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President Earl Warren Parts 1 & 2 by Eric Lipps

Author 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 found.

Author 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

Hanoi Horror City Found on Mars Assassination Attempt Backfires

Eric Lipps, Guest Historian of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

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 fictional blog.


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