Democratic presidential candidate Franklin Roosevelt greets residents of Colby, Kansas, during a whistle-stop tour in the 1932 election season.
Roosevelt, paralyzed from the waist down, nonetheless campaigned actively. He didn’t appear in public in his wheelchair and had pants tailored to cover the leg braces that extended the length of his leg. Often he would have his son, James, next to him for support. Or, as in the picture above, he’d steady himself using whatever was handiest.
So one time I crashed a college republican’s meeting because I wanted to piss them off and ask for handouts. It was Ronald Reagan’s birthday and they had a cake with his face printed on it… so I ate Reagan’s face and it was sooooo cathartic!!
Why are these Idahoans supporting Richard Nixon for governor of California?
This is a photo dated November 30, 1961, of Richard Nixon supporters awaiting his visit to the airport in Hailey, Idaho, in the Sun Valley (notice the sign on the right: “From Sun Valley to Sacramento with Dick Nixon”). In 1962, Nixon would run for governor of California, losing to incumbent governor Pat Brown. What he was doing in Idaho in November 1961 is anyone’s guess.
Former Vice President Nixon clearly had fans in Idaho: in 1960, while campaigning for President, Idaho had a Nixon Day Celebration in Boise.
But … the description of the photo also lists it as a “presidential campaign visit,” which would really make no sense. The other weird thing is that Nixon is actually from the Sun Valley area … Sun Valley, California.
If there was only one photo from the event, I might think maybe the description - the date or the location or both - was wrong. But there’s at least one more photo from the visit.
WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?
Pardon the interruption from strictly political bloggery for this important dispatch from the part of my sense of humor that never advanced past age 12.
But so we’re not completely devoid of info here: this is a promotional brochure for General Bonner Fellers as a speaker on the “Circuit Chautauqua,” a traveling series of lectures, musical numbers and other performances popular in the early 1900s.
What began as an educational summer camp for families in Lake Chautauqua, New York, in 1874 became local assemblies and then touring programs that brought culture and edification to towns across America. Teddy Roosevelt called Chautauqua “the most American thing in America.”
Their dwindling popularity beginning in the late 1920s is generally attributed both to The Great Depression and the rise of radio, film television.
3-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan was a highly sought-after Chautauqua speaker and headliner. There, I tied it to politics.