Americana at the age of 10. Steve has continued collecting memorabilia for over 50 years, with a collection that now encompasses over 20,000 items. Mr. Mihaly has been featured in many newspapers and magazines across the country. He developed the “Marketing The Presidency” presentation 3 years ago in response to his friend’s request that he speak at the Joan Crawford Distinguished Speakers Series in Maryland. Marketing is deemed a relatively modern term, but in terms of presidential candidates, from George Washington to today, candidates have been marketing themselves, their ideas, or marketing against their opponent, from the beginning. In particular, the presentation focuses on the array of “odd” artifacts that candidates have produced to get the candidate’s name and ideas in front of the electorate. Thus, some of the items in the presentation include a James Monroe snuff box promoting the Monroe Doctrine, a Teddy Roosevelt cast iron door stop, an Eisenhower bar of soap with Ike’s image on it and the words “Clean Up Like Ike: and a Richard Nixon shower head where the water comes squirting out of his mouth, just to name a few examples. The presentation tends to focus on the whimsical, while at the same time, explaining to the audience why the candidate would actually produce such an oddity and what is the historical significance behind it.