“Great Days in Dayton”
Reproduced on these pages is the full script of a “Great Days in Dayton” broadcast. All music and sound effect “cues” are indicated just as they appear on the working scripts used by the cast. The sponsor hopes that you will find interesting these dramatized episodes from the life story of your city.
“Great Days in Dayton” is a Presentation sponsored by
THE DAYTON POWER AND LIGHT COMPANY
SCRIPT NO. 11—“TIPPECANOE AND TYLER TOO”
Theme. Starts fortissimo, then fades behind…
ANNOUNCER: “Great Days in Dayton!”
MUSIC [Swells and fades behind…]
ANNOUNCER: Here is another chapter from the dramatized history of your own city…Dayton. Through the courtesy of our sponsors, The Dayton Power and Light Company, we again visit scenes in which they participated. (PAUSE.) And now…here is your master of ceremonies, Mr. Charles McLean, who will introduce you to today’s drama.
MUSIC [Swells and fades behind…]
NARRATOR: During the latter part of 1940 America went through the excitement which invariably accompanies a presidential campaign. Dayton shared in those stirring activities…in fact, entertained both of the major party candidates. There were parades, speeches, the gathering of great crowds. Yet it is certain that the Dayton of today, a city of more than two hundred thousand population, saw no such excitement, no such crowds, as the Dayton of a century ago. The Dayton of 1840 was a town of about 6000 inhabitants, yet in that year there was gathered the greatest multitude of people ever assembled for a public event in Dayton. They came to participate in a mammoth political rally for William Henry Harrison, ninth President of the United States. And it is from a popular slogan of that campaign that we take the title for today’s drama…Tippecanoe and Tyler Too. (PAUSE.) Our play opens early in the year 1840. The scene is the editorial office of the Baltimore “Republican.” The editor is discussing the political campaign with members of his staff.
MUSIC [Fades out]
RAMSEY: And now let me read you the last sentence of this editorial I’ve written. I think it will dispose rather neatly of Mr. William Henry Harrison. [Chuckles.] Pardon me, General Harrison. Here it is. “Give him a barrel of hard cider and settle a pension of two thousand dollars on him, and, our word for it, he would sit the remainder of his days contentedly in a log cabin.” [Laughter.]
PAYNE: That’s capital, Mr. Ramsey! Excellent, excellent, sir!
RAMSEY: Thank you, Payne. And you, Treadwell?
TREADWELL: A perfect picture of the presidential candidate from the uncivilized state of Ohio! [Laughter.]
RAMSEY: Benton, you look as glum as a Chesapeake Bay oyster. Don’t you approve of my editorial?
BENTON: It’s well written, of course, sir. But…well, frankly, I question both its accuracy and its political wisdom.
RAMSEY: You question my accuracy and wisdom, Benton?
BENTON: I’m sorry, sir. You asked for my opinion.
PAYNE: Benton has the Western viewpoint, sir. He doesn’t understand. You see, Benton, President Van Buren is a gentleman…well born, well educated. A statesman. Governor of New York, member of the Senate, Secretary of State under President Jackson. He’s an Easterner, and of course, the East controls the country.
TREADWELL: Perhaps, Benton, like other Westerners, thinks that Van Buren sinned by putting carpets, curtains and mirrors in the White House. [Laughter.]
RAMSEY: What do you think, Benton? Tell us.
BENTON: I think it’s a mistake to picture General Harrison as an unlettered and indolent frontiersman. He comes of good stock; his father signed the Declaration of Independence. He’s well educated, a former Indian governor and member of congress.
PAYNE: But he’s a Whig, Benton…and a Westerner to boot.
BENTON: He’s more than that. He’s the hero of the West. He defeated the Indians at Tippecanoe: And he saved Ohio from conquest by the British in 1812.
TREADWELL: So now he sits close by the cider barrel in a log cabin. [Laughter.]
BENTON: And that’s a worse mistake than sneering at Harrison himself. Most Western voters were born and raised in log cabins. Many of them live in cabins now. (PAUSE.) Mr. Ramsey, if you speak contemptuously of Harrison and the log cabin, you may rouse a storm of indignation that will over-ride all real campaign issues.
RAMSEY: Ah, yes. Well, thank you, Benton, but my editorial will stand as written.
PAYNE: Benton’s views are still those of this home town…Dayton. [Laughter.]
BENTON: [Slowly.] Yes…I know how they’ll feel in Dayton. [Music fades in and out.]
COMLY: Ed, here’s the copy for Kiefer and Conover’s advertisement. It’s to go in Thursday’s paper.
ED: All right, Mr. Comly. Say! Look out front! Here comes Mr. Walter Harmon. Looks like he’s mad. Bet he’ll want you to write an editorial about something. [Door bursts open.]
WALTER: Will Comly! Will!
COMLY: Good Morning, Walter.
WALTER: Will, have you seen this editorial in the Baltimore paper?
COMLY: Yes, I read it. And so have a lot of other Dayton people.
WALTER: A contemptible slur on General Harrison!
COMLY: Yes, that’s going to infuriate Western voters…especially those who served under the General in 1812.
WALTER: And how about this sneer at the log cabin? You were born in one. So was I, and most other Westerners. My father build a log cabin with his own hands, and took my mother to it as a bride. I spent my childhood there. Yes, in a log cabin! And I’m proud of it, not ashamed of it!
COMLY: You’re not the only one who’s mad, Walter. I’ve listened to Obediah Conover and Peter Lowe and John Van Cleve. And you should hear old Colonel Newcom. I wish I could print what he said.
WALTER: What are you going to print, Will?
COMLY: More than an editorial. I’m going to get out a special newspaper here on the Journal press. I’ll call it the Log Cabin. There’ll be a border of logs around each page, and a picture of a log cabin at the top.
WALTER: Will, that sounds like a good idea!
COMLY: We’ll print an issue each week throughout the campaign, and everyone crammed full of campaign argument. We’ll call Harrison the Log Cabin Candidate…and Western voters the Log Cabin Boys. We’ll get them all united on that one simple idea…Harrison and the log cabin.
WALTER: That’s great, Will, great! And let’s not forget John Tyler, the Vice Presidential candidate. Use his name with Harrison’s. Something about voting for Harrison, the hero of Tippecanoe, and voting for Tyler, too.
COMLY: That’s it, Walter! Tippecanoe and Tyler Too. Sounds fine.
WALTER: And some more campaign slogans that the voters can remember easily. One Presidential Term…National Prosperity. Civil Liberties.
COMLY: Yes, of course. We’ll print them in every edition, along with strong articles on all campaign issues. You’ll write something for me, won’t you?
WALTER: I certainly will!
COMLY: [Chuckles.] Perhaps with you writing articles on the Whig side, I’d better get Dan Dixon to write Democratic arguments.
WALTER: Dan Dixon? I wouldn’t have a word I wrote appear alongside of Dan’s stuff. Will, you wouldn’t really publish anything of Dan’s would you?
COMLY: [Laughs.] Not in the Log Cabin, anyway. Walter, why can’t you and Dan be friendly, living next door to each other and all?
WALTER: But Dan’s a Democrat!
COMLY: And you’re a Whig. And politics is politics. And after this campaign is over we’re all going to have to live together as Dayton citizens.
WALTER: But Dan Dixon and his family don’t have to live next door, do they? Why, Will, that boy of mine, young Tom has actually been making eyes at Dan Dixon’s daughter. My son, paying attention to the daughter of a Democrat. I’m ashamed of him!
COMLY: Maybe they’re not like you and Dan. Maybe they don’t argue about politics when they’re together.
WALTER: Together? I caught them walking down the levee last Sunday, and I told Tom I’d skin him alive if he did it again. Together? I should say not! [Music. Fades in and out.]
BETTY: But I’m the sort of scared to see you every day, Tom. You know what your father said.
TOM: Yes, I know, Betty, but we’re safe as long as we meet over on this side of the river. We’ve walked almost up to the mill dam, and we haven’t met anyone.
BETTY: Goodness, if we’ve walked that far it must be late. We’d better start back, Tom.
TOM: Let’s walk just a little farther.
BETTY: We mustn’t.
BETTY: Yes…Oh!…Oh, Tom, why can’t we see each other as much as we want?
TOM: We can, and we’re gong to…some day.
BETTY: I don’t see how. Papa would never hear of it, and neither would your father.
TOM: They’ll hear of it, when I’m making some money. Then they’ll have something to argue about besides politics.
BETTY: I can’t understand them. They scarcely speak to each other going in and out of their front gates.
TOM: I know, but you should hear them shouting at each other up at the National Hotel every afternoon. They’re there now.
BETTY: But they’ll be going home soon. We’d better start back.
TOM: Oh, please, Betty.
BETTY: We must, Tom. But there’ll be tomorrow. [Music in and out.]
[Both voices heated throughout scene.]
WALTER: …and furthermore, Dan Dixon, it was Martin Van Buren who caused the panic of ’37. Think of it! The government demanding gold or silver for land sales. No wonder people began hoarding their money!
DAN: You don’t know what you’re talking about, Walter. Gold and silver payments were set up in 1836, before Van Buren was elected. And what could he do, with banks closing all over the country?
WALTER: Well, what did he do? Nothing!
DAN: He established the Federal Treasury, didn’t he?
WALTER: After four years. Four years when a man didn’t know if the money in his pocket…that is, if he had any in his pocket…would buy food and clothes for his family.
DAN: And what does Harrison stand for? Bigger pensions, and a bigger army to make more pensions later on.
WALTER: Of course, he’s for fair pensions and a big enough army. He knows it takes a good army to defend this country. And, speaking of war, where was Van Buren in 1812? I’ll tell you. He was in the New York state assembly, voting to increase taxes on honest citizens.
DAN: Harrison, the hero of Tippecanoe! What else does he want besides more money for the soldiers?
WALTER: If I told you once, I’ve told you ten times. He wants one Presidential term…fair prices for labor…protection for American manufacturers…real prosperity for all.
DAN: That’s what he says. But we know what Van Buren’s done. From the day he went into office, he…
WALTER: I know, I know. Well, now, you listen to me!
DAN: Keep still, will you? I can’t get a word in edgewise! [Music. Fades in and out.]
JULIA: Walter, I do wish this campaign were over. Every evening you come home as grumpy as a bear. You won’t eat your supper. And your voice is as hoarse as a canal boat captain’s.
WALTER: Must have caught a cold, Julia.
JULIA: Cold, nothing! You’ve been arguing with Dan Dixon again. And Kitty says Dan’s just as bad as you are.
WALTER: Have you been talking with Kitty Dixon again? I thought I told you we’d have nothing to do with the Dixons.
TOM: But you do, Dad…arguing with Mr. Dixon.
WALTER: None of your impertinence, Tom! (PAUSE.) Besides, how can I help it if Dan Dixon comes into the National Hotel just when I’m there?
TOM: He went in first yesterday, and then you went in.
WALTER: Spying on me, eh?
JULIA: He wasn’t, Walter, and you know it. He was just walking down Third Street, on his way home.
WALTER: And with the little Dixon girl, I suppose.
TOM: No, sir…not on Third Street.
WALTER: Just what do you mean by that, young man?
JULIA: Walter, you’re being ridiculous. Betty Dixon is a fine girl. I don’t blame Tom for liking her. I’m glad he does.
WALTER: A Democrat’s daughter!
JULIA: Yes, and Kitty’s a Democrat’s wife, and there’s not a nicer woman in Dayton. I’m very fond of her, and I have no intention of giving up our friendship because you and Dan can’t agree on politics. Kitty and I visit every day. I borrowed a pound of sugar from her just this afternoon.
WALTER: You borrowed sugar from the Dixons?
TOM: Well, Dan, you borrowed Mr. Dixon’s scythe to cut those weeds around the stable.
WALTER: That’s different. That was three months ago. But I wouldn’t have it around the place now.
TOM: Then maybe I’d better take it back tonight. It’s still in our tool shed.
WALTER: No, you don’t! Don’t you go near the Dixons’ house! And say! I’d like to know why I can’t come home to a nice quiet supper.
JULIA: You’re the only one who’s shouting, Walter. And you haven’t eaten a thing. Here, let me get you some hot potatoes. [Music. Fades in and out.]
DAN…and so you needn’t try to tell me what nice people the Harmons are, Kitty. I know Walter Harmon and the whole family; couldn’t help it, living right next door to them. They’re Whigs, Whigs…and that says everything!
BETTY: But just what is a Whig, Papa? After all you’ve said, I still don’t understand the difference.
DAN: I’ll tell you, Betty, my child. You see…
KITTY: No, you won’t, Dan Dixon. Not at the supper table. I’ve heard politics, politics, politics, day and night for months. Julia and I don’t talk politics. And I’m sure Tom and Betty don’t.
DAN: They better not talk anything. You hear that, young lady?
BETTY: Yes, Papa.
DAN: Well, remember it. I don’t want that young Harmon boy around here at all, talking politics or anything else. Don’t want him in the house…not even in the yard. He probably has a lot of Whig ideas, like his father. Why, do you know, Kitty, this afternoon Walter Harmon said…
KITTY: Dan! [Music: Fades in and out.]
COMLY: Now, Ed, put plenty of copies of the Log Cabin on my desk, here, and bring in two or three more chairs. There’ll be Walter Harmon, Judge Crane, Peter Lowe, John Van Cleve and maybe others. [Door opens. Voices off.]
WALTER: Here we are, Will.
COMLY: Hello, Walter. Come in, gentlemen. How are you, Judge? Mr. Lowe. John, you sit there at the end of the table.
CRANE: Will, I hear your Log Cabin newspaper is circulating all through the West.
COMLY: Everywhere, Judge, everywhere! And the Log Cabin idea has taken hold. I’ve had hundreds of letters. Every town of any size has its Log Cabin Boys. This is going to be the biggest campaign in the country’s history…and Dayton’s going to be the very center of it.
WALTER: That’s what I told Dan Dixon yesterday. I said…
LOWE: Yes, yes, Walter, but let’s hear what Will has in mind.
COMLY: All through the West, in every State, they’re looking to Ohio, and particularly to Dayton, to run the Harrison campaign. Now…I’d like to see a big rally here sometime in the fall…say September 10th. That’s the anniversary of Perry’s victory on Lake Erie.
VAN CLEVE: That’s a good date.
LOWE: Yes, people will feel like celebrating. We ought to get them here from all over the Miami Valley.
COMLY: More than that, the way I see it. Let me read you this invitation. I want to publish it in the next issue of the Log Cabin. (READS.) To the people of the United States, more particularly to those of the West, and most particularly to all in the Miami Valley. You are invited by your fellow-citizens of Montgomery County to convene with them in a Grand Council at Dayton on the anniversary of our gallant Perry’s victory, on September 10, 1840. Come one! Come all! (SPEAKS.) Now, we’ll publish that along with the names of our candidates. Here they are. (READS.) Log Cabin candidates. For President, William Henry Harrison. For Vice President, John Tyler. For Governor of Ohio, Thomas Corwin, the Wagon Boy.
LOWE: I don’t know, Will. That’s pretty ambitious. You’re inviting the whole country.
WALTER: And they’ll come. Dan Dixon says there ain’t enough Whigs to load a canal boat, but I told him…
COMLY: That’s right, Walter. They’ll come…and from all over. You Gentlemen don’t know how the rest of the country is counting on Dayton in this campaign.
CRANE: How many do you think we could expect, Will?
COMLY: Ten or fifteen thousand, Judge. May be twenty.
LOWE: That’s a lot for a town of six thousand to entertain.
VAN CLEVE: We can do it, Peter. A lot of them will come prepared to camp out. But we’ll ask every family in town to accommodate as many as possible. They’ll do it, won’t they, Judge?
CRANE: Certainly. We’ll get the women of Dayton to form hospitality committees. They know how to do things like that, though it’s always a mystery to me. Last Christmas we had twenty guests in our house for two days. I don’t know where Mrs. Crane put them, but they all had a place to sleep and plenty to eat.
COMLY: Then it’s all settled?
VOICES: Yes…Certainly…Go ahead and publish the invitation. [Music: Fades in and out.]
[Buzz of women’s voices.]
MRS. CRANE: I don’t know how we’re going to do it. When Judge Crane told me, a month ago that Dayton would have twenty thousand visitors, I thought we could manage. But now we’ll have to plan all over.
JULIA: Yes, I’m afraid so, Mrs. Crane. Will Comly told Walter that there’ll be fifty thousand people here for those three days. He says whole towns, almost, are coming in a body.
VOICE 1: But how are we going to do it?
MRS. CRANE: We’ll have to divide them. The women and children can sleep in our houses, and we’ll put the men in the stables.
VOICE 2: They’ll complain about that.
JULIA: Well, let them. They’re the ones who started all this. And they seem to think it’s nothing at all. Walter said, “But, Julia, you won’t have to take care of more than thirty people, or maybe forty.” I just looked at him.
VOICE 1: I know. My husband said he couldn’t see why it would be much extra work to get meals for forty people…just for three days.
MRS. CRANE: We can let the women and children sleep crosswise and get six or eight in one bed, but even that won’t take care of all of them.
JULIA: Couldn’t we make extra bedticks and fill them with straw?
MRS. CRANE: That’s it, Julia. They’ll make good enough beds and we can put them all over our houses.
VOICE 2: How about meals?
JULIA: [Sighs.] Well, I just don’t know. Walter says all we have to do is just have open house for everyone.
VOICE: That’s it. Will Comly has published a notice in the Log Cabin. It says that wherever there’s a flag over a front door, anyone is welcome to come and have a meal.
MRS. CRANE: Well, we’ll have to do it, somehow. We can roast beef and pork, and bake a lot of bread and pies, days in advance. Then, when the time comes, we’ll have to do the best we can about vegetables and all that. [Music: Fades in and out.]
BETTY: But I am ashamed, Tom! Our family’s almost the only one in Dayton that’s not going to entertain visitors.
TOM: But you can’t help it, Betty.
BETTY: Mother says that out of seven hundred homes all but fifty or sixty will be open. But she can’t do anything with Papa. He says he’ll have no Whigs in his house.
TOM: Well, he’ll see plenty of them at ours. Dad wants us to entertain more visitors than any family in town. It’s driving Mother crazy. We’ll have people sleeping all over the floors, even in the hallways, upstairs and down.
BETTY: But aren’t you glad you’re going to be in the parade, Tom?
TOM: No, I’m not; I’m sick of the whole thing. And Dad says I have to drive the biggest float of all. That’s the log cabin on wheels. It’s almost as big as a real one. And I have to sit up in front, in an old army uniform, and drive the thing all over town.
BETTY: Tom, I bet you’ll like it.
TOM: I won’t. You’re lucky you don’t have to do anything.
BETTY: They wanted me to ride in one of the canoe floats. There’ll be twenty-six of them, with a girl in each one, representing all the twenty-six states.
TOM: Why don’t you do it?
BETTY: Mother wanted me to do. But she said Papa would simply have a fit, if he saw me.
TOM: Let him have one, and Dad, too.
BETTY: Well, anyway, it will be over soon. People will begin coming to town tomorrow, and the whole thing will last only three days.
TOM: It’s been too long for me already. All these months. Our fathers arguing and yelling at each other. And, worst of all, treating us like prisoners, saying we can’t see each other. I won’t stand for that, though. We’ve just got to see each other, Betty…every day, the way we have been.
BETTY: I know, and I want to, Tom. It sort of scares me, thinking how mad Papa would be if he found out, but I can’t believe there’s anything wrong with it.
TOM: Of course, there isn’t. There wasn’t before all this political fighting started, was there?
TOM: And there won’t be after it’s over. Or, if there is, I’m just going to tell Dad that we’ll see each other anyway. He might as well get used to having you around the family.
BETTY: Tom, you’re silly…but you’re nice.
TOM: Betty. (PAUSE.)
BETTY: Oh, Tom! Now…I must go! [Music: Fades in and out.]
[Knock on door.]
JULIA: Come in! [Door opens.] Oh, hello, Kitty!
KITTY: Julia, dear, I came across the back way so the neighbors wouldn’t see me.
JULIA: Well, Walter’s not here, so it’s all right.
KITTY: I know. I suppose he and Dan are abusing each other at the National Hotel. (PAUSE.) Julia, I just couldn’t stand it…thinking of all the other women in Dayton working day and night. So…for the last week I’ve been cooking every minute of the day…roasts, bread, pies, everything I could. Your house will be simply full of people tomorrow, and I know you can’t have enough for all of them, so I want you to call on me for anything you need.
JULIA: Oh, Kitty, how nice of you. But how did you ever do it without Dan finding out?
KITTY: Dan’s just like Walter. His head has been so full of politics that he hasn’t been able to see what’s going on…not even in his own house.
JULIA: And Walter’s scarcely home at all. If he’s not at the Journal office, making plans for the rally, he’s at some other Whig’s house, giving them the same arguments they give him.
KITTY: You don’t suppose Dan and Walter will carry on this silly feud after the election do you?
JULIA: I hope not, though you never can tell what men will do.
KITTY: They mustn’t Julia…not only on account of themselves and us, but on account of Betty and Tom.
JULIA: Yes, I feel just as you do about that, Kitty. I’m not going to see anything stand in the way of our children’s happiness, if I can help it.
KITTY: I’m so glad. I’m just going to be firm with Dan, if I have to.
JULIA: Well, you can be sure that Walter’s gong to get a piece of my mind, too. But I hope they’ll come to their senses by themselves.
KITTY: Oh, Julia, so do I! [Music: fades in and out.]
[Wagon sounds. Shouts.]
VOICE 1: Whoa! Whoa, there! (PAUSE.) Hello, there! Where you folks from?
VOICE 2: Whoa! (PAUSE.) We’re from Pennsylvania. Where’re you?
VOICE 1: Kentucky. Had an awful time getting here, too. Never saw anything like the roads. Double line of coaches, carriages, wagons and carts, all coming to Dayton. Took us two hours to come the last five miles. And now that we’re here, the crowd’s so big on the streets you can’t find a place to unhitch.
VOICE 2: Roads to the east are just as bad or worse. Why didn’t you folks come up on the canal?
VOICE 1: Shucks! Cincinnati people had every boat engaged a month ago.
VOICE 2: Where you folks going to stay?
VOICE 1: Don’t know for sure. Hotels are full. Ohio, Indiana and Virginia people sleeping five and six in a room.
VOICE 2: And there’s thousands camping out on the edge of town.
VOICE 1: Mr. Comly, at the Journal office, told us to try Mr. Walter Harmon’s house. Says he’s taking in all comers. You might come along. It’s just around this next corner.
VOICE 2: I don’t like to push in anywhere, and I’ve got ten in my party here.
VOICE 1: Ten’s nothing in a crowd like this. Better come along.
VOICE 2: We may later. So long!
VOICE 1: So long! [Wagon rumble to stop.] Here we are. That must be Mr. Harmon standing at the door. Hope he won’t think you and me and the four children are too many, Maria.
WALTER: Come in, folks! Come right in!
VOICE 1: I know folks say we’re welcome anywhere, Mr. Harmon. But there are six of us. Think you’ve got the room?
WALTER: Yes, yes, of course. Mrs. Harmon’s expecting you. And the house isn’t full yet. Can’t be more than fifty having dinner right now, and we’ll find beds for everyone by night. Come right on in!
JULIA: [Come on.] Yes, do! Just leave your things in the hall and go straight into the dining room. There’s plenty of fried chicken and oceans of hot biscuits.
MARIA: Mrs. Harmon, how ever did the Dayton women do this? Every house we’ve passed is packed full. And where are you going to put seventy people to sleep?
JULIA: Oh, we’ll manage, somehow. We’re glad to have all of you. [Laughter and chatter.]
WALTER: Folks, we want you all to make yourselves perfectly at home. Just ask Mrs. Harmon for anything you want. Now, this afternoon you’ll probably want to look around our town some. But remember, now, we’ll all be getting up early in the morning. There’ll be a big parade first, and then the grand rally on the Cooper Common, with speeches by General Harrison and others. After that…excuse me, just a minute; I see some more folks pulling up out in front. [Receding.] Come in, folks, come in! You’re all welcome. (PAUSE.) [Laughter and chatter down.]
VOICE 2: But I tell you there’s ten in our party, Mr. Harmon. And I know you just took in a party of six a few minutes ago.
WALTER: Ten of you, eh? Well…oh, don’t worry about that. I’m sure we can…
DAN: [Off.] Walter!
WALTER: Hello, Dan. You better stay away. This place is full of Whigs.
DAN: Walter, I’ve been watching folks go in your house all day, and I know you haven’t got enough room for them. It’s only neighborly of me to offer to help out. We’ve got plenty of room, and it seems Kitty’s laid in some food. So…well…why don’t you let these folks come over and stay with us?
WALTER: Dan Dixon, that’s mighty fine of you, mighty decent. Folks, Mr. Dixon will be glad to have you stay at his house. Only, I warn you…he’s a Democrat.
DAN: I sure am, and I don’t take back anything I’ve said.
WALTER: Neither do I. [Laughter.] [Music: Fades in and out.]
[Great crowd sound. Cheers. Band music.]
BETTY: Oh, Tom, you looked just wonderful in your uniform this morning.
TOM: Shucks! It didn’t fit me at all. I felt like a monkey, sitting up there and driving past all those people.
BETTY: I never saw such a crowd. How many do you suppose there are on the Common now?
TOM: I just heard an army officer on the General’s staff tell Will Comly that there must be at least a hundred thousand.
BETTY: It doesn’t seem possible!
TOM: I wouldn’t be surprised. The crowd’s packed in solid clear across the Common, and all the way up from First to Third Street.
BETTY: Tom, you should have seen Papa last night. He had the time of his life…arguing for hours with the Whigs who stayed at our house.
TOM: He’s weakening. I could tell that yesterday afternoon when he came over and offered to take them in. He’ll waken some more, too…even about us.
BETTY: Do you really think so?
TOM: Sure! Wait till the campaign’s over.
CRANE: [Off.] Ladies and gentlemen!
BETTY: See, Tom. There’s Judge Crane.
TOM: Yes, he’s going to make the first speech. [Band music stops. Crowd sound slowly out.]
CRANE: I address myself to our most distinguished guest, General William Henry Harrison. (CHEERS.) I have been appointed by the Whigs of the Miami Valley to welcome your presence at this convention. In their name I bid you and all who have honored us by their attendance on this occasion, a sincere and hearty welcome. You are here surrounded by an immense multitude of your fellow citizens, ready, as far as their wishes and votes will avail, to confer upon you the Chief Magistracy of the Republic. (CHEERS.) In selecting you as their candidate for this high and responsible station, the Whigs of America were influenced by higher motives than mere personal considerations. [Fades in and out.] And so, once more, I bid you and all present, hearty welcome. [Cheers.]
TOM: Now, Betty, General Harrison is going to speak.
HARRISON: I rise, fellow-citizens, to express to you from the bottom of a grateful heart, my warmest thanks for the kind and flattering manner in which I have been received by representatives of the Valley of the Miami. I rise to say to you that however magnificent my reception has been on this occasion, I am not so vain as to presume that is was intended for me; that this glorious triumphal entry was designed for one individual. No. I know too well that person’s imperfections to believe that this vast assemblage has come up here to do him honor. It is the glorious cause of democratic rights that has brought them here. [Cheers.] It is the proud anniversary of one of the brightest victories that glow on the pages of our country’s history, which hath summonded this multitude together. [Cheers.] I am fully aware, my fellow-citizens, that you expect from me some opinion upon the various questions which now agitate our country, from center to circumference, with such fierce contention. [Fades.]
TOM: Betty, I can make a better speech than this… to you.
BETTY: Tom, be quiet!
TOM: I can. And you’ll remember it as long as you live. Betty, please, let’s slip out here at the back of the stand.
BETTY: People will see us going.
TOM: No, they won’t. They’re all looking at the next President of the United States.
TOM: Come on, darling.
HARRISON: [Fades in.] Shall, then the fair sure light upon the shrine of American liberty ever be extinguished? [No! No! No!] It would not be your loss only…it would be the loss of the whole world. The enemies of freedom in Europe are watching you with intense anxiety, and your friends, like a few planets of heaven, are praying for your success. Deceive them not, but keep the sacred fire burning steadily upon your altars, and the Ohio farmer whom you desire to make your Chief Magistrate will, at the end of four years, cheerfully lay down the authority which you may entrust him with, free from all ambition. It will have been glorious enough for me to have been honored as those pure and honest Republicans, Washington, Jefferson, and Madison were honored…with the high confidence of a great, noble, just and generous people. [Cheers.] [Music: Fades in and behind…]
NARRATOR: And so ended the greatest political demonstration in Dayton’s history, indeed one of the greatest in American history. And thus, too, Ohio sent forth the first of her many sons who have sat in the White House. It was, to a very large degree, a triumph for the citizenry of Dayton, whose courage, spirit and initiative drew an overwhelming majority of the nation’s voters to the banners of the Harrison cause. And it is this spirit, revealed time and again in Dayton’s history, which our sponsors wish to emphasize through the presentation of these programs …to the end that Dayton’s future achievements may equal or better those of the past. (PAUSE.) Next week, we shall present “Half Slave, Half Free,” a drama of Dayton during the long years when there arose among us the bitter strife which culminated in the Civil War. [Music: Swells and fades behind…]
ANNOUNCER: This program comes to you through the sponsorship of The Dayton Power and Light Company. For many years the homes, businesses and industries of Dayton have been served with electric light and power, and with steam service, produced by an organization which has grown with Dayton as it has served Dayton, and which is firmly committed to the fullest co-operation in shaping and assuring the future of our city. (PAUSE.) “Great Days in Dayton” is broadcast each Sunday afternoon at five o’clock over Station WHIO. All dramatic parts are played by the members of the Dayton Civic Theatre professional company. Your master of ceremonies is Charles McLean. Your announcer is Morton DaCosta. (PAUSE.) Don’t miss next week’s dramatic program. Be sure to tune in next Sunday at the same hour for “ Great Days in Dayton!” [Music: Sells to fortissimo finale.]
Return to "Great Days in Dayton" Home Page