50 years ago the 1952 election was about another defining choice for the direction of our nation. The Korean war was two years old and the candidates were battling to win an election that would determine the course of the war. It was war time hero, General Dwight Eisenhower on the Republican ticket versus Adlai Stephenson on the Democratic ticket.
The Melbourne Times reported the elections of 1952. The headlines on October 2nd splashed the declaration, “Ike says “No Sense” In U.S: Bearing Brunt of War.“. Eisenhower “Ike” made it clear he wanted to replace our troops with South Korean ones. On Oct 16, the issue read “Tumultuous receptions are given Ike in South and Adlai in West. GOP vice presidential candidate Richard Nixon carried the campaign to Indiana. “ Ending the Korean War was the main theme and the newspaper reported that the discussion took on the appearance of the “The great debate,” a nationwide discussion of foreign policy that followed the recall from Korea of Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Eisenhower put forth a proposal to reduce American troops by replacing them with them with more South Korean troops. He quoted from a letter from Lt. Gen. James A. Van Fleet the United Nations 8th army commander, saying the South Korean Area was in “apple pie” order and if more South Koreans would be brought into service, American divisions could be released.” Adlai Stevenson retaliated and called Eisenhower’s proposals a “Cynical search for votes” and President Truman used the same tone with different words, he called the general’s proposals “low down tricks to win the November 4 ballots!”
Eisenhower castigated President Truman’s administration as having blundered into the Korean war despite repeated warnings by military and GOP leaders and he said that he would “head an administrative resolve “to forego the diversions of politics and to concentrate on the job of ending the Korean war- until that job is honorably done.” “That job requires a personal trip to Korea,” He said. “I shall make that trip.” The same night, Adlai accused Eisenhower of making this a “Sly and ugly campaign”.
Election day and the paper reported on Dwight D. Eisenhower landslide victory over Democrat nominee Adlai Stevens that ended a 20 year reign by the Democratic Party. Up to this point Eisenhower received more votes than any presidential candidate in history. President Truman offered President-elect Eisenhower the use of the White House plane “Independence” for his flight to Korea but Eisenhower declined preferring to use an US Army aircraft. Locally the Eau Gallie precinct polled the greatest majority vote for Eisenhower more than any precinct in the Brevard County. The Eau Gallie Republican Headquarters was located at the Oleander Hotel. With a proximity close to the Eau Gallie Library this structure Oleander Hotel still stands dilapidated former Conchy Joe’s Restaurant.