Adlai Stevenson - a simple eloquence for complex times.

Adlai Stevenson - one of Americas most brilliant and eloquent Statesmen. Oh, where is he now?
Adlai Stevenson – one of Americas most brilliant and eloquent Statesmen. Oh, where is he now?

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – Adlai Stevenson – Launching Presidential Candidacy – February 4, 1956 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.

Adlai Stevenson is a name most people these days are completely unfamiliar with. But if you are of a certain age, and even remember the dark, ominous days of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, you will remember the voice of then-United Nations Ambassador Stevenson confronting Soviet Ambassador Zorin. The man and the eloquent accusations will all become clear.

But Adlai Stevenson was also a Governor and twice a Presidential candidate. He ran two unsuccessful campaigns; one in 1952 and the other in 1956. Both against former General and war hero Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Adlai Stevenson was that rare breed of politician – his words were philosophical, his demeanor was measured. He was criticized by his detractors as being “too intellectual” to be President. Lambasted as “the egghead Candidate”. Yet, Adlai Stevenson sought to bring a sense of dignity to the White House, bring a sense of much-missing dignity to politics.

I don’t know how he would feel about the current state of Politics in America – how the current state of the World and the madness it seems consumed by would register with him.

Since today (February 5th) is Adlai Stevenson’s birthday – born on this day in 1900, he would be 115 years old.

As a reminder of his greatness, and as tribute on his birthday, here is his campaign kickoff speech, delivered on February 4th, 1956 to 2,000 delegates of the annual Convention of the California Democratic Council in Fresno. The first major address of the 1956 campaign.

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