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Delegates at this week's Democratic National Convention will no doubt go home with handfuls of future political collectibles. An alternate delegate saved this ribbon badge from the 1896 Chicago Democratic convention, where William Jennings Bryan was nominated. The 9-inch-long badge sold this summer for $358 at auction.

There are several similarities between the 1896 and 2008 conventions-mainly the youthfulness of candidates William Jennings Bryan and Barack Obama. Bryan, who was 36 years old in 1896, is the youngest nominee in presidential history. At 47, Obama is younger than most presidential candidates (the average age is 54.8 years). And like the 2000s, the 1890s were troubled financial times in the United States. Bryan's famous "Cross of Gold" convention address called for reforms in the American monetary system to offer relief from the effects of the Panic of 1893.


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