Hitting the campaign trail - stumping for votes.
Hitting the campaign trail – stumping for votes – giving ’em the usual hell.

Harry S. Truman – Whistle Stop Campaign speeches – September 30 – October 27, 1948 – Truman Presidential Library – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

As a reminder that campaigning for votes has never changed (except maybe the ability to criss-cross the Continental U.S. during the course of a single day), here is a sample of 5 campaign appearances during Harry Truman’s famous “Whistle Stop” campaign of the U.S. during the last weeks of the 1948 Presidential campaign. Taking the train, stopping at every village and town along the way, delivering a similar message in each town – the relentless campaigning and greeting. The stops are short, the messages are quick and to the point. No social media, no Twitter, no streaming video, no podcasts. Only a primitive wire recording as a record of the event, not meant for broadcast and variable in quality, but a snapshot of history and the age-old ritual of running for Public office before the days of focus groups and spin.

The stops are as follows:

1. Owensboro, Kentucky – Sept. 30, 1948
2. Geneva, New York – October 8, 1948
3. Hamilton, Ohio – October 11, 1948
4. Lima, Ohio – October 11, 1948
5. Farmingham, Massachusetts – October 27, 1948

That was the nature of Political campaigns before the age of Electronic News Gathering and well before the age of the Internet.

Thought you might like to know.

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