Election 1940: Defense Tour Woos G.O.P. Area (10-7-40)


Ther Pittsburgh Press (October 7, 1940)


Roosevelt’s Trip Puts Him In Key Vote District

By T. F. Reynolds, United Press Staff Writer

Hyde Park, N.Y., Oct. 7 –

President Roosevelt today carried his defense-inspection third-term campaign into upstate New York Republican centers which may on Nov. 5 decide whether the state’s 47 electoral votes go to the New Deal.

While his Republican opponent, Wendell L. Willkie, is campaigning in Northern New Jersey, Mr. Roosevelt swings through Albany, Watervliet, Troy, Mechanicville, Schuylerville, Saratoga Springs and the historic Saratoga battlefield, all in the upstate section.

Stephen T. Early, White House Secretary, billed the tour as one for defense inspection, to permit Mr. Roosevelt to make a personal check up on the Army’s great arsenal at Watervliet which, in the 14 months ending last Sept. 30, manufactured 1,000 cannons.

Goes Into G.O.P. Section

The section always returns a Republican majority. If it is big enough, it overcomes the invariable Democratic majority in New York City and gives the state’s electoral votes to the Republicans. Therefore, it is important to the Democrats to hold down the Republican upstate majority as much as they can.

The President was not scheduled to make any speeches, and the tour probably will follow the pattern of Mr. Roosevelt’s seven previous defense inspections, showing himself in many places.

The tour is also to observe the anniversary of the Battle of Saratoga Heights when colonial troops under Generals Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold defeated the British regulars under General John Burgoyne in 1777.

To Broadcast to New World

The tour begins an active week in Mr. Roosevelt’s third term drive. He returns to Washington Tuesday, but will leave Thursday night for a swing through pivotal Pennsylvania and Ohio. On Saturday night – Columbus Day – he will speak by radio from his private railroad car to the nation and the New World, on the progress of the rearmament program. The address will be delivered from Dayton, Ohio.

Completing a weekend visit in his home here, Mr. Roosevelt will be in the Albany region this afternoon.

He will motor through Troy and Mechanicsville to Saratoga battlefield, picking up Veterans Administration Frank T. Hines en route.

He will motor through Schuylerville to Saratoga Springs, inspecting PWA installations there. He will have dinner with Earl Miller, personnel director of the State Department of Correction, at his home between Saratoga and Albany. He will motor through Albany in the late evening and re-board the Presidential special, which will arrive at Washington early Tuesday.

Before leaving here, Mr. Roosevelt made a final check on details of the new excess profits tax bill.

The Watervliet Arsenal is a 106-acre plant, employing 2,700 civilian technical experts, working 24 hours a day in three shifts, turning out Army and Navy ordnance ranging from 37mm anti-aircraft guns to the heavy 16-inch cannon to be mounted on the new battleships. It was founded in 1812, and reached peak production during the Civil War and the World War.

The Roosevelt family last night held a premature celebration of the First Lady’s 56th birthday. Mrs. Roosevelt’s birthday is next Friday, but it was decided to observe it last night with a family dinner because the President and First Lady both will be away from Washington October 11.