Back in 1956, there was a lot of harrumphing in political circles
after Virginia Grant was elected Democratic national committeewoman from Oregon, beating her rival Gladys Last. The complaints centered on the fact that 33-year-old Grant was pretty much an unknown with no political experience (she was a waitress at the Aloha Room bar in Portland) who didn't bother to campaign much at all, whereas 46-year-old Last was an old-hand at politics and had campaigned actively.
But what really scandalized people was that in the voters' pamphlet mailed to all registered Democrats, Grant included a "glamour shot" of herself, while Last just used a "regular photo." And it seems to have been the photo that tipped the election in Grant's favor. She won by an 18,000 vote margin over Last.
Their photos are below. (I could only find a watermarked photo of Last's). Which one would you have voted for?
November 12, 1951: As British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden was delivering an address at a meeting of the General Assembly of the U.N. in Paris, urging calm in Europe, a black cat suddenly got up on the stage and strolled across it, without a care in the world. This prompted discussion in the media as to whether the cat was a sign of good or bad luck. It was finally agreed to be a sign of good luck since a black cat in France is apparently a good omen (which I didn't know).
I think most political speeches would be greatly improved if cats randomly wandered across the stage during them.
Iowa City Press-Citizen - Nov 12, 1951
The Kokomo Tribune - Nov 20, 1951
Mars needs petroleum byproducts!
As intermittent mayor, he ran Newburyport, MA, from his gas station, and when out of office was not averse to punching the current mayor in the face.
There's a good summary of his antics here.
The kind of authentic politician so lacking today. The article from 1937
below gives some of his flavor.
Congratulations to Asad Asif on his recent election to the Middlesex County Republican Committee. What makes this unusual is that he was elected with only a single vote — his own. During the primary election, he was the only person who bothered to cast a vote for that position, and he wrote in his own name, thereby securing the position.
Of course, what makes this a lot less remarkable is that it's a meaningless position that no one else wants. So the Republicans basically have to beg people to do it. And a lot of the time it's unfilled. [newbrunswicktoday.com
I love these charming bits of history that reveal a more eccentric America, where things were more fluid, creative and wild.
More info here
And here's what the bustling center of the Republic and its citizens look like today.
This painting was commissioned and displayed in a public building in the 1960s. It immediately aroused ire and controversy and disgust. Can you guess why?
Answer after the jump.
I did not know, until I saw a mention in The New York Times
for September 15, 2012, that President Dwight Eisenhower had been an amateur painter.
What a token of a distant, more civilized era. Imagine a current President having the time to devote to such fripperies.
An article, with pictures, about his career exists. PDF here.