A Few Words From Henry Wallace – 1948 – Past Daily Reference Room

Former vice-President under FDR - became a Progressive in 1948. Left an impression.

Former vice-President under FDR – became a Progressive in 1948. Left an impression.

Link: Henry Wallace Address – October 20, 1948 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.

Henry Wallace had been largely forgotten in political history, until filmmaker Oliver Stone included his story as part of his series The Untold History Of The United States. Wallace was a pivotal figure during the days of FDR’s New Deal, when FDR appointed him as Secretary of Agriculture, and later became his vice-President in 1940. In what has been considered a huge mistake on FDR’s part, Wallace was replaced as vice-President in the 1944 election with Harry Truman, a candidate who was at the time Conservative, pro-Business and pro-Segregation, but viewed as a popular choice for the Southern vote.

Wallace later broke with the Democratic Party to run for President in 1948 on The Progressive ticket. Challenging the two-party system proved to be a fatal mistake, as Wallace garnered only 3% of the vote.

But his legacy has been rediscovered, and much of what had been tossed at him to discredit his candidacy were proven to be false. But it goes to show there is a history to the art of the smear.

On this radio talk, given October 20, 1948 Wallace reads letters from average Americans, asking questions that sound surprisingly familiar in 2015. Questions about jobs, poverty, the vanishing middle-class, the race issue our economy and the imbalance of power in Washington.

With the massive surge in the polls for Bernie Sanders, listening to Henry Wallace from 1948 sounds eerily familiar. It also points out that the situation hasn’t changed. It’s become different, but the core issues are the same – jobs, poverty, the vanishing middle-class, race and the imbalance of power. Those issues haven’t changed.

Have a listen to this address by Henry Wallace from October 20, 1948 and see if you don’t find similarities between the world of 1948 and the world of 2015. Eerie.

Keep this recording for handy reference.

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