Labor Day used to be the official kick-off of the general election campaign. It no longer is. Campaigns get longer every cycle and that’s not a good thing. It’s even worse this year because the conventions were so damn early. I’m taking today off from politics except for posting some election year photographs of Democratic nominees on Labor day. I skipped the 1972 and 1976 nominees because neither McGovern nor Carter had warm relationships with labor. Besides, that would have been overkill. I picked 1984 as an cut-off since Fritz Mondale was the last nominee with close union ties.
We begin with Harry Truman in Detroit in 1948:
I couldn’t find a decent picture of Adlai Stevenson parading on Labor Day but here’s a shot of him with AFL-CIO chief George Meany and UAW President Walter Reuther. We’ll see both Meany and Walter later:
The year is 1960. The candidate is Jack Kennedy. The place is Cadillac Square in Detroit:
Lyndon Johnson marching in Detroit with Walter Reuther in 1964:
Next up is Hubert Humphrey on a New York reviewing stand in 1968 with ILGWU boss Louis Stulberg to his left and George Meany to his right:
We skip forward to 1984 to HHH’s protege, Walter Mondale with his running mate Geraldine Ferraro marching in the New York Labor Day parade: