11. Election Day

Campaign button from Lyndon Johnson's 1964 presidential campaign (Gilder Lehrman Institute, GLC09750)Campaign button dated 1972 from President Richard Nixon's re-election campaign (Gilder Lehrman Institute, GLC09749)Before Election Day was created by Congress in 1845, individual states held elections within a 34-day period before the first Wednesday in December. Early voting results affected turnout and changed voters’ minds in states that held later elections, leading to those later voters drastically swaying national elections. In 1845, Congress designated the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November as Election Day for presidential elections by federal law.

Enjoy these Gilder Lehrman Institute resources leading up to Election Day!

Online Exhibition

“It’s Election Day, Again”

Spotlights on Primary Sources

Gilder Lehrman curators explore documents in the Gilder Lehrman Collection.


Lesson Plans

  • “How We Elect a President: The Electoral College”: After completing this lesson, students will understand how the Electoral College system was established and how it functions in determining who will be the president and vice president of the United States.
    Grades 4-6
    Grades 7-9
    Grades 10-12
  • “Women’s Suffrage: 140 Years of Struggle”: Students will interpret primary and secondary sources in an effort to understand the struggle for woman suffrage in the United States.