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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

PROGRESSIVE PARTY IN OHIO

PROGRESSIVE PARTY IN OHIO

The PROGRESSIVE PARTY IN OHIO was organized 19 June 1948 in Cleveland to support the candidacy of former Vice President Henry Wallace for president. Wallace believed world peace was imperative in order to use America's abundance at home to banish poverty, bigotry, and discrimination. He branded the Truman Doctrine, which aimed to contain COMMUNISM, as warlike and reactionary. Dr. Oliver S. Loud of Antioch College was elected state chairman of the party to replace the preconvention chairman, Dr. Calvin Hall of Western Reserve Univ. Both Joseph Kres and Marie Reed of the United Electrical Workers Union were among the delegates selected to attend the national Progressive convention in July to nominate Wallace and Sen. Glen Taylor of Idaho for president and vice president.

The Cuyahoga County Progressive Party was formed 8 Aug. 1948 to campaign for Wallace, with Herschel G. Holland elected chairman of the Central Committee. In addition to support of Wallace, the local party advocated public ownership of utilities, an elected Cleveland Transit Board of Trustees, and expansion of Cleveland's Municipal Light Plant to supply power for the transit system. It also called for a City Fair Employment Practices ordinance which was passed by CLEVELAND CITY COUNCIL in 1950. In the 1948 presidential election, Wallace received about 3.4% of the county vote and 2.38% of the national vote. The Ohio Progressive party, headquartered here at 1899 W. 25 St., remained active after 1948, holding a convention in 1950 to oppose the reelection of Sen. Robt. Taft, author of the Taft-Hartley Act. However, the party exerted little influence on the local political scene.


Benjamin Gray Papers, WRHS.