November 2, 1956 – Darlington Hoopes And The Socialist Side Of Election 1956. Past Daily Reference Room

Darlington Hoopes - Socialist Candidate for President - 1956
Darlington Hoopes – Socialist Candidate For President in 1956 – back when networks gave equal time.

November 2, 1956 – Darlington Hoopes – Socialist Party Candidate for President – Address – CBS Radio – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

Since today is an election day in some states, with some races standing the chance of being a bellwether for future elections in the U.S., there was a time when candidates from many parties (not just the two we always hear about) had equal opportunities to make their views known via mainstream media and that it was a requirement for networks to offer “opposing viewpoints” as a way of preserving free and equal discourse throughout our media.

So it was not at all unusual for a network like CBS to offer time for the Socialist Party Candidate Darlington Hoopes a chance to express views very different from what President Eisenhower or Democratic Candidate Adlai Stevenson were expressing to the American people.

Darlington Hoopes was an American politician and lawyer who served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives as a member of the Socialist Party of America. He served as chairman of the Socialist Party of America from 1946 to 1968.

Hoopes was born in LaVale, Maryland, and educated at the George School and the University of Wisconsin School of Agriculture. He ran for multiple offices with the Socialist nomination and served in multiple position within the Socialist Party; with him later becoming chairman of the party. He served as the Socialist Party’s vice-presidential nominee during the 1944 presidential election and as the party’s presidential nominee during the 1952 and 1956 presidential elections. Hoopes conducted the last presidential campaigns of the Socialist Party of America. He briefly joined the Social Democratic Federation in the 1930s before returning to the Socialist Party and later joined the Socialist Party USA after the dissolution of the Socialist Party.

Hoopes was selected as the party’s presidential nominee during the 1956 presidential election. However, the sixty delegates to the Socialist Party of America’s national convention chose not to spend large amounts of money or effort on campaigning for president and would instead seek write-in votes for Hoopes and vice-Presidental candidate Samuel Friedman. In the general election he placed tenth after receiving 2,128 votes. Hoopes’ 1956 presidential campaign was the last conducted by the Socialist Party of America before its dissolution in the 1970s.

Here is that election eve address, as it was given on November 2, 1956 and carried by the CBS Radio Network.

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