1969: Rodney Fertel ran for mayor of New Orleans on what he called the "primate platform". He promised that, if elected, he would "Get a gorilla for the zoo." This was his primary campaign issue. He campaigned by standing on street corners, sometimes dressed in a safari outfit, sometimes in a gorilla suit, handing out miniature plastic gorillas to passers-by.
Rodney Fertel with a baby gorilla
Fertel lost the election, receiving only 310 votes, but he kept his promise by donating a pair of West African gorillas the following year to New Orleans' Audubon Zoo, at his own expense.
Kenneth J. Gross and Sebron Koster were granted a patent in 1960 for Landslide, an electoral college board game. Players moved their pieces around the board trying to gain enough electoral college votes to start a 'landslide'. If you want to play it, the rules are below.
At the start of the play of a game each player selects his political party and takes his marker and tokens to match. Each player or candidate rolls the die and the candidate who rolls high die opens the play. He is succeeded in turn by each candidate in a clockwise direction. All candidates begin their campaign from the central segment, viz. Washington, D.C.
The number appearing on the die indicates the number of segments (States) which the candidate may move his marker and the number of electoral votes he wins in the State attained. He places his marker on that State and beside it his tokens corresponding to the number of votes thereby won in that State.
On each turn a candidate may move in any direction he chooses. The choice of routes allowed to candidates enables them to exert an influence on the development of their campaigns. In passing through a junction of three States he may traverse only two of the States in the course of any one move. He may not reverse his direction of movement in the course of one move. A candidate may not land on nor pass through a State occupied by another candidate's marker. If the movement of a candidate is blocked by the markers of other candidates in such a manner that he cannot move his marker to the full extent of his throw of the die, then he loses that turn. A candidate must move if possible.
A candidate must return to Washington, D.C. at any time that his throw of the die could place him there, providing that Washington, D.C. is unoccupied.
The number of electoral votes of a State won by a candidate is indicated by his tokens placed alongside that State. The entire electoral vote of a State is won by the first candidate to obtain a majority of the electoral votes of that State. When a State is won by a candidate he removes the card of that State and all the electoral vote tokens on that State are returned to their respective candidates.
States that have not been won are indicated by the presence of the State cards still beside them. Any candidate may land on a State that has been won by another candidate irrespective of the presence or absence of electoral votes remaining unacquired.
Whenever a candidate lands on Washington, D.C., he has the right to call a “caucus' if he so desires. When a caucus is declared all candidates count, the electoral votes of the States they have won completely, as indicated by the State cards in their possession. The outstanding electoral votes relating to States not yet won are also counted. Should the candidate with the least number of electoral votes be unable to win the election even by winning all the electoral votes of the States which are not yet won completely then he is eliminated as a presidential candidate. Only one candidate may be eliminated on each caucus.
If on the calling of a caucus, the tally of electoral votes indicates that every candidate still has a chance to win the election assuming his acquisition of all outstanding electoral votes, then the candidate calling the caucus loses all his electoral votes on States not won completely; that is he removes all his electoral vote tokens from the board.
The electoral vote tokens of the eliminated presidential candidate on the States not completely won are removed from the board. The electoral votes of the States completely won by the eliminated candidate are divided among the remaining candidates according to the geographical distribution set out in the table above. In other words the candidate with the most electoral votes from the Eastern States, takes all the Eastern States from the eliminated candidate and similarly for the other geographical groups of States.
The presidential election is won by the first candidate who captures 266 or more electoral votes.
But I was just contacted by Elaine Woodward who revealed that her grandfather, who was on the American Hungarian Federation in DC, had once given her a copy, which she still had. She was kind enough to scan it and send it to me. So here it is, rescued from obscurity!
The more things change, the more they stay the same...
Revolt of the Beavers was a children's play put on by the Federal Theater Project by Oscar Saul and Louis Lantz. One critic described the play as "Marxism a la Mother Goose". The show ran at the Adelphi Theatre in New York City from May 20, 1937, to June 19 of that year. Jules Dassin  and John Randolph  were among the play's cast. The play involved a worker beaver named Oakleaf, who leads a revolt against "The Chief" Beaver who was exploiting the workers. Though the play was a fantasy fable intended for children, it was attacked by the HUAC for promoting Communist ideals.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.