Author Archives: Darcy G. Richardson

Time Capsule: Remembering When Gertrude Stein Backed Huey Long for President 87 Years Ago

Declaring that “Roosevelts come and go, but Longs go on and up forever,” Gertrude Stein, the expatriate writer and poet living in Paris where she had befriended Pablo Picasso, Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway and other prominent figures in the arts and literary world, surprised the nation’s political pundits 87 years ago this week when she endorsed Louisiana’s Huey P.… Read more ...

Time Capsule: Barry Commoner Rallies Crowd of 1,100 Supporters to Qualify for Oregon Ballot

Barry Commoner, a pioneer in the ecology movement and Citizens Party candidate for president, earned a spot on the Oregon ballot in 1980 with a speech before an enthusiastic crowd of 1,100 cheering supporters in Portland’s Memorial Coliseum.

The crowd, which included a visible contingent of Gray Panthers, the senior citizens advocacy group founded by Philadelphia activist Maggie Kuhn in 1970, fulfilled the state’s requirement for a nominating convention of 1,000 delegates needed under Oregon law to qualify a presidential candidate for the November ballot.… Read more ...

Time Capsule: Socialist Workers Party Nominates Trotskyist Fred Halstead Candidate for President

 Jewish immigrant, had been a Gene Debs Socialist and his father, Frank, a machinist of Irish descent, had been active in the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World).

Fred W. Halstead was born to radical parents in Los Angeles in 1927. His mother, a

Enlisting in the Navy, the younger Halstead served in the Asia-Pacific theatre during World War II and later studied at UCLA. Read more ...

Time Capsule: Wildflower of ’72 Calls Nixon an ‘International Outlaw,’ Challenges McGovern to a Debate

Calling President Richard M. Nixon “an international outlaw” in April of 1972, the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) candidate for president of the United States urged students at the University of Arizona in Tucson to join the antiwar movement.

As part of a two-day swing through the Grand Canyon State that also included an appearance at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Linda Jenness told the students that “if you have any ounce of decency left in you, you’ll join the antiwar movement and organize and support activities in this city.”… Read more ...

Time Capsule: Former Prohibitionist Andrew Jackson Houston, Member of U.S. Senate

Longtime Prohibitionist Andrew Jackson Houston, son of the legendary Sam Houston, the hero of San Jacinto and first president of the Lone Star Republic, died in a Baltimore hospital on June 26, 1941.

Two months before his death, the 87-year-old Houston had been appointed to the U.S. Senate by Gov. “Pappy” O’Daniel to fill a vacancy created by the death of Democratic Sen.… Read more ...

Time Capsule: Prohibition Party Nominates ‘Yankee Genius’ for the Presidency in 1940

Convening in a gilded ballroom in Chicago’s famous Hotel La Salle, more than 400 cheering delegates from thirty-two states enthusiastically nominated nationally-recognized economist Roger W. Babson of Massachusetts for the presidency in 1940.

The 65-year-old Babson, who was nominated without opposition, was joined on the Prohibition Party ticket by little-known Edgar V.… Read more ...

Time Capsule: Spock Stumps with Sanders in Vermont

Benjamin Spock, the nation’s most famous pediatrician and the People’s Party candidate for president, carried his antiwar message to students at Vermont’s Bennington College in September of 1972.

The 69-year-old Spock, who had spoken on hundreds of college campuses in the late sixties and early seventies, told a decent-sized audience in Bennington’s Tishman Hall that the injustices and inhumanity perpetrated by the United States in Vietnam had led him to begin speaking out against other injustices in American society.… Read more ...

Time Capsule: Farmer-Labor Party’s Norma Lundeen Seeks Late Husband’s Seat in U.S. Senate

Minnesota’s Norma Lundeen, widow of the Farmer-Labor Party’s Ernest Lundeen, an isolationist who was later accused of being a Nazi sympathizer, unexpectedly entered the race for her late husband’s U.S. Senate seat in July of 1942.

Lundeen’s husband, who had been tragically killed in a plane crash near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia two years earlier, was reportedly under investigation by the FBI at the time of his death.… Read more ...

Time Capsule: Civil Rights Leader Praises Lester Maddox in 1990 Comeback Bid

Civil rights leader Hosea L. Williams all but endorsed Lester G. Maddox’s ill-fated bid to return to the Georgia governor’s mansion in 1990.

The blunt-spoken Williams, a fearless and confrontational activist who worked closely with the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the civil rights struggles of the 1960’s and later served a decade in the Georgia legislature, told a group of students at the University of Georgia that Maddox was no longer the fiery segregationist they had read about in history books and had a much better record when it came to appointing African-Americans than any of his predecessors.… Read more ...

Time Capsule: The People’s Party Chooses Dr. Benjamin Spock for President

Dr. Benjamin Spock, the famous pediatrician and antiwar activist, was nominated for the presidency by the People’s Party on July 29, 1972.

Organized around opposition to the Vietnam War and originally co-chaired by novelist Gore Vidal and Spock himself, the People’s Party was a loose coalition of state and local parties, including California’s Peace & Freedom Party and Zolton Ferency’s Human Rights Party in Michigan, a party that enjoyed considerable electoral success in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.… Read more ...

Time Capsule: American Party Nominee Tom Anderson Calls Jimmy Carter ‘A Wild Man’

The American Party’s Thomas J. Anderson called Democratic presidential nominee Jimmy Carter “a wild man and phony” on October 1, 1976.

Speaking at a news conference in Merrillville, Indiana, the 64-year-old Anderson — a longtime member of the John Birch Society and one of nearly a dozen independent and minor-party presidential hopefuls in the year of America’s Bicentennial — also took a swipe at President Gerald R. … Read more ...

Time Capsule: Prohibition Party’s 1948 Candidate for President Barred From Voting for Himself

Claude A. Watson, the Prohibition Party’s candidate for president, was unable to vote for himself in 1948.

Watson and his wife had requested that absentee ballots be mailed to them in Winona Lake, Indiana, where they were attending a church convention, but had decided to return to their home in Highland Park, a suburb of Los Angeles, sooner than expected. … Read more ...