Newspaper Articles


Fairmont Times-West Virginian
April 21, 1960

Humphrey Will Speak Today

One of the busiest weekends of the primary election campaign was marked by a Republican candidates’ dinner in Fairmont last night, will include a pro-Kennedy meeting at Farmington this afternoon and will be climaxed tomorrow night by a Humphrey dinner in Fairmont.

Several hundred persons attended the Republican dinner last night, as reported in another story in today’s paper.

Attorney Ted Kennedy, brother of U. S. Sen. John F. Kennedy, presidential candidate, Joe Strydahar and Sam Huff, college and professional football stars, will represent the Senator at a coffee from 2 to 4 p.m. today at the Farmington Town Hall.

U. S. Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey, presidential candidate, will speak at a $10-a-plate dinner at 6 p.m. tomorrow at the Fairmont Hotel.

Humphrey Coming

Senator Humphrey, who will follow Senator Kennedy into Fairmont by a week, will arrive at the Fairmont Hotel at about 4:45 p.m. tomorrow. He will attend a pre-dinner reception between 5 and 6 p.m. Donald P. Smith, of Monongahela Power Co., will preside and Bertram Cousins Jr., of Fairmont Television Cable Co., will introduce the speaker.

The Senator will spend the night in Fairmont and leave at 8 a.m. Tuesday for Kingwood and other points.

No Kennedy activities have been announced for this week in Marion County. It was stated that Kennedy headquarters in the Virginia Theater will be open from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily.

Student Vote

Meanwhile, students at Glenville State College took cognizance of the Humphrey-Kennedy race at a mock election when they gave Kennedy 112 votes to 28 for Humphrey. Vice President Richard M. Nixon ran first with 176 votes.

In the Democratic race for Governor, W. W. Barron placed first with 163 votes. Oral Skeene [sic] came second with 46 votes and Hulett Smith trailed with 38 votes.

Gov. Cecil H. Underwood ran ahead of Senator Jennings Randolph for the Senate by a vote of 204 to 153.


“Important for Wife to Take Part:”

Mrs. Humphrey Enjoys Rigors of Campaigning

By Ray Herst
West Virginian Staff Writer

Mrs. Muriel Humphrey, fresh and excited, sat in a room at the Fairmont Hotel and fingered her campaign scars.

“It sometimes swells here,” she said, poin[t]ing to the fleshy part of the hand between the thumb and forefinger. “They always seem to press down here the hardest when they shake hands.”

The attractive wife of Presidential aspirant Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey was referring to the thousands of people she had met and shook hands with while campaigning in behalf of her husband.

Likes Campaigning

“I think it is important for a wife to take part in her husband’se [sic] campaign. Besides, I like it.” Her voice rises with excitement when she speaks and one can see her fighting to contain the excitement. She wants to put forth a serious demeanor, but there is too much personality in her for that.

She smiled at her 12-year-old son Douglas, who sat in a chair toying with a long spring-filled snake which pops out of an imitation peanut can when opened.

“We’ve also taken our children with us on some of these campaign trips. It gives them the opportunity to meet and talk with people and learn something about politics and why Mother and Dad get so tired sometimes.”

She has a habit of rubbing her fingers into the palm of her hand. Obviously, it is another outlet for her excitement.

Mrs. Humphrey seems to have trouble relaxing. She sits on the edge of her chair and shifts her arms from one arm of the chair to the other. Frequently her hand flies up to her face and passes over it inquisitively.

She breaks off sentences in mid-air when she is answering a question. “No, I shouldn’t say that because I can’t really answer that. I should have checked with the Senator last night,” she says quickly.

Senator in Washington

Mrs. Humphrey has been touring the state while her husband was in Washington testifying on a Youth Conservation Corps bill—“A bill which the Senator firmly believes will be a great benefit to our young people and to our natural resources. The Senator believes firmly in making the best uses of our natural resources as well as human resources.”

Mrs. Humphrey talks freely and at times bursts into peals of hearty girlish laughter at something which strikes her as amusing.

“Oh, you have a lovely state,” she said. “It’s wonderful to drive through the country, there is so much to see. I thought of getting a trailer to take with me. I was going to use it to hold coffee receptions in. You know, make my coffee and have the people pass through to meet the Senator. But I started driving over those hills to Charleston and I thought, oh, no—a trailer?” She broke out in laughter.

“When I got to Charleston, all they had was a 26-foot trailer and I knew I couldn’t manage that on those hills,” she laughed again.

Station Wagon

Men have said before that a woman’s resources are unlimited and Mrs. Humphrey is no different. She solved the problem the easiest way she knew.

“I’m driving the station wagon through. So I just let the tailgate of the wagon down, we buy some coffee at a restaurant and that’s that.”

Mrs. Humphrey also makes her own clothes. If the suit she was wearing yesterday is an example of her craft, the dressmakers around the country are missing out on a good thing.

She wore a cool blue suit with sheath skirt. It was a perfect complement to her crown of soft white hair. On her left should was pinned a diamond-studded Democrat donkey.

A simple outfit but an effective one as is the Senator’s campaign for the presidency.

Homespun Campaigning

“Senator Humphrey and I both believe in the old home-spun type of campaigning—you know, the grass roots type. We like to stop and talk with people, go door to door. On our tour in this state, we stopped everywhere there were people. We visited general stores or just a single house on the highway. Once we stopped when we say three cars parked by a field,” she said. Her eyes were shining.

Mrs. Humphrey is not new to campaigning. She has worked with her husband since he first ran for political office.

“Why,” she laughed again, “when the Senator was running for Mayor in our home town, I was loaded down with literature and went around knocking on doors. I’ve been at it ever since.”

Throughout most of the interview, Mrs. Humphrey was light and gay. In fact, she seemed overwhelmed that the press and people should be interested in her. She admitted it.

Floored by Reporters

“It always floors me when reporters want to talk with me, or the way people act when they find out I’m the Senator’s wife. You know, we have the station wagon all decorated,” she began to laugh again, “and when I came across the bridge down here, the man asked me ‘Hey, when’s he coming in?’ I told him Monday. I said I was the senator’s wife and he was so excited, it floored me. It really did.”

Mrs. Humphrey said she noticed little difference between the southern part of the state, where she and Humphrey campaigned earlier this month, and the northern part—“although it does seem you have more Republicans up here, or at least people who aren’t interested in any literature at all.”

She said that she believed Humphrey’s campaign was going extremely well in West Virginia. “We’ve received wonderful receptions everywhere we have gone. The Senator is excited about the whole thing. When he started in West Virginia, he was very tired from Wisconsin, but when he called me after his first day here, he seemed so wonderfully different. He seemed completely revived and fresh. He was so happy.”

Fights Intolerance

The conversation switched to the religious issue and the lightness was gone from Mrs. Humphrey’s voice.

“The Senator has a long record for fighting intolerance. We both feel very strongly about this matter. We have felt all along that there was no reason to bring religion into either state. This is a campaign for the presidency.”

Mrs. Humphrey said she didn’t know the man who has been following Senator Kennedy on his tour in the Northern part of the state distributing anti-Catholic literature. She said she had no encountered it in the southern part of the state.

“There was a great deal of it in Wisconsin,” she said. “Most of it was mailed from Minnesota. The Senator and his staff got onto it immediately and tried to trace it down. It seemed as though someone was trying to make it appear as though the literature had come from the Senator’s home state which as far as we know, it didn’t.”

To Rejoin Husband

Mrs. Humphrey was to return to Washington after an unscheduled visit to Parkersburg yesterday when Humphrey unexpectedly arrived there. She is to rejoin her husband Tuesday after he makes an appearance Monday in Fairmont.

“The Senator and I will probably be in West Virginia almost all of the time between now and the election.” She stopped and laughed.

“I guess it sounds unwifely of me to keep referring to my husband as the Senator, but, well, you have to be objective about this.”


Candidates’ Dinner Set

More than 200 persons are expected to attend the candidates’ dinner meeting which will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Eagles Club under auspices of the Marion County ’54 Club.

Although much emphasis has been placed on state candidates, all candidates on the county level are being invited to attend the meeting and be introduced, Attorney John L. McIntire said this morning.

On the Democratic said of the political picture, it was announced that Attorney Ted Kennedy, youngest brother of U. S. Sen. John F. Kennedy, candidate for the Presidential nomination, will come here tomorrow to start a three-day campaign in this section.

Meanwhile, Joe Stydahar, Shinnston native who became a football great at West Virginia University and as a professional player, announced his support of Senator Kennedy.

Mrs. Hubert Humphrey, wife of the Kennedy rival in West Virginia, flew to Parkersburg last night after spending yesterday afternoon greeting Humphrey supporters in Marion County.


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