Category Archives: History

Time Capsule: Wisconsin’s Progressive Party Cheated by the Grim Reaper

Just 36 days after winning the governorship, this week in 1942 death cruelly intervened and denied the Wisconsin Progressive Party one of its greatest electoral achievements in the party’s twelve-year history.

While Minnesota’s neighboring Farmer-Labor Party went out with barely a whimper and most of the country’s other minor parties fared poorly at the ballot box that autumn, the most spectacular — and ultimately tragic — achievement by a third-party candidate in the 1942 mid-term elections occurred in Wisconsin’s three-way gubernatorial campaign where 49-year-old former attorney general Orland S.… Read more ...

Norman Thomas: The Socialist Minister

On this day 136 years ago, Norman Mattoon Thomas was born in Marion, Ohio. Being the first of six kids, Norman was always held to a high standard. Especially in a heavily Presbyterian household, becoming a minister in New York. His religious upbringing led him to become a conscientious objector during the first world war, which directly pushed him working with Socialist Party’s campaigns, due to them having an radical pacifist platform.… Read more ...

Time Capsule: William Allen White Waged War on the Klan in 1924 Gubernatorial Campaign

Legendary newspaper editor William Allen White, a man who advised Presidents and rubbed shoulders with some of the world’s greatest statesmen in a career that spanned five decades, waged one of the most fascinating and extraordinary political campaigns in the country, nearly toppling his major-party rivals in a bid to become governor of Kansas in 1924.… Read more ...

Time Capsule: Facing Only Minor-Party Opposition, Mayor Ed Koch Waged Vigorous Re-Election Bid

Despite winning both major party nominations in 1981 — the first New York City mayor to do so — Mayor Ed Koch announced that he would wage a full-scale campaign for re-election against minor-party opposition.

Koch, who swept past Brooklyn assemblyman Frank J. Barbaro and 36-year-old Melvin Kerensky — an associate of Lyndon H.… Read more ...

Time Capsule: Aging Norman Thomas Placed a Socialist on New York City’s Ballot

The following is excerpted from Darcy G. Richardson’s new “The Lowest Ebb: Norman Thomas and America’s Minor Parties in 1944,” available at Amazon and other booksellers.

Still battling the two-headed Goliath, an aging Norman M. Thomas — a six-time candidate for the presidency on the Socialist Party ticket — filed nominating petitions to place the name of Richard F.… Read more ...

Time Capsule: Protest Votes Loomed Large in 1992’s Ohio Senate Slugfest

As Americans head to the polls later today, it’ll be interesting to see if a genuine dark-horse candidate — somebody running outside the duopoly, someone nobody expected nor even heard of, for that matter — could startle the pundits with an unexpectedly strong showing.

Given the extreme partisanship and polarization of American politics, it would probably be a healthy development.… Read more ...