Sacramento man organizes nation’s largest political memorabilia, pop culture show

The largest political memorabilia and pop culture show in the nation is set to happen later this month, and a Sacramento man has spent the last year working to pull it off. Cary Jung is the President of the American Political Items Collectors, a group of about 1,300 people across the nation with a passion for history and the tangible connections to it. Parts of Jung’s Sacramento home look like a museum, filled with political memorabilia that span decades. He started his collection at the Kern County Fair, spending a quarter on a campaign button for President Lyndon Baines Johnson. He still has it. “A lot of it is having an interest in history and having something you can hold in your hand that reminds us of a moment in time,” Jung said. Today, his collection includes hundreds of items. Some are the popular pins you’d expect, including one from the 1963 civil rights March on Washington and some from President John F. Kennedy’s campaign. Jung said other candidates have turned out to be bigger winners with collectors than in politics.”Some of the most collectible candidates did not win. Adlai Stevenson comes to mind. He has a very strong collecting interest from a lot of folks, and he lost twice,” Jung said. The APIC National Convention will also feature exhibits and dealers who focus on pop culture. “The pop culture pieces are more also a snapshot in time. They will tell you what was popular back in the day. I have pins in my collection for Fonzie and for Batman. Those kinds of things are very popular,” said Jung. There can be a lot of money in this type of collecting. A 1920 presidential campaign pin with Democratic nominees James Cox and Franklin Roosevelt recently sold for about $200,000. But that’s not really why Jung pours his heart and soul into this hobby. “Somebody once asked one of our collectors: ‘What’s the best thing in your collection?’ And they said, ‘It’s the friends I’ve collected along the way,’ and I think that’s true. I’ll see friends next week I haven’t seen in two years.” If you have any buttons or campaign posters tucked away in a closet or attic, you can get them appraised for free at the convention. The free admission also includes access to a wide range of exhibitions. It’s open to the public July 22-23 at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Nevada.

The largest political memorabilia and pop culture show in the nation is set to happen later this month, and a Sacramento man has spent the last year working to pull it off.

Cary Jung is the President of the American Political Items Collectors, a group of about 1,300 people across the nation with a passion for history and the tangible connections to it.

Parts of Jung’s Sacramento home look like a museum, filled with political memorabilia that span decades. He started his collection at the Kern County Fair, spending a quarter on a campaign button for President Lyndon Baines Johnson. He still has it.

“A lot of it is having an interest in history and having something you can hold in your hand that reminds us of a moment in time,” Jung said.

Today, his collection includes hundreds of items. Some are the popular pins you’d expect, including one from the 1963 civil rights March on Washington and some from President John F. Kennedy’s campaign. Jung said other candidates have turned out to be bigger winners with collectors than in politics.

“Some of the most collectible candidates did not win. Adlai Stevenson comes to mind. He has a very strong collecting interest from a lot of folks, and he lost twice,” Jung said.

The APIC National Convention will also feature exhibits and dealers who focus on pop culture.

“The pop culture pieces are more also a snapshot in time. They will tell you what was popular back in the day. I have pins in my collection for Fonzie and for Batman. Those kinds of things are very popular,” said Jung.

There can be a lot of money in this type of collecting. A 1920 presidential campaign pin with Democratic nominees James Cox and Franklin Roosevelt recently sold for about $200,000.

But that’s not really why Jung pours his heart and soul into this hobby.

“Somebody once asked one of our collectors: ‘What’s the best thing in your collection?’ And they said, ‘It’s the friends I’ve collected along the way,’ and I think that’s true. I’ll see friends next week I haven’t seen in two years.”

If you have any buttons or campaign posters tucked away in a closet or attic, you can get them appraised for free at the convention. The free admission also includes access to a wide range of exhibitions. It’s open to the public July 22-23 at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Nevada.



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