Special exhibit—Factions and Fraternalism: A History of America’s Political Parties
Hayes Presidential Library & Museums Spiegel Grove - home of Rutherford B. Hayes, Fremont, OH, USA Open in Google Map
This exhibit is open from Friday, Sept. 20, 2024–Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2025

In 1796, outgoing President George Washington warned succeeding generations about the rise of “factions” (political parties) through which “cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government.” With yet another contentious presidential election looming in 2024, American voters have become accustomed to seeing their political landscape drawn in stark battle lines of “us vs. them.” However, this has not always been the case. The United States has a rich history of political parties rising and falling, merging and splitting, third parties forming around the issues of the day, and even a brief period of national unity where the country had seemingly moved beyond rival parties. This exhibit explores the dynamic ways in which Americans have sorted themselves around complex political issues but also the shared values between the parties that enabled them to work together to propel the country forward. The exhibit will feature campaign materials, political party memorabilia and artifacts related to the ever-evolving act of voting from throughout American history.

Factions and Fraternalism will be open through Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2025. Access to the exhibit is included with regular admission. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums members and Ohio History Connection members are admitted for free. For updated hours, visit rbhayes.org.

Sign-Up for our eNewsletter!