Electioneering — American Style

Just as John Bidwell had his casaba melons, so Henry Wallace had his banana squash. Grown right here in Chico, the giant squash shown in this photo played a role in the presidential campaign of 1948. This item came via the Facebook page “You know you’re from Chico when . . . ” and was posted by Suzanne Stone.

Henry-Wallace-Campaigning-1948-Election-resize

The squash in the picture was grown by Joe Stutz of Chico, Ms. Stone’s grandfather. He cut the letters in the squash rind when it was small. As the squash grew the cuts scarred over and formed the slogan.  Mr. Stutz was an ardent fan of Henry Wallace, who had served as Secretary of Agriculture. Secretary of Commerce, and Vice President under Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1944 Wallace was dropped by the Democratic Party in favor of Harry Truman for Vice President, so in 1948 he ran on the Progressive Party ticket for President against Truman, Republican Thomas Dewey, and “Dixiecrat” Strom Thurmond. He won about 2.4% of the popular vote.

The article about oddities in American politics came the website Past Daily, which features a variety of historic and cultural stories, and is well worth checking out.

About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.
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One Response to Electioneering — American Style

  1. suzanne stone says:

    Thank you for sharing the photo of Henry Wallace and my grandfather’s banana squash contribution to the 1948 campaign. I hope we can communicate and connect soon!

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