1956: The Race (that was lost) Against Taxes


In response to my last post, my oldest sister Clara commented, “I’m surprised Mother’s [1956] journal didn’t contain an entry for the reception Mother and Daddy hosted for Gov. Hoegh at our house in April or early May. Daddy was an advisor for Gov. Hoegh’s unsuccessful re-election campaign. Pam [Jordan] and I were allowed to wear hose and  heels (generally reserved for eighth grade graduation) for the first time because we helped collect plates and glasses from people attending the reception.”

Clara’s comments prompted me to include in this post:

  • a photo and two articles regarding my dad’s (Deane Gunderson) involvement with Iowa Governor Leo Hoegh’s campaign in 1956,
  • more of my mom’s journal entries* from 1956, and
  • a February 1981 audio clip of my dad describing some of his involvement in the Republican party.

In the articles, notice 1956’s 2 1/2 % sales tax in Iowa compared to today’s 6% (and in some Iowa areas 7%).


1956. Publication: Unknown. (Click on image once or twice to enlarge.)


The following are more of my mom’s 1956 journal entries:

1956. Publication: Unknown. (Click on image once or twice to enlarge.)

Apr. 9: Oleriches over in P.M. to pick names for Hoegh coffee.

Apr. 16: Ike vetoed Farm Bill.

April 18: Entertained at coffee for Governor Hoegh. Very successful. To Cattle Feeders banquet and to Webbs’ after.

Sept. 17: Hoegh talked to Deane with Proposition. Art Ass’n met here. (Deane later accepted job as campaign manager for Gov. Hoegh.)

Sept. 18: Deane to Des Moines for dinner and meeting with Hoegh.

Sept. 25: Deane to D.M. for Hoegh.

Oct. 9: Deane in Des Moines for $100 a plate dinner.

Oct. 12: [Marion and Deane] Still in D.M. Met Emily Haverkamp and she recorded for Radio for the Gov.

Oct. 4: Oleriches over in P.M. to discuss Governor’s being behind and the dissention with ___. [Since I don’t know if this is a local person or not, I am not including the name here.]

Oct. 17: John Christian Gunderson (Deane’s father) passed away at the age of  67, of Cerebral Thrombosis.

Oct. 19: Continued busy with friends, etc. Flowers (glads and bronze mums) from Gov. Hoegh.

Oct. 30: To Hoegh coffee at Bette Brinkman’s and Lois Hodoway helped.

Nov. 1: Gave program on Politics at Sorosis at Darlene Brinkman’s. To Olerichs’ in P.M. — They planning Garfield Twp. campaign tactics.

Nov. 2: I gave talks at “Coffees for Leo” at Hazel Streit and Maude Mather.

Nov. 4: Quite rainy Sunday. Deane out on Every Member Canvas.

Nov. 5: Gave talk at “Coffee for Leo” at Betty Kloster’s.

Nov. 6: Eisenhower – Nixon re-elected. Hoegh lost. Hickenlooper and Erbe won. Doliver lost. To Olerichs’ to watch returns with Percy VanAlstine, Bob Franken and Bill Shannon.

* * * * * * * *

*Other 1956 journal entries were included in the most recent post which also included images of Mother’s watercolors painted in 1956 and the Rolfe school’s 1956 yearbook.

BTW, tomorrow, July 1, 2012, marks two years since my dad passed away. Here’s to you, Daddy!

(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)


3 Responses to “1956: The Race (that was lost) Against Taxes”

  1. cghoover Says:

    I’m glad you explored a little into Daddy’s role with Gov. Hoegh and also found Mother’s entries about their political activities for 1956. I listened to Daddy’s interview. Sometime in the last few years I asked him about that experience. As a teenager, I thought his being the governor’s campaign manager was a really big deal.

    Daddy told me that when he was considering the job (or first in it) a local political person said he (Daddy) was getting in way over his head. He also told me, similar to what he said in the interview, that his role wasn’t very big and he really wasn’t very influential. In hind sight, I think he felt he had been appointed so Gov. Hoegh could say he had a farmer–and maybe even an Iowa Stater and someone from western Iowa–on his team. In other words, Daddy was asked to be campaign manager not so much for what Daddy could actually do for the campaign but because of what he was perceived to represent.

    Daddy was only 37/38 at the time and had a completely different background than most campaign workers would have had then. He seemed to know people from everywhere in the state, and these acquaintances multiplied over time.

  2. cghoover Says:

    I just realized that being campaign manager lasted just seven weeks and pretty much started on Daddy’s birthday. What a roller/coaster time it was with Grandpa death, too. I’ll never forget Johnny’s (Zeman) coming to the back door to tell us that Grandpa had been taken to the hospital, and then having to call Daddy in Des Moines.

    Wow! Just thinking about June 30-July 1, 2010……………

  3. Louise Gunderson Shimon Says:

    Clara, thank you for writing. Interesting, and it makes sense, to read of why Daddy might have been asked to be the campaign manager. It makes me think of the plot to Dan Gutman’s children’s novel named The Kid Who Ran For President. The VP candidate was chosen because of the demographic groups she (I think a female, anyway) represented.

    And, I’m so glad to know about how you learned Grandpa had gone to the hospital. Since he died when I was less than a year old, I rely on memories like yours to help me have more of a “personal” tie to him.

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