Election 1956 – Aftermath and Postmortem – NBC Radio – November 11, 1956 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Election ’56 – Sixty years ago this week, they were mulling over the staggering loss of the Democrats in their bid to re-take the White House. Incumbent President Eisenhower won by a landslide, much to the surprise of pollsters and pundits everywhere.
It was also the second defeat in his bid for the White House suffered by Adlai Stevenson; the articulate, mannered and in some quarters, the egghead Candidate of the Democrats. Stevenson was considered a long-shot, but it was felt that there was enough to not like about Eisenhower’s first four years, so as not to give him another four years and that Stevenson had enough support, it was felt, to garnish the necessary votes.
But it wasn’t so. Eisenhower was still the War hero, the plain spoken General who came to be relied on more and more to provide the path to peace that was so desperately needed, during this particularly intense period of the Cold War. But there other pending issues – the Civil Rights Movement was gathering steam – with Brown v. Board of Education argued before the Supreme Court and School Integration now the law of the land, it was going to be interesting to see how the Dixiecrat bloc was going to handle this historic turn of events. So too was the situation in the Middle East – with Egypt now under the rule of Colonel Gamal Abdul Nassar and the growth of Arab nationalism spreading throughout the region, and increasing tensions with Israel – and there was Hungary to consider, Berlin to still a hot-button topic to consider. There were grumblings of an economic community taking shape in Europe and things were still tenuous in Asia.
Many felt it wasn’t time yet to switch horses – change course, look at different solutions. In this discussion, part of the NBC Radio series New World, those issues were tackled and how would this bode for the future of the Democratic Party. Were they, in fact finished? How were the Democrats going to stage a comeback in 1960?
All those questions and many more during this discussion; Election In Retrospect from New World, as broadcast on November 11, 1956.