Trouble in River City:  Hoover describes Aunt Hannah’s Prophesy

By Thomas F. Schwartz A classic Broadway musical is Meredith Willson’s Music Man.  Willson, a native of Mason City, Iowa, places the musical in River City, Iowa, a veiled reference to Mason City lying along the Winnebago River.  Con man Professor Harold Hill convinces the townspeople that a boy’s band is a wholesome alternative to … Continue reading Trouble in River City:  Hoover describes Aunt Hannah’s Prophesy

Hoover Campaign Songs, 1928

In 1928, campaign songs were not like the borrowed pop tunes or professional advertising jingles of today.  In fact, campaign advertising in all its forms was very different than today.  There was little centralized control, no focus group tested messaging, and certainly no requirement for candidates to “approve” anything.  Most campaign songs were not commissioned … Continue reading Hoover Campaign Songs, 1928

Kicking off a Presidential Campaign — Herbert Hoover’s 1928 Acceptance Speech

On August 11, 1928, Herbert Hoover formally launched his campaign for the Presidency.  That’s not a typo -- yes, the campaign kicked off less than three months before Election Day.  At that time, Presidential candidates were expected to modestly pretend they weren’t running until after the party conventions, though of course their “friends” were working … Continue reading Kicking off a Presidential Campaign — Herbert Hoover’s 1928 Acceptance Speech

Campaign Graphic Novels

High Jacked, Doctored Photographs, and Authentic Speeches from the 1928 Campaign By Thomas F. Schwartz Few people will recognize the name Edward Anthony today.  A writer for major newspapers and popular magazines, his career spanned four decades and included a stint working for Herbert Hoover’s 1928 presidential campaign.  In an entertaining published recollection, This Is … Continue reading Campaign Graphic Novels

Waterloo Movie Makers, or, The Gift that Would Not Stop Giving

In August, 1928, Lou Henry Hoover visited her hometown of Waterloo as part of a trip through Iowa to kick off Herbert Hoover's Presidential campaign.  While Lou expected to be the center of attention, she did not anticipate the persistence of a local photographer who saw a business opportunity. As the appointed day approached, the … Continue reading Waterloo Movie Makers, or, The Gift that Would Not Stop Giving

Once upon a time in America

Once upon a time in America, elections, even the most bitterly contested elections, included high flying rhetoric and deeply held principles to counter balance the general mud-slinging.  One such election was held in the fall of 1932.  Incumbent President Herbert Hoover engaged in a heated campaign against challenger Franklin Roosevelt, Governor of New York.  There … Continue reading Once upon a time in America

First Ladies and Presidential Campaigns

Traditionally the First Lady of the United States stays above the fray during campaign season, not wanting to sully the office in the mire of hand-to-hand politicking.  This year Michelle Obama has ventured into the public sphere, acting as a proxy campaigner for Hillary Clinton.  The First Lady has stepped out of her comfort zone … Continue reading First Ladies and Presidential Campaigns

Comparing Candidates Careers, 1928

  There is a long tradition of proxies stumping for their candidate using whatever tools come to hand.  In 1928, Archie Rice, a Stanford classmate of Herbert Hoover, produced a small flyer advocating for Hoover based on summary biographies comparing candidates’ careers.  On the front cover, Rice identifies himself as an analyst of news and … Continue reading Comparing Candidates Careers, 1928

Nominating a Candidate

 – the 1928 Republican National Convention In June 1928, Republican Party held its quadrennial convention to nominate candidates for President and Vice President of the United States.  Before the primaries and caucuses had begun, there was one candidate who enjoyed immense popularity among Republicans and the electorate as a whole – President Calvin Coolidge.  To … Continue reading Nominating a Candidate