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Marj Skinker album of Republican women's Voteswagon tour

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Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

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The Voteswagon, a bus decorated with campaign stickers and run by women members of the Republican Party, was used to rally support for the Nixon-Agnew campaign through a cross-country tour. Led by Assistant Republican National Committee Chairman Mrs. Mary Brooks and National Federation of Republican Women President Mrs. Gladys O'Donnell, the goal of the Voteswagon was to mobilize the women's vote in favor of the Nixon-Agnew Republican ticket for President of the United States. The Votewagon began on September 23, 1968, at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., and ended on October 18, 1968, at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Over 27 days, the Voteswagon visited 74 cities and covered approximately 7000 miles, traveling through states with 229 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the Electoral College.

The Voteswagon was a unprecedented form of political campaigning. Through their slogan "Operation Cleansweep," the Voteswagon invited womeon to help sweep Democrats out of office and sweep Nixon into the White House. Part of this effort involved handing out "Operation Cleansweep" brooms to women along the route. The Voteswagon help organize events for local and state Republican candidates, and fused local elections and candidates with the national campaign. The women of the Voteswagon also distributed over two tons of campaign literature to those who gathered along the route.

Information derived from the collection.

Marjorie Bragunier "Marj" Skinker was born on April 20, 1928 to B. Bowie and Anna Pearl (Hiett) Bragunier. Throughout her life, Skinker was involved in both the media and Republican Party politics. She was the founding editor and pulisher of the Woman-to-Woman in Washington Newsletter from 1979-89. From 1985-1986, Skinker served as President of The American News Women's Club. She also served as CEO of Marj Skinker Productions. In 1968, Skinker served as Press Secretary for the Republican National Committee, the Republican National Convention, and the Presidnetial Inaugural Committee. She also served as Press Director for the Nixon-Agnew Voteswagon during this election cycle. From 1970-1971, she served as a Special Assistant to the Director of the U.S. Mint, before resuming her role of Press Secretary for the 1972 Republican National Convention and Presidential Inaugural Committee. From 1972-1982, she served as the Press and Program Director for various Co-Chairs of the Republican National Committee. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan appointed Skinker as a a delegate for the U.S. Women Leaders to the Republic of China. Skinker died on April 18, 2020. Obituary for Marjorie Skinker, 1928-2020.https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/washingtonpost/obituary.aspx?n=marjorie-skinker&pid=196058599

The Marj Skinker album of Republican women's Voteswagon tour contains photographs, postcards, correspondence, and ephemera relating to the Voteswagon. The album was compiled by Marj Skinker, Public Relations Manager for the Voteswagon and the Press Secretary for the Republican National Committee.

The album documents the entire trip from Washington, D.C. to Anaheim, California in roughly chronological order. Beginning with a map of the Voteswagon route and statements from both Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew, Skinker documents the kick-off event in front of the U.S. Capitol. From there, the album includes photographs of the women aboard the bus and the scenery they pass, as well as postcards written by Skinker to members of her family. In them, she describes the places she is visiting, as well as the success of the tour, and information about different campaign events that are occuring along the route.

The back of the album includes the full schedule of stops, a report to the Republican National Committee about the Voteswagon tour, a list of accomodations for the riders, a count of the distance traveled by the bus, and a list of individuals and news outlets to either ride the Voteswagon or cover the trip.

Enclosed with the scrapbook is a copy of the Chairman's Report to the Republican National Committee about the RNC's activities in 1968. Pages 24 to 29 of the report document the Voteswagon as an initiative of the Women's Division of the Republican National Committee.

Item 0154: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (15 inches)

A digitized copy of the journal is available at the University of Delaware Digital Institutional Repository.

Purchase, 2020

Processed and encoded by John D. M. Caldwell, September 2020.

Publisher
University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2020 September 17
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library, https://library.udel.edu/static/purl.php?askspec

Collection Inventory

Marj Skinker album of Republican women's Voteswagon tour, 1968.
Box 1
The Chairman's Report - 1968 to the Republican National Committee [enclosure], 1969 January 16-17.
Box 1

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