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February 6, 1948 -A lot happening this day – from the State House in Mississippi to the slopes of St. Moritz and points in between. Starting with news of the formation of a breakaway political party from the Democrats in the South. No official name yet (it would eventually be Dixiecrats) and still not entirely unified support. The idea was this new party would place in running for the 1948 Presidential campaign, a candidate that was more in line with the Dixiecrats ideology, i.e. a staunch segregationist. The call to begin this offshoot party came as a result of President Truman’s stance on Integration and his support of Civi Rights. A few key Southerners were hesitant about a complete breakaway, but considerable pressure was being put on those reluctant Governors who felt there was a certain amount of political suicide to be had from this move. A call for a convention to be held on March 1 with the sole purpose of picking a Southern presidential nominee was determined to go ahead.
Meanwhile, returns were coming in for the elections in Ireland. Prime Minister Eamon de Valera and his defeated administration of nine cabinet ministers were all trooping to one Irish constituency for a weekend of electioneering in an effort to save their ruling party authority in this seventh general election. For the first time in 16 years de Valera had been beaten at the polls. His party captured only 66 Parliamentary seats, against a combined opposition of 76 seats. So the upcoming round of voting the following week was all-important. DeValera needed all five of those seats to further reduce his dependency on National Labor and Independent politicians.
And the Winter Olympics were alive and well and happening in St. Moritz Switzerland, despite heavy weather creating problems on this second to last day. It was the first Olympics since 1936, when War broke out in 1939. Germany and Japan weren’t invited and Russia declined this time around. But all signs were hopeful that the Olympics and the Olympic spirit had been rekindled at last.
And that’s a small slice of what happened, this February 6, 1948 as reported by John Cameron Swayze and News of The World.