Election 1940: Willkie's Stirring Welcome Planned in Milwaukee (10-20-40)

The Milwaukee Journal (October 20, 1940)


Bands, Torchlight Parade to Hail G.O.P. Nominee Monday Night on Way to the Auditorium

Wendell L. Willkie, Republican presidential candidate, will make his third speaking trip to Wisconsin Monday.

Some time ago, Willkie spoke at Madison. Saturday, he addressed 5,000 persons at La Crosse. But the trip Monday will be the most extensive and important the G.O.P. standard bearer has made in this state. Speeches are scheduled at six Wisconsin cities to be climaxed with a Republican torchlight parade and a rally in the Milwaukee Auditorium.

Willkie will ride to Milwaukee on his special train over the North Western road. He will leave Marshfield, Wisconsin, at 9:40 a.m. Stops and brief talks are scheduled at these cities; Wausau, 11 a.m.; Green Bay, 1:45 p.m.; Appleton 2:45 p.m.; Oshkosh, 4 p.m. and Fond du Lac, 5 p.m.

At 7 p.m., he is to arrive at the North Western Station at Milwaukee. There he will be given a hullabaloo of greeting. Republican leaders have announced that special trains will bring in Willkie supporters from Madison, Beloit, Ripon, Sheboygan, Racine and Kenosha.

Torch Parade of 500

500 members of the Young Republican club are to assemble at 6:45 p.m. in front of the Elks club on the lake front. There they will be given torches, special armbands and tickets to a special section at the Auditorium.

The torchlight parade is to start at 7:45 p.m. It will go up Wisconsin Av. to N. Plankinton Ave. and west to the Auditorium.

The parade will be led by a motorcycle escort, Paul H. Gramp, chief marshal; Al J. Buntin, directing marshal and the Willkie veteran band, directed by George Bach. Then the officials’ cars will follow:

Persons in the leading cars will be:

First car: Willkie, Mrs. Willkie and Gov. Heil.

Second car: Fred H. Clausen (Republican candidate for U.S. Senator), Mrs. Clausen, Donald W. Hornbeck (Cleveland, Ohio, chairman of the Young Republican National Federation) and Lansing Hoyt (chairman of the Republican Party of Milwaukee County).

Third car: E. A. Bacon (Republican National Committeeman), Mrs. Harry Thomas (Republican National Committeewoman), Dr. F. L. Gullickson (chairman of the Republican State Committee), and Howard McKee (Chicago, a national vice-chairman of the Young Republicans).

Fourth car: Mrs. Heil and John Colmar, Chicago, another national vice-chairman of the Young Republicans.

Coeds to Swell Ranks

The Young Republicans will march behind, carrying their torches. In their ranks are expected to be University of Wisconsin and Marquette University coeds from each of Wisconsin’s 71 counties, chosen for pulchritude.

Forty other official cars will follow, bearing other notables. Then will come other automobiles carrying Willkie followers.

The doors of the Auditorium will open at 6:45 p.m. While the crowd is awaiting the arrival of Willkie, it will be entertained by a special Willkie orchestra and by a Willkie-McNary club male chorus of 25 voices, led by Samuel A. McKillop.

When the program gets underway, Gov. Heil will introduce Hornbeck, who in turn will introduce Willkie. Willkie’s talk will be addressed principally to the Young Republicans. Monday has been designated as Young Republican Day.

Talk to Be Broadcast

Part of the introductions and Willkie’s talk will be broadcast over the NBC Blue network from 9 to 9:30 p.m.

Arrangements for the parade and for ushering at the rally are in charge of the Young Republicans. Copies of “We Want Willkie,” the Republican campaign song, are to be distributed.

Lloyd M. Graves, Wausau (WI) flier who is making a 2,000-mile trip in connection with the campaign, is due to fly to Milwaukee to meet the Willkie entourage here, the aviation division of the Republican National Committee announced.

After his speech, Willkie will go to the Milwaukee Press Club, 783 N. Water St., where he will sign a plague. He is scheduled to leave Milwaukee at 11 p.m.


Here is the schedule of Wendell Willkie’s visit tom Milwaukee:

4:45 p.m. – Doors of Auditorium.
7 p.m. – Arrival of Willkie party at North Western Station.
7:45 p.m. – Start of torchlight parade from North Western Station to Auditorium.
9 p.m. – Opening of half hour broadcast of Willkie speech over NBC Blue network.
11 p.m. – Departure of Willkie special train from North Western Station.