September 25, 2009
The July 2, 1952, radio talk-a-thon initiated by Francis Cherry’s gubernatorial campaign is credited with helping sweep him into the governor’s office. When polls indicated that Cherry was in last place, he went on the air for twenty-four and a half hours straight, answering questions posed by average citizens. Twenty subsequent three-hour-long broadcasts moved him into second place. With his popularity rising, he defeated his Democratic rival Sid McMath in a runoff election by almost 100,000 votes and followed that up with a win in the general election. Cherry is shown here in his official gubernatorial portrait.