Henry A. Wallace was a man who stood against tides. The winds of change were blowing from the right after the end of the Second World War. After the death of the Great Reformer the succession of his Vice-President was looked upon with dissatisfaction within his own party, which was already on the verge of a schism that Wallace's leftism was seen as exacerbating, and the Republicans who sought an end to the New Deal era, a return to national normalcy, and a suspicious or even hostile stance towards the USSR and Communism. Yet Wallace stood firm. Extensively using his veto power to block privatization and deregulation measures proposed by the republican congress, he further maneuvered several popular infrastructure initiatives, including the creation of the Federal Railway Authority, which embarked on a massive retrofit and reorganization of the nation's rail system that would eventually lead to the creation of the nationalized US Rail Company. His foreign policy emphasized a continued good relationship among all of the US's erstwhile allies in the Second World War, including a good relationship with the USSR. Coming to sympathize with the USSR during the war and greatly admire its State Commissar Grigory Sokolnikov for his steadfast leadership, democratic and economic successes, he envisioned a US-Soviet Alliance dedicated to world peace following the close of the Pacific Theatre, which Wallace led to its conclusion after authorizing Operations Olympic and Coronet. President Wallace's pacifism, stemming partly from his Pro-Soviet sympathies and partly from personal guilt over the immense casualties of the Battle of Japan, contributed to his being awarded with the 1947 Nobel Peace Prize. Continuing his expanded New Deal policies, he began to split his own party down the middle between the rightist Southern camp and his own leftist supporters, while the Republicans began themselves to rupture as Wallace gained the support of the Northern and Midwestern working class, initiating the movement of many Republicans into the Democratic party and the support of some Republicans for his policies. Another base of support lay in the population of northern intellectuals which would become the Beatnik subculture and the growing LGBT communities in New York and Detroit. He won an unexpected victory in the 1948 election, defeating Republican challengers Joseph H. Ball and Joseph R. McCarthy, who split the ticket after McCarthy criticized the GOP establishment of treason against the country for their softness on the president's communist sympathies. McCarthy had previously called for Wallace's removal from office and had gained a great deal of groundswell popular support and support from business and establishment radical conservatives. Wallace's running mate, Dorothy Thompson, was the first woman to be elected Vice-President. The shifts which defined the 1948 election are generally thought to be the beginning of the transition towards the Sixth Party System. Emboldened by his successes, and doubling down on his dedication to peace and reconciliation with the USSR and other Communist states, he took a sharp leftwards turn at the start of his second term. He supported the KPD's 1948 German Constitution, condemned France for its brutality in fighting against anti-colonialism, advocated for the end of the Belgian Congo, and sent Archimedes Patti to secretly supply arms to the Viet Minh. His diaries reveal him to be a man wracked by personal grief and guilt over Coronet and Olympic, battling depression and thoughts of suicide, completely cynical of the machine of US electoral politics. He privately believed that the US was destined to adopt a socialist system of government at some point, and as a result of this attitude championed numerous pro-labor measures and spearheaded an anti-segregation campaign. In late 1949, he gave what would be his last speech to the nation. His career cracking under the pressure of renewed conservative backlash after Wallace recognized the People's Republic of China, he urged an increasingly anti-Communist popular opinion to dissuade from waging another world war, and from using the might of the United States to stamp out popular leftist movements and governments from the world. He further warned against the conflation of capitalism and business with freedom and human happiness, reminding the nation of FDR's dream of an Economic Bill of Rights, and offered scathing criticism of the economic and social failure of the post-reconstruction south which had betrayed the democratic party by siding with Strom Thurmond's Dixiecrats in 1948. He was warned not to go when he decided to tour the deep south to advocate desegregation, racial and gender equality, and social services. He made several stops in various cities, sometimes encountering protests, and speaking in front of desegregated crowds, which incensed many local white populaces. Some called for his impeachment for violating the south's segregation laws, but the federal government ruled that the president's gatherings were private parties and not subject to these laws. According to some, it was only a matter of time before things got out of hand. A small group of KKK in Memphis Tennessee saw an opportunity when the president made one of his stops to speak at Owen College, an historically Black institution. As he traveled towards the college in his car, guarded by the secret service, two men armed with Thompson submachineguns opened fire on the car, killing four secret service men and hitting the president in the shoulder and neck. He bled out within minutes and was pronounced dead later that day. The nation was stunned, and an outpouring of sympathy rose up for the fallen reformer who stood by what he believed. His "Peace or Death" Speech delivered at the Waldorf Astoria hotel quickly became an iconic call to arms for the American left, while the age of class conflict which would define the 60s and the homefront of the Third World War had begun in earnest. His successor, Dorothy Thompson, was the first female president, and sought a foreign policy of anti-communism, anti-fascism, self-defense, and international intervention on behalf of what she viewed as western democracy. She saw her predecessor as generally misguided in his support for Communist states, but a martyr for the democratic cause whose death her administration would avenge. The KKK was declared an enemy organization and disbanded by force, while desegregation began in earnest.