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Liking Ike: 1952

Liking Ike: 1952

1952. "Republican presidential candidate Dwight Eisenhower in campaign motorcade." Back when Lincoln convertibles were still part of the political scene. Who can name the city? Photo by Charlotte Brooks for the Look magazine assignment "The G.O.P.'s Future Will Be Up to Ike." View full size.

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Man in the middle

The man in the middle in the front seat is C. Elmer Anderson, the governor of Minnesota at the time.

Future of the GOP?

I think it's fair to say that Ike wouldn't recognize today's GOP, any more than he planned for the contingency of encountering Whitley Strieber's aliens at Omaha Beach.

Sept. 17, 1952 article

The Library of Congress record of this photograph indicates it was entered into Look's library on Sept. 17, 1952.

An Associated Press news story that appeared in a newspaper that date stated:

"Minneapolis and St. Paul turned out in Mardi Gras style yesterday to greet Eisenhower. Billows of gaily colored confetti and paper streamers descended on the general and his wife Mamie as their motorcade toured the twin cities. Police estimated that more than 300,000 persons lined the streets of the two cities, with by far the larger crowd in Minneapolis, which has voted Democratic in the past."

(Conclusive proof that this was taken in downtown Minneapolis appears on the well-waxed hood of the car. Opposite the reflection of the head of Eisenhower is a reflection of the Northwestern National Bank's "NW" sign, which was located atop its headquarters at Seventh Street and Marquette Ave. from 1949 until 1982.)

Presumably one of the passengers in the front seat is Senator Edward Thye, who was running for re-election that year. It would be interesting to know whether the other was former governor Harold Stassen. The shift of Stassen's Minnesota supporters to Ike at the convention that year clinched the nomination for him on the first ballot.

The real mystery of this photo

Is why a passenger is holding a piece of paper in front of the driver's face in a way that blocks the driver's vision.

[Exposure stopped his arm in mid-wave. -tterrace]

It's not certain if the man on the right side of the front seat is Harold Stassen. His thinning hairline matches (this was long before Stassen went the toupee route), but as we can't see his face it's not possible to tell for sure. One thing is that Stassen would have been 45 years old at the time, while the man in the picture looks older (though that might just be an impression from his thinning hair).

Going out on a limb here but ..

I'm guessing this is NOT Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania.

To Protect and Serve

When the only protection for a motorcycle officer's head was his uniform hat.


Nicollet Avenue at Eighth Street, by Dayton's. Note the Grain Belt Beer sign near the vanishing point.

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