Commemorative denim vest with buttons assembled by Joan Trumpauer Mulholland

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A denim vest with twenty-three [23] pinback buttons pinned across the front. The vest is made of light blue denim. It has two front breast pockets with button flaps, and six buttons down the middle from collar to hem. There are horizontal seams across the chest at the top of the pockets, and two vertical seams extending from each pocket down to the hem. The hems along the collar, arm holes, and hem are frayed. The name "Mulholland" is sewn in at the collar. Joan Trumpauer Mulholland assembled the vest and buttons to commemorate her activism during the Civil Rights Movement.
The buttons on the left side from top to bottom are:
(.1) A white button with dark blue letters: [ I / BELIEVE IN / HUMAN / DIGNITY];
(.2) A black and white SNCC button reading: [ONE MAN / ONE VOTE];
(.3) A black and white button reading: [EVERS / In Memoriam / FREEDOM];
(.4) A blue and white button reading: [MEMBER / NAACP / 1960];
(.5) A red button with a white band in the middle with blue letters reading [REGISTERED]; and white letters reading [I AM / ARE YOU?];
(.6) A white button with a photographic portrait of the politician and red letters reading [ SMITH / FOR CONGRESS];
(.7) A yellow button with a graphic of a broken chain across the middle and black letters reading [ FREE D.C. / RIGHT TO VOTE!];
(.8) A yellow button with black letters reading: [SEND FEDERAL REGISTRARS / TO / SUN FLOWER / MISSISSIPPI / NOW / M.F.D.P.];
(.9) A white button with black letters reading [ONE MAN / SNCC / ONE VOTE];
(.10) A white button with red letters in the middle reading [SUPPORT STUDENT SIT-INS] and blue bands around the edge with white letters reading [COMMITTEE TO DEFEND / MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.];
(.11) A button with a white circular center with blue letters reading [CORE] and a band of blue around the edge with white letters reading [SUPPORT SIT-INS];
(.12) A white button with black letters in the middle reading [SUPPORT / SOUTHERN / STUDENTS] and black bands at the top and bottom with white letters reading [STUDENT NONVIOLENT / COORDINATION COMMITTEE];
The button on the left side of the collar is (.13) a white button with black letters reading [NEVER]. The button on the right side of the collar is (.14) a black button with a white equal symbol in the middle.
The buttons on the right siide from top to bottom are:
(.15) A white button with green letters reading [WE SHALL OVERCOME] and an illustration of two hands, one black and one white, clasped together;
(.16) A white SNCC button with a graphic of a black hand and a white hand clasped together;
(.17) A white SNCC button with black edge and a graphic representation of a black hand and a white hand clasped together, where the hands are represented by circles;
(.18) A white button with black letters reading [HENRY / FREEDOM / KING];
(.19) A button with the top half black with white letters reading [FREEDOM] and the bottom half is white with black letters reading [NOW / CORE];
(.20) A yellow button with an outline of the state of MIssissippi in black and black letters reading [MEREDITH MISSISSIPPI MARCH / FOR / FREEDOM / June - 1966];
(.21) A white button with an illustration of a white hand and black hand clasped together and black letters reading [MARCH ON WASHINGTON / FOR / JOBS & FREEDOM / AUGUST 28, 1963];
(.22) A button with a black and white graphic of two hands next to each other;
(.23) A white button with red letters reading [National Committee for a DEMOCRATIC Mississippi / FREE / MISS. / ALL the Way / with / L B J];
At the botton hem just right of center in black ink is handwritten [ AC / DC].
Topic
African American
Activism
Civil Rights
Clothing and dress
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Restrictions & Rights
public domain
Manufactured by
Levi Strauss & Co., founded 1853
Owned by
Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, American, born 1941
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift from the Trumpauer-Mulholland Collection
Medium
denim, metal
Dimensions
H x W: 26 1/2 x 24 in. (67.3 x 61 cm)
See more items in
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification
Clothing-Historical
Exhibition
Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom: The Era of Segregation, 1876-1968
On View
NMAAHC (1400 Constitution Ave NW), National Mall Location, Concourse 2, C 2053
1960s; assembled 1980s
Type
vests (main garments)
Object number
2010.71.3