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Before Bruce Springsteen and Stacey Dash: A Short History of Politically Minded Celebrities

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Frank Sinatra was a very vocal supporter of John F. Kennedy.
Frank Sinatra was a very vocal supporter of John F. Kennedy.

From Honey Boo Boo to Lindsay Lohan, it seems as though every person with the slightest amount of exposure is getting in on the celebrity endorsement game for the 2012 presidential election.

But before there was Lena Dunham's controversial ad and Meat Loaf's rally performance, there was Frank Sinatra's "Jack Pack" for JFK and the Helen Hayes-organized "Celebrities for Nixon Committee." Celebrity endorsements stretch all the way back to the 1920 presidential election. Republican Warren Harding beat Democrat James Cox in a landslide victory of 404 electoral votes to Cox's 127, thanks in part to Harding's then-novel notion that celebrities could matter in an election.

Al Jolson, then heralded as "The World's Greatest Entertainer," for his singing, acting, and comedic abilities, lent his celebrity to Harding's campaign, even singing a tune called "Harding, You're the Man for Us." In 1924 he did the same for Calvin Coolidge, singing "Keep Cool with Coolidge."

In the 92 years since, celebrity endorsements have become commonplace - everyone from actors to singers to athletes find a moment to declare their political affiliations. While it has become easier than ever for household names to support a candidate through Twitter and YouTube, it turns out that famous people sharing their political views is hardly a new development. Click through below for a look at some celebrities who have endorsed candidates in past elections, including the likes of Michael Jackson and Woody Allen.

A Short History Of Celebrities' Political Involvement
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