Sunday, September 23, 2007

don't sign petitions

Harry Truman, in a speech at Detroit's 250th anniversary celebration, as quoted in the New York Times on July 29, 1951:

Now listen to this one. This malicious propaganda has gone so far that on the Fourth of July, over in Madison, Wisconsin, people were afraid to say they believed in the Declaration of Independence. A hundred and twelve people were asked to sign a petition that contained nothing except quotations from the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. One hundred and eleven of these people refused to sign that paper--many of them because they were afraid that it was some kind of subversive document and that they would lose their jobs or be called Communists. Can you imagine finding 111 people in the capital of Wisconsin that didn't know what the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights provided? I can't imagine it. Think of that, in the home state of two of America's greatest liberal and progressive senators, Robert M. LaFollette and Robert Jr.