© 2024 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
Listen | Discover | Engage a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

As It Was: Presidential Candidate Promises to Support Medford Band

In May 1948, the Republican candidate for President, New York Gov. Thomas Dewey, addressed an audience of some 2,000 at the Medford Armory. 

Among other remarks he called the Communist Party a “lying group of worms,” and said that “never did any business need management so much” as did the administration of his opponent, President Harry Truman.  A law-and-order candidate, Dewey supported the Cold War fight against the Soviet Union.

While in Medford, Dewey also promised regional Republican party leaders that if elected he would contribute toward sending the Medford High School band to the Portland Rose Festival.  The band had only $1,032.25 in the bank and needed $2,500 to attend.  Band director I.A. Mirick received the go-ahead to accept the invitation from the festival committee.

As it turned out, Dewey lost the election to Vice President Truman, who had become president after the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt on April 12, 1945. 

Despite Dewey’s loss, the high school band received enough public and commercial donations to pay its way and marched in the Rose Festival Parade.

Source:  "Presidential Candidate Supports North Medford High School Band." Mail Tribune, 8 May 1948 [Medford, Ore.], p. 1.

Maryann Mason has taught history and English in the U.S. Midwest and Northwest, and Bolivia. She has written history spots for local public radio, interviewed mystery writers for RVTV Noir, and edited personal and family histories.  Her poetry has appeared in Sweet Annie & Sweet Pea Review (1999), Rain Magazine (2007), and The Third Reader, an online Journal of Literary Fiction and Poetry. In 2008 she published her first chapbook, Ravelings.  She organized a History Day for Southern Oregon.