Rotating Historical Exhibits at CWS

Detail from Eugene McCarthy campaign material during 1968 presidential election

Detail from Eugene McCarthy campaign material during the 1968 presidential election.

The Center has several display cases throughout the galleries that exhibit materials on a variety of changing themes. The current exhibits are:

Midwest Dove: Eugene McCarthy, the Vietnam War, and the Election of 1968

Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy mounted a serious challenge to incumbent Lyndon Johnson during the primaries of the 1968 presidential election, largely based on his opposition to Johnson's Vietnam War policies. Johnson's ultimate decision not to run for re-election completely changed the landscape of the election. This new exhibit by CWS intern Hope Clark discusses McCarthy's life and his 1968 presidential campaign. Particular attention is paid to his views on the Vietnam War and how the war affected his own campaign and those of his main opponents, including Johnson, Robert Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, George Wallace, and election winner Richard Nixon. The exhibit features posters and documents from the private collection of Dean and Sharon Schueler. 

Carnegie Libraries in South Dakota

Steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie is well-known for his legacy of establishing libraries across the world. In accordance with his philosophy of assisting the “deserving poor,” Carnegie funded the construction of 2,500 new libraries in English-speaking countries, 25 of which were in South Dakota. CWS intern Madelyn Braun has created an exhibit detailing these libraries and showcasing information surrounding their creation, architecture, and legacy. Although many standing “Carnegies” are now utilized for different purposes, the libraries were vital for communities all across the state and reflected Carnegie’s belief in the importance of education.

The Battle of the Little Bighorn

The Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876 was a defining moment in the American Indian Wars. Though a military victory for the Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyenne over George A. Custer's 7th Cavalry, it led to intensified efforts to force Native American populations onto reservation lands. This exhibit explores the people, locations, and material culture of the battle itself, its depiction in artwork, and the causes and consequences of this seminal event. It was developed by CWS intern Mason Breitling, who has visited the historic battlefield.

Twisted Prairie: South Dakota Tornado Encounters

Tornadoes. Twisters. Cyclones. Whirlwinds. Whatever you call them, they are a part of life in South Dakota. NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information reports that between 1991 and 2010, there was an average of 36 tornadoes in South Dakota and 1,253 in the U.S. each year. A total of 85 tornadoes were observed in South Dakota in 1993, establishing the state’s record that still stands today. This exhibit explores moments in South Dakota’s tornado history through photographs and accounts located in the CWS archives.

There are exhibits on permanent themes in addition to those listed above.