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Archive for July, 2013

Seeking the Highest Office: Governor Scranton and the1964 Presidential Race

Governor William Scranton speaks to reporters while attending the GOP Summit at Hotel Hershey, Hershey, PA.  8/12/1964

Governor William Scranton speaks to reporters while attending the GOP Summit at Hotel Hershey, Hershey, PA. 8/12/1964

 

Few people know that Hershey played a part in the 1964 GOP presidential campaign. Before we get to Hershey, let me give you some background.

 

The Republican primaries of 1964 featured liberal Nelson Rockefeller of New York and conservative Barry Goldwater of Arizona as the two leading candidates. Shortly before the GOP convention, Rockefeller saw his popularity wane in the wake of negative publicity surrounding his divorce and remarriage.

 

Concerned about selecting a very conservative presidential candidate, moderate Republicans moved into action as it appeared more and more likely that the conservative Goldwater was headed for a first ballot victory at the GOP Convention. On June 6, Pennsylvania State Senator Hugh Scott started a movement to draft Pennsylvania Governor Scranton to be on the ballot, hoping that Scranton could pull together all the liberal and moderate Republicans to defeat Goldwater.

 

The following day, Governor Scranton stopped to visit former President Eisenhower while on his way to the National Governors’ Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. Eisenhower encouraged Scranton to officially enter the race. Scranton finally joined the race on June 12, 1964. Rockefeller dropped out on June 15 and endorsed Scranton.

 

Scranton made a swing throughout the nation to speak with as many delegates as possible. Scranton gradually worked the moderate delegates who preferred Goldwater to Rockefeller and won endorsements in Ohio and Maryland.

 

Bill Scranton’s efforts were too late.

 

In 1964 Barry Goldwater decisively won the Republican Presidential nomination on the second ballot. In his acceptance speech, Goldwater set forth the “cause of Republicanism.” His most famous passage was:

 

Today … the task of preserving and enlarging freedom at home and of safeguarding it from the forces of tyranny abroad is great enough to challenge all our resources and to re-fire all our strength. Anyone who wants to join us in all sincerity, we welcome. Those who do not care for our cause, we don’t expect to enter our ranks in any case. And let our Republicanism, so focused and so dedicated, not be made fuzzy and futile by un-thinking and stupid labels. I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

 

Many GOP moderates were offended by Goldwater’s words. His speech was seen as a deliberate insult to their more tempered values. Letters of protest poured into the GOP National Committee, and Goldwater could see that his cold, unconciliatory acceptance speech and his explosive line about extremism had refueled, rather than dampened, fiery convention tempers. He knew that something had to be done about it.

 

GOP Presidential nominee Barry Goldwater speaks to reporters while attending the GOP Summit held at Hotel Hershey, Hershey, PA.  8/12/1964

GOP Presidential nominee Barry Goldwater speaks to reporters while attending the GOP Summit held at Hotel Hershey, Hershey, PA. 8/12/1964

 

Then, carrying out a plan conceived even before the convention, Goldwater skillfully handled a remarkable summit conference of GOP leaders in Hershey, PA held at Hotel Hershey on August 12, 1964.

 

 

Former President Dwight Eisenhower addresses the room at the GOP Summit, held at Hotel Hershey, Hershey, PA.  l-r: Vice-presidential candidate William Miller, former President Eisenhower, GOP presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon.  8/12/1964

Former President Dwight Eisenhower addresses the room at the GOP Summit, held at Hotel Hershey, Hershey, PA. l-r: Vice-presidential candidate William Miller, former President Eisenhower, GOP presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon. 8/12/1964

 

Moderated by former President Dwight Eisenhower, the GOP summit brought together many of the party’s leaders, including Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton, Richard Nixon and Vice-president GOP candidate William Miller.

 

The Summit made no significant impact on Mr. Goldwater’s presidential campaign. In the November election, he would win only his own state, Arizona and the five states of the deep south. Lyndon Johnson would sweep the election with 61% of the popular vote and 4/5s of the electoral college votes.

Strike up the Band!

John Philip Sousa at the podium, Hershey Convention Hall.  July 4, 1925

John Philip Sousa at the podium, Hershey Convention Hall. July 4, 1925

 

 

Summer in Hershey means concerts.  This past weekend the Dave Matthews Band came to Hershey, bringing traffic and tens of 1000s of fans to our community.  Presenting internationally recognized stars, such as Dave Matthews, is nothing new for Hershey.  Our community has been a destination for top performers since the early 1910s. 

 

 

Visitors gather outside Hershey Convention Hall.  1925

Visitors gather outside Hershey Convention Hall. 1925

 

The Convention Hall, constructed in 1915, was a perfect venue for headliners.  The facility seated 6000 people. The addition of such a performance hall, created the perfect place for nationally recognized performers to appear in Hershey. 

 

Hershey Press Sousa 7-2-1925

 

In 1925 John Philip Sousa and his band came to Hershey for the first time, opening its touring season over the Fourth of July weekend (July 4-5).  An internationally acclaimed conductor, he toured and performed to sold-out crowds in the United States and around the world.  Unlike many other popular conductors, Sousa conducted every concert.  The Sousa band did not have any assistant conductors.  His concerts featured many of his own compositions as well as other popular music. 

 

 At that time Sousa was 71 years old and still actively composing music.  During the two days, Sousa conducted 4 concerts.  Over 10,000 people came to hear him perform, with many more people listening outside standing by the Convention Hall’s windows..  The success of the Sousa concerts led to an invitation to return to Hershey the following year.

 

In 1926, Sousa returned to Hershey again starting his touring season in Hershey, performing four concerts over July 4th and 5th.  Attendance was less, with 5,000 guests.  Heavy rains over the two days, with July 5th falling on a Monday, contributed to the smaller crowds.

 

A Bird’s Eye View: Hershey’s Monorail

Visitors line up to tour the Hershey Chocolate Factory.  ca.1964-1967

Visitors line up to tour the Hershey Chocolate Factory. ca.1964-1967

 

This weekend is exceptionally busy in Hershey.  The band, One Direction, has brought 1000s to Hershey.  Between the band and Hershey’s regular high volume numbers of visitors during the summer season, the roads are jammed!  This is nothing new for Hershey.  Every summer residents resign themselves to heavy traffic caused by tourists drawn to Hershey and its many amenities.  Back in the 1960s, Hershey tried to address the challenge of summer traffic.

 

By the late 1960s, traffic on Chocolate Avenue during the summer months was overwhelming.  Tourists wanting to tour the Chocolate Factory and visit the park often created traffic jams.  Downtown parking was limited.  To ease congestion Hershey Estates and Hershey Chocolate Corporation agreed share the costs of constructing a Monorail that would link Hershey Park and downtown Hershey. 

 

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The monorail connected downtown Hershey with the Park complex. 1969

 

The route chosen highlighted attractions at the Park, Zoo and provided a bird’e eye view of downtown.  The route was designed to be convenient to community residents as well as visitors.  There were two stations, one by the Sports Arena and one at the north end of the building at One Chocolate Building.  People could board the train at either station.

 

PA Secretary of Commerce Robert Mumma and Miss Pennsylvania Trudy Pedersen cut the ribbon at the Monorail dedication.  June 20, 1969

PA Secretary of Commerce Robert Mumma and Miss Pennsylvania Trudy Pedersen cut the ribbon at the Monorail dedication. June 20, 1969

 

Pennsylvania Secretary of Commerce, Robert M. Mumma, and Trudy Pedersen, Miss Pennsylvania, 1969, cut the ribbon at the June 20, 1969 dedication ceremony.   The monorail operated during the peak tourist season and the ride cost $.50.  The monorail continued to operate as a separate attraction until 1973 when the factory tours ended.  The ride was incorporated into the new Hersheypark as a scenic ride.

 

People wait to board the Monorail at the Arena station.  8/1969

People wait to board the Monorail at the Arena station. 8/1969