On This Date in History: In the presidential election of 1872, New York Tribune founder and editor Horace Greeley faced off against incumbent, Ulysses S. Grant. Greeley never saw a social reform that he didn’t like and he actually was nominated by a group known as the Liberal Republicans who split from the main party that nominated President Grant. In somewhat of a surprise, the Democrats nominated Greeley, who once said that “All Democrats may not be rascals, but all rascals are Democrats.” But Greeley was in favor of amnesty for all ex-Confederates and for withdrawl of all federal troops from the southern states. And at that point, the Democrats were in a favor of anyone who held such views.
But, Greeley was hammered as a candidate. Editors and cartoonists lampooned his rumpled clothes, chin whiskers and baby face. They piled on him for his support of prohibition, vegetarianism and visions of communes. Greeley openly wondered if he was running for the penitentiary or the presidency. On top of his sensitivity to savage public criticism and ridicule, he was dealing with an ailing wife. In September 1872 he remained in New York at his wife bedside and slept little until her death on October 30, 1872 which was the week before the election.
Grant won 30 out of 36 states. Grant received 286 electoral votes and Greeley just 66. Officially though, Greeley only received 3 electoral votes. That is because on this date in 1872, Horace Greeley died which was prior to the official voting by the electoral college. Following Greeley’s death, 63 of the electors scattered their votes among four other candidates. Perhaps this is symbolic of the tragic end to Horace Greeley. Following the devastating loss of his wife, the public flogging by his detractors during the campaign and his overwhelming defeat at the polls, Greeley was a broken man; and things got worse. He tried to resume control of the Tribune but was pushed aside by acting editor Whitelaw Reid. Instead of welcoming Greeley back, Reid put a box on the front page of the paper that mocked Republican office seekers who had sought Greeley’s assistance. When Greeley offered a response, Reid refused to publish it in the paper. And get this…Whitelaw Reid not only had been invited to join the Tribune by Greeley, but he also had been Greeley’s campaign manager! Just three weeks after the election that may have elevated him to the top office in the land, Horace Greeley died; his mind so broken that his condition was described as “insane.”
Today, we say that politics is “rough and tumble” but I don’t think we’ve seen anything like the 1872 election which one might say, cost Horace Greeley his life.
Weather Bottom Line: Well, phooey on me. Not only did we warm up after a chilly start on Saturday, we got to the low 60′s which I had said would be tough to do. Oh well, better to miss when its a few degrees warmer than the opposite. Otherwise, everything else is on track and its not all that good. I was correct in saying that Saturday would be the warmest we would see for many days. Sunday with clouds increasing and thickening, we will not be as warm as Saturday but I do think we stay dry during the day. Sunday night, a cold front comes through and we get rain and showers will carry over into Monday. Look for sharply colder condition on Monday with highs only in the low 40′s…maybe mid 40′s for southern parts of the viewing area.
Tuesday we get a reprieve though temperatures will be seasonally cool. A cut off low has been lurking in the Southwest US and a strong front with a deep trof will pick that up and on Wednesday, it moves across Texas, picks up Gulf moisture and moves quickly into the Southeast US. Our rain chances will consequently go up with cloudy conditions and the front that picks up that cut off low will be making its way through the area. Look for your local forecast to once again mention snow. While this time around it may be a bit more possible than last week, it is still largely irrelevant. Temperatures will be cold but above freezing. Ground temperatures certainly won’t be cold enough for any accumulation. In my mind, its simply a conversation piece at best. But, the latter part of the week probably won’t see temperatures much above 40 with some maybe not getting above 40 until Saturday and even then it won’t be much above 40.