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    Complete "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN" Newspaper With the Famous Photo Signed by Truman

    Chicago Daily Tribune "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN" Newspaper and Truman Signed Photo. This is one of the most endearing and avidly collected political mementoes of 20th century. The pro-Republican Chicago Tribune, combining excessive optimism with the desire to get a jump on the competition, rushed into print their November 3rd 1948 edition proclaiming Republican candidate Thomas Dewey to be the victor in the presidential election over the Democratic incumbent Harry Truman. This lot consists of a complete issue of this rare and desirable newspaper along with a matted and framed B&W photo of a grinning Truman holding up the headline, 7.25" x 6" (sight size), signed beneath by Truman.

    Most early polls in the presidential campaign of 1948 showed Dewey with such a commanding lead over Truman that some pollsters even quit polling voters weeks before the election, missing out on Truman's last-minute surge in popularity. On election night, November 2, 1948, Dewey, his family, and campaign staff confidently gathered in the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City to await the returns. Truman, aided by the Secret Service, sneaked away from reporters covering him in Kansas City and made his way to nearby Excelsior Springs, Missouri, a small resort town. There, he took a room in the local hotel, had a Turkish bath, and went to sleep. As the returns came in Truman took an early lead that he never lost. However, the leading radio commentators, such as H. V. Kaltenborn of CBS, confidently predicted that once the "late returns" came in Dewey would overcome Truman's lead and win. At midnight, Truman awoke and turned on the radio in his room; he heard Kaltenborn announce that, while Truman was still ahead in the popular vote, he couldn't possibly win. Around 4 a.m. Truman awoke again, heard on the radio that his lead was nearly two million votes, and decided to ride back to Kansas City. For the rest of his life Truman would gleefully mimic Kaltenborn's voice predicting his defeat throughout that election night.

    There were many factors involved in producing this error edition. Returns were coming in slow and they were running out of time before the printing deadline. The staff, based on polls and early returns, "felt" Dewey would win. After delivery of the paper, enough returns had come in to show that that Truman was going to hold his lead. Apparently, Truman would win after all. The paper, panicking at their blunder, sent out staff to try to collect the papers that had already been delivered, gathering thousands that were defaced or destroyed. There are likely only a few hundred copies that have survived to this day; certainly not many of those are in as nice a condition as this one.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2008
    21st-22nd Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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