Election 1944: Crowds line parade route to see Dewey (7-31-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (July 31, 1944)


Crowds line parade route to see Dewey

Throngs applaud, but few break into cheers
By Gilbert Love

Governor Thomas E. Dewey entered the Democratic stronghold of Pittsburgh today.

At Pennsylvania Station, where the Republican candidate and his party arrived shortly before 9:00 a.m. ET, the welcome was tumultuous. A crowd waving “Welcome Governor Dewey” placards cheered wildly as the official party walked through the station to its autos for a parade through the Golden Triangle.

The sidewalks were lined with pedestrians and persons who rushed from buildings along the parade route. They applauded and waved as the Governor, near in a gray suit and figured tie, went by in an open car.

Crowd at hotel

There was little cheering along the route of the parade.

A large crowd had gathered in front of William Penn Hotel, where the parade ended. Governor Dewey waved, then went immediately into the hotel, where he was to spend the day in a number of conferences.

He will make no other street appearance until a motorcade returns him to the station by way of Fifth and Liberty Avenues at 9:15 p.m. tonight.

Although he is scheduled to make no speeches here, Governor Dewey’s visit might be called his first campaign appearance. Tomorrow he is to make an appearance for similar conferences in Springfield, Illinois, then go to St. Louis to confer with 25 Republican governors Wednesday.

Although he had not asked for a special train, nine cars were required to bring the Governor’s official party – newspapermen, Secret Service agents and others – to Pittsburgh, and the cars ran as a second section of The Pittsburgher.

As the train stopped, Governor Edward Martin and Mrs. Martin entered Governor Dewey’s car to welcome him and Mrs. Dewey to Pennsylvania. The four posed for pictures on the rear platform, then walked through the trainshed to the station.

Railroad workers applauded and waved. A group of women car cleaners had grandstand seats at the windows of an empty coach. A begrimed woman worker in slacks stood beside a woman wearing orchids, and both were applauding.

Band plays ‘Hail to the Chief’

Passing the train gates, Governor Dewey and Governor Martin walked through an aisle formed by police in the close-packed crowd. As soon as they had passed, the crowd broke and milled through the station after them, to join other cheering men and women under the outside rotunda.

A red-coated band played “Hail to the Chief” as the official party entered the autos for the parade through the Triangle.

The Democratic city administration had gone all-out to make it a good parade and keep order. Sixteen mounted policemen led the procession, and 24 motorcycle officers rode single file beside the official cars. Four to six traffic officers were on every corner and a group of city detectives rode directly behind the open car occupied by the two governors.

Governor Dewey was hatless and looked fit and confident. “Isn’t he handsome!” exclaimed a girl spectator.

On Liberty Avenue, a soldier stepped to the curb and shouted, “Remember us, Dewey!” The candidate nodded and waved.

Someone shouted “Good luck” from an office building. “Thank you,” Governor Dewey called back.

Confetti and torn paper floated down from some buildings where office workers crowded the open windows.

Men with bundles of the “Welcome Governor Dewey” placards – pennant-shaped cardboard on sticks – preceded the parade, handing them to all persons who wanted them.

Mrs. Dewey in closed car

Except for the cheers and applause, it was a silent parade, for the band did not accompany it. The musicians took a shortcut to the hotel and welcomed Governor Dewey there with another rendition of “Hail to the Chief.”

Mrs. Dewey, who has said she wants to “stay out of the show” as much as possible, rode in a closed car with Mrs. Martin.

U.S. Senator James J. Davis, a member of the official party, estimated that 25,000 persons had turned out, despite the early hour, to see the candidate.

Republican Party workers and as much of the general public as could be accommodated were to have a chance to shake hands with Governor Dewey at a reception from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.


Mrs. Dewey, quiet, poised, won’t be making speeches

She never has and doesn’t intend to, she says – and she’s not campaigning
By Betty Jo Daniels

Mrs. Thomas E. Dewey is not campaigning for “First Lady of the White House.”

Making her first appearance in Pittsburgh today, the wife of the Republican presidential nominee told newspaper reporters for the record: “The Governor’s opinions are mine, but if they differ, I tell him about it only in private.”

She added that she intends to make no speeches. “I never have and never intend to,” she said.

Keeps upper hand

For a woman who has been described as “shy” and “retiring,” Mrs. Dewey is surprisingly poised and has the upper hand at all times in her conversation with a group of reporters.

She speaks slowly, obviously weighing what she says before committing herself.

In keeping with her simple, direct manner she wore a two-piece black dressmaker suit with a powder blue blouse. A feathery blue pompom carried out the color scheme of blue and black on a small forward-tilted hat. She wore Cuban heeled patent leather shoes and a black patent leather handbag. Her gloves were also black.

Careful of comment

When Mrs. Dewey entered her press conference, she shook hands with each newspaperwoman. Her hands are small but she explained that their size did not interfere with her piano playing, which, she added, is not a hobby with her but for a long time was a “way of living.”

Each time she was questioned about current events and opinions, she smiled graciously and replied quietly, “I prefer not to comment on that.”

She did say that she thought voting would be very important this year, especially for women.

Her reluctance to discuss world affairs was offset by her willingness to discuss her home life. She said she would not care to outline any special way of living for anyone, but that for herself she wants to make her home for the Governor “restful.”

She’s not a clubwoman

She belongs to no social or woman’s clubs because she feels that she could not “participate actively,” but she is a member of the board of the Hamilton Nursery School in New York and a member of the Mother’s Club at Albany Academy where her two sons, John and Tom, go to school.

Mrs. Dewey gestured when she described the children’s garden at the farm, and laughed when she said that they presented her a bill for their produce recently marked “hangover.” She pays them market prices for their vegetables and they send her a statement each month. Last month, she didn’t make the payment in full – so they billed her for the balance with the “hangover” sheet.

No Southern accent

Though Mrs. Frances Hutt Dewey was born in Sherman, Texas, and spent most of her girlhood in the South, she has no trace of a Southern accent except for a soft “r” in a few words. Voice training did that for her, she said.

She appeared flustered only once, and then only slightly. That was at the comment of a woman reporter to the effect that it was strange that Mrs. Dewey had so little of the “exhibitionist” in her makeup, since she had been trained for the concert and stage.

Mrs. Dewey replied quickly with a little impatience, that she was not trained for the stage, and that she didn’t see what singing a song had to do with writing a column or making a speech.