Monday, November 4, 2013

When VP Humphrey Came to Lorain – October 1968

From the Journal of Oct. 26, 1968
Inger Stevens
Did you know that Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey came to Lorain during the 1968 presidential campaign – and was reported to have brought the Farmer's Daughter and the Six Million Dollar Man with him?

That's right. Humphrey came to Lorain on Monday, October 28, 1968 to give a campaign speech at Admiral King High School, and was set to get some help from TV stars Inger Stevens Lee Majors and Patricia Morrow, as well as Fabulous Farquahr.

(Click on the above article for a larger, readable version.)

Humphrey was the first Vice President ever to come to Lorain while in office, and his visit was quite an event.

The Journal gave him a nice welcome on the editorial page. It noted, "As Democratic nominee for the highest office in the land, President of the United States, you are in friendly territory. On the basis of voter registration, Lorain is about two-to-one Democratic. You have many friends and admirers here. But this isn't a political greeting. Rather it is a warm and friendly "howdy" for a man – yourself – who has attained one of the top positions of leadership in our great country."

Vice President Humphrey received a lot of support during his speech, in which he delivered a blistering attack on Richard Nixon, his opponent. He never mentioned Nixon by name, referring to him only as "Mr. Republican."

As The Journal reported the next day, "Lorain yesterday gave Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey one of the warmest welcomes he has received in his presidential campaign. More than 4,000 enthusiastic supporters – many of them young people – jammed Admiral King High School gymnasium to lend Humphrey further confidence of victory in Tuesday's election."

The paper also noted "The Lorain crowd was the largest and most enthusiastic to greet Humphrey in his swing through northern Ohio."

Being a Republican, I was never a Humphrey fan – but it was obvious he was a passionate advocate of what he believed in, unlike most of today's mealy-mouthed politicians. It was very tragic when it was revealed he had terminal cancer, and it was great to see the outpouring of affection and respect he received as one of his party's great leaders and elder statesmen.

But what about Inger Stevens and Lee Majors and the other entertainers?

I couldn't find any mention of any of them in any of the extensive coverage of Humphrey's campaign stop, so I'm not sure if they were indeed part of the festivities. I guess we'll never know for sure unless someone who was at the rally posts a comment.

The only celebrity mentioned in the Journal as being at Humphrey's speech was Chubby Checker. As the Journal reported, "The large crowd at Admiral King chanted "We want Humphrey" and sang a Humphrey campaign song to stirring guitar music led by Chubby Checker, recording artist and television personality."

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