Crossposted from DW under the advice of fellow board members. I'm starting off with the first few entries, and will add more later: All of this effort on the part of Eisenhower's campaign came to a disappointing end one month before the beginning of the [1952 Republican] convention. The General suffered a minor heart attack while campaigning in Detroit, MI. While the episode never put his life in immediate danger, pre-existing questions regarding his health could not be easily swept under the table anymore. Instead, following the advice of his physicians, General Eisenhower bowed out of the campaign one week before the convention itself, but without pledging his delegates to either Taft or Dewey, his two nearest competitors. Dewey was barely up for consideration by the movers and shakers in the party: Having shown himself unable to beat an unpopular president previously, he was seen as damaged goods. Taft, while a more sympathetic character, lacked the essential charisma for the new media environment. Also, his anticommunist credentials were not considered powerful enough for the McCarthyite faction. Eisenhower attended the convention with all of his delegates uncommitted. This threw the GOP into turmoil. After three ballots, it looked like the tide was turning towards Earl Warren, Governor of California. Eisenhower's political differences with Warren made this state of affairs unacceptable to the General. Calling together some of the most influential men in the party behind closed doors, he informed them that he was open to suggestions. -From Supreme Commander: A Life Of General Dwight David Eisenhower, McGraw-Hill, 1973 Fact is, I wasn't even supposed to be there. I had paperwork to go through for the Committee, and the Senator knew how to crack the whip. But he also knew an opening when he saw it. "Here's what I want you to do, Roy," he said. "Now, that son of a bitch Ike can't be seen with me after his Green Bay speech, since those boys at the Times got a hold of what he wanted to say about my crusade. But that's fine. What I want you to do is go as my personal representative. Let 'em know that Tailgunner Joe is there in spirit," He winked there. He always did that before he pulled me in close, like he was telling me a secret. "Let 'em know that I still hold the cards at this table." The fumes on his breath nearly made me drunk, but I got the message. That's how I got to meet the general. I have to admit, even after the run-ins we had with him years later, and even though he was just out of the hospital, he was an impressive man...gravitas. That's the word I want. He sat there at the head of the table, surrounded by people whose names I'm not at liberty to reveal almost thirty years later. I'll say this much: If a bomb had gone off in that room, then the GOP would have gone out of existence as a party. Other than the stakes we were playing for, it was like any other political get-together back then. Cigars were passed around, Cuban, and plenty of whiskey. The typical assortment of dirty jokes and fishing lies that we'd all heard dozens of times. Then business: Taft's people didn't want Dewey, and Dewey's people didn't want Taft. Neither wanted Warren. After some shouting, we all came to the conclusion that we needed someone new. Well, they came to that conclusion. I sat near the end of the table and recorded my observations. Someone saw me writing, and asked me to start taking notes. Well, I figured, why not? I didn't have anything to say for once, and I figured there were worse things than playing secretary to my political future. They came up with the ideal candidate: An outsider, like the General, either from the world of the military or business. Strong anti-communist...a well-placed glance from me to one of our allies in the room put that at the top of the list. Well-known. Successful. Able to reach out to a major audience on television as well as radio. Smart as a whip. Already popular. "Walt Disney," one man joked. Now, a lot of people have tried to take credit for that joke over the years, and most of 'em weren't at that meeting. I don't remember who it was, and even though I know what the reds in the press have said about me, Mrs. Cohn's little boy isn't enough of a liar to take credit, either. So it was just a joke at first. But if you've ever been in a meeting like that, sometimes someone'll make a joke like that just to test the waters. Then it picks up steam, and after a while, people are discussing the ins and outs of it. Me? Hell, he'd testified before HUAC as a friendly witness, and named names. Not a touch of pink on Walt. Joe was going to be like a pig in slop. They all went back and forth. You could see Dewey's lobbyists giving in, then Taft's people slowly backing down as the tide turned pretty obviously. Finally, there was a knocking sound. Made me jump. We all looked up to the head of the table, where the General was rapping on the wood. "Make the call," he said. -Retired Senator Roy Cohn (R-N.Y.), quoted in Magic Kingdom: America in the 50s, by Studs Terkel "It was...interesting." Ward Kimball leans back in his chair, fingers steepled, as he looks to the ceiling as if the memories are playing across its stucco surface. Railroad ephemera surround him, along with several of his more famous creations. By the tone of the man's voice, you'd think that he was speaking of a movie he'd seen once, or a pleasant song he'd heard, perhaps one he'd played on the trombone in the corner. But no, this is Ward Kimball, one of Walt Disney's famous "Nine Old Men" animation team, and a witness to a pivotal moment in history. "Walt and I were outside the studio," he says, his brow furrowing. "He could be a bear at times, and sugar sweet at others. I'd managed to get him on a good day. He was having a cigarette, and we were talking trains. He'd been going on about the ideas for the park for years, and was explaining in detail about how he planned to have a train running all the way around it. That's when a messenger popped up out of nowhere with a telegram. Walt took it, I tipped the boy. I never saw Disney as confused as he was on that day. He read it and scowled. "'Walk with me to the office, Ward, someone's playing a damned joke.' he said. What could I do? We went to his office. He picked up the phone and asked for a Chicago extension. He talked for a while...I wasn't really listening, instead I was glancing at some doodles of Mickey he was doing while he talked. Finally he looked up at me. I knew that look, and skedaddled out of the office to the waiting room. He walked out a few minutes later. Never seen the man quite that shook up. "Walt walked over, shaking his head, and clapped me on the shoulder like he needed me to steady him. "'Well, Ward,' he said after a bit. 'Looks like I've got a new job offer.'" -"Ward Kimball's World Of Whimsy", Animation Age Magazine, v.1 issue 9 "And so, my fellow Americans, I urge us to look neither solely to the future nor the past, but rather to find the best in our own spirit, and to determine with God's good will what we shall take with us on this distinctly American journey. From the past, we have the frontier spirit. From our own minds and hearts, we have the gift of fantasy and imagination to create our own destiny. And with these American traits, we shall build the world of tomorrow upon these shores, until every city is a shining example of democracy, every town a community where god-fearing citizens may live in peace and prosperity, every street the Main Street where industrious merchants may sell their wares unimpeded by the corruption of those who claim to represent their workers, or the heavy burdens of an onerous government. "In the eternal struggle for justice and freedom in America, towards a more perfect union, we have but one goal that unites us in brotherhood: To make this nation not only great, for great it is, but to create in our land the happiest place on Earth." -Excerpt from Walter E. Disney's speech accepting the Republican nomination for President. STEVENSON GRABS DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION, SLAMS GOP PICK CHICAGO-Gathered in the same city where their political rivals met only a few weeks ago, delegates of the Democratic party listened as their nominee Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois took the opportunity to denounce the Republican Party for their nomination of famed businessman, artist, and entrepreneur Walt E. Disney as their standard-bearer. "We stand today at a crucial moment in our nation's history," the nominee stated in his acceptance speech. "We face domestic uncertainty as we attempt to secure rights for Americans as a whole without trampling upon the rights of Americans as individuals. On foreign shores, a nation claiming devotion to the rights of workers instead turns to dreams of empire. In Korea, our brave soldiers and sailors fight and die in the name of keeping the world safe for democracy, and not allowing a continent to fall to the madness of a few. "At this time, in this moment, when the nation cries out for serious leadership, who did our colleagues in the Republican party nominate? Was it a general who could lead us to victory abroad while ensuring domestic security? It was not. Was it a statesman skilled in diplomacy and the workings of Washington? It was not. Was it a man who could stand atop the tide of history, guiding us towards greatness? It was not. "To the American people, I say this. "You asked for wisdom, and you were given glib charm. "You asked for leadership, and you were given a nickel show. "You asked for strength, and you were given a cheap joke. "You asked for a man to represent America, and you were given Mickey Mouse. While Governor Stevenson's speech received a positive response, there have been questions regarding the party's ability to adapt to what many observers are calling a "curveball of a candidate"..... -Associated Press bulletin, 8/26/52 CONFIDENTIAL ANIMATION DEPARTMENT TO BEGIN WORK ON PATRIOTIC SHORTS FEATURING MICKEY, DONALD, GOOFY, AND ENTIRE STABLE OF CHARACTERS ASAP. MARRY THE DAMNED MOUSE AND THE FLAG. WALT MAY NOT BE RUNNING THINGS AROUND HERE FOR NOW, BUT WE'RE NOT LETTING THE BASTARDS SLAM HIM AND MICKEY AT THE SAME TIME. DESTROY AFTER READING, DO NOT REDISTRIBUTE. ROY O. DISNEY -Internal memo of Disney Corporation, August, 1952 Further proof of the capitalist tendency towards corruption of the political system can be seen by the American Presidential election of 1952. Anti-union businessman Walt Disney ran against Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois. After accepting the nomination of his slightly less odious political organization, Stevenson commented that a man known best for creating a cartoon mouse was hardly qualified to lead such a powerful nation. Rather than respond directly to these accusations, Disney exploited his workers to create fascist propaganda, which he then placed in every movie theater in the country. Also, his financial influence over the news media was enormous, and he leveraged this influence to undermine the independence of editorial pages across the country, and slant supposedly "objective" news coverage in a manner favorable to him. -University essay by "Laura B.", recovered from her psychiatric file in 1980 during a class-action suit against the government on behalf of hundreds of former college students committed to asylums under the 1960s mental hygiene acts. More later.