President Earl Warren Parts 1 &
2 by Eric Lipps
says: what if Thomas Dewey won in 1948? Please note that the opinions
expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).
Part 1: on November 1st
1950, Vice-President Earl Warren (pictured) was sworn in as president of the
United States following the assassination of President Thomas E. Dewey by
Oscar Collazo and Giselio Torresola, members of a radical organization
demanding independence for the U.S. commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Warren, who had served as a district attorney and
attorney general of California before winning the governorship of that state
in 1942, had been expected to be reliably conservative based on his record
in his home state, where, among other things, he strongly supported the
World War II internment of Japanese Americans. To the dismay of the right,
however, once in the White House he swiftly revealed himself as a champion
of liberal causes, leading to a series of spectacular confrontations with
Congress and the conservative wing of the Supreme Court.
In 1952, a bitterly divided Republican Party narrowly nominated President
Warren for reelection to the office he had inherited. Supporters of Warren's
opponent in the primaries, Ohio Sen. Robert Taft, registered their
displeasure by staying away from the polls in droves that November,
ironically helping top elect the Democratic candidate, Illinois Gov. Adlai
Stevenson, whom they despised as a liberal intellectual "egghead".
In a further irony, Taft died January 31, 1953, while Warren would live on
until July 9, 1974. Had Taft won the nomination in '52, his vice-president
(whoever that would have been; speculation centered on Warren's fellow
Californians William F. Knowland and Richard Nixon) would have assumed the
presidency just as Warren had done.
Part 2: on September 2nd
1956, the Sunday edition of the New York Times headlined the
release of the so-called "Inga-Binga
letters" between Democratic vice-presidential nominee John F. Kennedy
and Inga Arvad (pictured).
The letters, which established a romantic link between
Kennedy and Arvad dating to his service in the Navy during World War II,
were politically devastating, for Arvad, a newspaper reporter and aspiring
movie star, was suspected by the FBI of spying for Hitler. Although the
charges were never proven, they would cast a shadow over her professional
life - and with the release of the letters, over Kennedy's as well. The
young senator, whose political career had been helped by his status as a
war hero as well as his personal charisma and vast family fortune, would
prove unable to shake the suspicion that he had been played for a patsy by
an agent of the Third Reich because he had been unable to, as Lyndon
Johnson privately put it, "keep it in his pants" with her. Kennedy, who
had been considered a future presidential prospect, was now damaged goods.
The Arvad scandal would prove crippling for Kennedy's political patron
President Adlai Stevenson as well. Already hurt in the South by his
reluctant decision to drop Vice-President John J. Sparkman from the '56
ticket - a decision Sparkman had essentially forced on him through the
Alabaman's increasingly public opposition to the President's liberal
policies on civil rights - he now found himself battered in the Northeast
and Midwest. In November, Republican William F. Knowland would win the
presidency with 296 electoral votes.
Stevenson would subsequently earn a kind of redemption as an elder
statesman, and would be returned to the Illinois governor's mansion by the
voters in 1964.. Kennedy would be less fortunate: in 1958, he would
narrowly lose to Boston lawyer Vincent J. Celeste. He would never again
hold public office, though he remained active politically until his death
from complications of Addison?s disease in 1979.
Over the years, there would be considerable speculation as to the source
of the Times story which derailed the then-promising young senator's
career. One popular notion fingered labor boss James Hoffa of the
Teamsters, with whom Kennedy had begun to feud while in the Senate.
Another suggested the source was FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, known for
collecting damaging and salacious material on political figures. No
completely certain proof of either claim, or any other, would ever be
says to view guest historian's comments on these post please visit the
Today in Alternate History web site.
||A Selection of
Other Contemporary Stories by Eric Lipps
Eric Lipps, Guest Historian of
Today in Alternate History, a Daily
Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today.
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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit
differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items
explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist
superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy
Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting