The Me Decade: A Look Back at the 1970s
Opens at the McKinley Presidential Library & Museum
The Me Decade, a retrospective exhibition of the 1970s, will open to the public in the Keller Gallery at the McKinley Presidential Library & Museum on Friday, September 23 during regular business hours (9:00 am to 4:00 PM).
The exhibition will feature clothing from the era, presented under a disco ball on a dancefloor in the center of the gallery, including bell bottom jeans, halter tops, hot pants, and more. The exhibition will also include artifacts from the decade from the museum’s permanent collection, such as Fisher-Price toys, a Coronamatic typewriter, a CB radio, a Westinghouse Electric tabletop radio, kitchen appliances made by The Hoover Company, a Panasonic microwave, box purses, platform shoes, and commemorative items from the nation’s bicentennial celebration in 1976. The exhibition will also feature a recreation of a 1970s dining room, complete with an orange shag rug and retro floral wallpaper.
“Every ten years we create an exhibition on a decade from the 20th century,” said Kim Kenney, Executive Director of the McKinley Presidential Library & Museum. “We featured the 1960s back in 2011, but COVID interfered with our plans to showcase the 1970s. We have postponed the exhibition twice, because we wanted to be sure we could have a Disco Party as our fall fundraiser to celebrate the opening of the exhibition. After planning the exhibition and event for two years, we’re glad to finally be able to have both in 2022.”
It is important to study and collect from time periods that are not readily considered “history,” before those items are discarded or otherwise lost. “It’s hard for people to admit that the 1970s are history, but realistically 1970 was more than 50 years ago,” said Kenney. “We started highlighting decades from the 20th century in our exhibitions 20 years ago as a way to remind people that the objects they made and used in their lifetimes are worth preserving. We are also the Stark County Historical Society, so our mission includes collecting and studying local history. Most of our collection is actually not related to President McKinley.”
The Disco Party will be held on Thursday September 22, which includes a special sneak peek at the exhibition before it opens to the public the following day. The event will feature a progressive dinner in the Street of Shops with 1970s-themed food, music from the era, dance demonstrations, and a costume contest for the best 1970s-inspired outfits.
AT A GLANCE
Exhibition: The Me Decade: A Look Back at the 1970s
Host Organization: McKinley Presidential Library & Museum
Runs: September 23, 2022 to February 25, 2023
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Location: 800 McKinley Monument Dr NW, Canton OH 44708
Admission: $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 for children 3-18
Contact: 330-455-7043 • www.McKinleyMuseum.org
Related Event: Disco Party Fall Fundraiser and Exhibition Preview
September 22 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM
Cost: $45 per person / $40 for members / $35 college students
Reservation Deadline: September 15
Costume contest, 1970s-themed food and music