Category:
Politics

Rodney Fertel’s Gorilla Campaign

1969: Rodney Fertel ran for mayor of New Orleans on what he called the "primate platform". He promised that, if elected, he would "Get a gorilla for the zoo." This was his primary campaign issue. He campaigned by standing on street corners, sometimes dressed in a safari outfit, sometimes in a gorilla suit, handing out miniature plastic gorillas to passers-by.

Rodney Fertel with a baby gorilla



Fertel lost the election, receiving only 310 votes, but he kept his promise by donating a pair of West African gorillas the following year to New Orleans' Audubon Zoo, at his own expense.

Incidentally, Rodney was the former husband of Ruth Fertel, who founded Ruth's Chris Steak House. Fertel's son has written a book about his parents titled The Gorilla Man and the Empress of Steak: A New Orleans Family Memoir.

More info: nola.com

Posted By: Alex - Tue Nov 03, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Politics, Strange Candidates, 1960s

Landslide—the electoral college board game

Kenneth J. Gross and Sebron Koster were granted a patent in 1960 for Landslide, an electoral college board game. Players moved their pieces around the board trying to gain enough electoral college votes to start a 'landslide'. If you want to play it, the rules are below.

As far as I can tell, their game was never sold in stores. However, there have been two other board games called Landslide that did make it to market (in 1971 and 2004). Both involved acquiring electoral college votes but were otherwise different than the 1960 version.



How to play Landslide

At the start of the play of a game each player selects his political party and takes his marker and tokens to match. Each player or candidate rolls the die and the candidate who rolls high die opens the play. He is succeeded in turn by each candidate in a clockwise direction. All candidates begin their campaign from the central segment, viz. Washington, D.C.

The number appearing on the die indicates the number of segments (States) which the candidate may move his marker and the number of electoral votes he wins in the State attained. He places his marker on that State and beside it his tokens corresponding to the number of votes thereby won in that State.

On each turn a candidate may move in any direction he chooses. The choice of routes allowed to candidates enables them to exert an influence on the development of their campaigns. In passing through a junction of three States he may traverse only two of the States in the course of any one move. He may not reverse his direction of movement in the course of one move. A candidate may not land on nor pass through a State occupied by another candidate's marker. If the movement of a candidate is blocked by the markers of other candidates in such a manner that he cannot move his marker to the full extent of his throw of the die, then he loses that turn. A candidate must move if possible.

A candidate must return to Washington, D.C. at any time that his throw of the die could place him there, providing that Washington, D.C. is unoccupied.

The number of electoral votes of a State won by a candidate is indicated by his tokens placed alongside that State. The entire electoral vote of a State is won by the first candidate to obtain a majority of the electoral votes of that State. When a State is won by a candidate he removes the card of that State and all the electoral vote tokens on that State are returned to their respective candidates.

States that have not been won are indicated by the presence of the State cards still beside them. Any candidate may land on a State that has been won by another candidate irrespective of the presence or absence of electoral votes remaining unacquired.

Whenever a candidate lands on Washington, D.C., he has the right to call a “caucus' if he so desires. When a caucus is declared all candidates count, the electoral votes of the States they have won completely, as indicated by the State cards in their possession. The outstanding electoral votes relating to States not yet won are also counted. Should the candidate with the least number of electoral votes be unable to win the election even by winning all the electoral votes of the States which are not yet won completely then he is eliminated as a presidential candidate. Only one candidate may be eliminated on each caucus.

If on the calling of a caucus, the tally of electoral votes indicates that every candidate still has a chance to win the election assuming his acquisition of all outstanding electoral votes, then the candidate calling the caucus loses all his electoral votes on States not won completely; that is he removes all his electoral vote tokens from the board.

The electoral vote tokens of the eliminated presidential candidate on the States not completely won are removed from the board. The electoral votes of the States completely won by the eliminated candidate are divided among the remaining candidates according to the geographical distribution set out in the table above. In other words the candidate with the most electoral votes from the Eastern States, takes all the Eastern States from the eliminated candidate and similarly for the other geographical groups of States.

The presidential election is won by the first candidate who captures 266 or more electoral votes.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 01, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Games, Politics, 1960s

I Go Pogo

Your election alternative.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Oct 29, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Anthropomorphism, Humor, Satire, Politics, Comics, 1980s

Sing along with Khrushchov coloring book, an update

Eight months ago I posted about a coloring book published in 1962 titled The Sing Along with Khrushchov Coloring Book. I noted that, although I had come across references to the book in newspapers, I hadn't been able to find any images of it online. Nor were there any used copies for sale. And only two libraries in the U.S. had copies of it. It was really obscure!

But I was just contacted by Elaine Woodward who revealed that her grandfather, who was on the American Hungarian Federation in DC, had once given her a copy, which she still had. She was kind enough to scan it and send it to me. So here it is, rescued from obscurity!

I've posted two sample images below. Or click here to read the whole thing (pdf file).

Note that the book spells Khrushchev with an 'o' rather than an 'e'... so the title was misspelled in my original post.



Posted By: Alex - Mon Oct 12, 2020 - Comments (4)
Category: Art, Dictators, Tyrants and Other Harsh Rulers, Politics, Books, 1960s

Revolt of the Beavers

The more things change, the more they stay the same...

Revolt of the Beavers was a children's play put on by the Federal Theater Project by Oscar Saul and Louis Lantz. One critic described the play as "Marxism a la Mother Goose".[1] The show ran at the Adelphi Theatre in New York City from May 20, 1937, to June 19 of that year.[2] Jules Dassin [3] and John Randolph [4] were among the play's cast. The play involved a worker beaver named Oakleaf, who leads a revolt against "The Chief" Beaver who was exploiting the workers. Though the play was a fantasy fable intended for children, it was attacked by the HUAC for promoting Communist ideals.


Wikipedia page (source of quote).

More photos here.



Posted By: Paul - Tue Sep 22, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Anthropomorphism, Politics, Theater and Stage, 1930s

Partisan Boxers

Just in time for the 2020 election, from the legendary Frederick's Of Hollywood.



Ad source.

Posted By: Paul - Fri May 29, 2020 - Comments (5)
Category: Animals, Politics, Underwear, 1950s

Sing Along with Khrushchev Coloring Book

A few days ago, Paul posted about a Khrushchev coloring book authored by Jack Davis. Another Khrushchev coloring book was created in 1962 by the Hungarian cartoonist Victor Vashi with text by Ilona Fabian.

I haven’t been able to find any photos or scans of it online. And according to Worldcat, it’s only held by two US libraries. So, it’s extremely obscure. However, its existence establishes Khrushchev coloring books as a tiny, but existing literary genre.

Knoxville News Sentinel - Jan 20, 1963



Some selections from the text ran in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Apr 18, 1963):

Posted By: Alex - Wed Feb 12, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Art, Dictators, Tyrants and Other Harsh Rulers, Politics, Books, 1960s

Election 2020

Expect absurdist acts of political theater throughout the new year, from all sides.



[Mrs. Guilford Dudley of Nashville with ear trumpet, talking into ear of Democratic donkey, played by Mrs. Mary Semple Scott in skit at 1920 National American Woman Suffrage Association in Chicago]


Photo source.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jan 03, 2020 - Comments (7)
Category: Animals, Anthropomorphism, Politics, Twentieth Century

Gorbachev’s Pizza Hut Commercial

In 1997, Mikhail Gorbachev, the final leader of the Soviet Union, made an ad for Pizza Hut. Political Scientist Paul Musgrave discusses it in a feature-length article in Foreign Policy magazine.

Since his involuntary retirement, Gorbachev has raised money for worthy causes, attempted to make a comeback in Russian politics, and, notoriously, made an advertisement for Pizza Hut. The ad would have become a footnote were it not for its long second life online, where it’s rediscovered every few years. There’s an undeniable voyeuristic frisson of seeing a man who once commanded a superpower hawking pizza.


Posted By: Alex - Sat Nov 30, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Politics, Advertising, 1990s

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Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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