Trivia clue: He was the vice-presidential running mate of Grover Cleveland in 1888.
Correct response: Who was former U.S. Sen. Allen G. Thurman of California?
“The patriot of Columbus cannot be allowed to wither in retirement,” M.F. Tarpey said, when placing Thurman’s name in nomination, according to June 8th, 1888 report in The Morning Star of Glens Falls. “His fame is not his alone; it is the proud heritage of the American public.”
At Glens Falls, William H. Arnold won the prize at the Rochester Clothing Co. store for being the first customer to correctly guess who would be the VP nominee.
At Fort Edward, Andrew Mullen was the first to display a Republican presidential campaign handerchief.
In other lighter side of politics anecdotes collected from historic northern New York newspapers:
New York Republican politician Chauncey Depew was not fond of writing letters. “Let me tell you something. I seldom answer letters,” Depew was quoted in a June 13th, 1888 report in The Morning Star. “I stack them up lovingly, then have them placed carefully away, and some ten days after I look them over. By that time the parties who wrote them cease to expect an answer, and I feel relieved.”
“President Truman, in high good humor, received today his annual American League baseball pass,” the Associated Press reported April 9th, 1947, in a dispatch carried the next day in The Post-Star of Glens Falls. “The south paw Chief Executive, who is expected to throw the first pitch at Washington’s opening game against the New York Yankees Monday, also got a wallet to put the ducat in.” Truman joked with reporters that the First Lady “got the best” of the deal. “The First Lady’s pass was in an alligator bag bearing the gold initials B.W.T.”
Meredith B. Little, a Republican leader at Glens Falls, posted news dispatches in the window of his downtown insurance office as they arrived from Chicago during the 1888 Republican National Convention. “These dispatches attracted considerable attention and made the sidewalk in the vicinity a sort of Republican headquarters,” The Morning Star reported on June 26th, 1888. Little, “who relishes a practical joke now and then,” snuck in a bit of fake news, all in good fun.
“Chicago, June 24th – All delegates attended divine service in the auditorium on Sunday morning. Bishop Stockton preached from the text ‘Paul before Agrippa.’ The delegates were so well pleased with the discourse that, at a subsequent meeting, it was decided that a majority were in favor of nominating Paul for President and Agrippa for Vice President. At this point a delegate from Warren County, New York, arose and stated that he had a faint recollection that some years ago in his distant New York home he had heard that Paul and Agrippa were dead. The matter was then dropped.”
U.S. Sen. Thomas W. Palmer of Michigan had a unique way of honoring colleagues that came to visit his farm in Detroit. He planted a tree in the visitor’s honor. “Among them is a basswood that recalls Senator Sherman’s visit, a mulberry for Sen. Jones, and an aristocratic beech for Senator Edmunds,” The Morning Star reported on July 9th, 1888. “Senators Blair, Sabin, Manderson and Colquitt are also represented there in natural wood.”
Illustration: Grover Cleveland and Allen G. Thurman 1888 presidential campaign poster.