The state of Wisconsin turned 100 in May of 1948. The actual centennial was on May 29th, and a huge celebration was planned for that day in Madison. About 100,000 people came to party, and see a 12-mile parade featuring 16,000 performers. Before the festivities began, a “mammoth” citizenship program would be held that morning outside the state Capitol.
Gen. Douglas MacArthur would not return to the U.S. that spring, to testify before a Senate appropriations committee. The famous World War II commander had no immediate plans to come back to the States from abroad. That decision was taken as a sign that MacArthur would not try to run for president against Harry Truman in 1948. MacArthur had hinted that he wanted the Republican nomination, but was not going to quit the Army in order to run a campaign. Thomas Dewey, who had lost to Franklin Roosevelt in the 1944 election, became the GOP nominee again in ’48.
In Minnesota, the Whoopee John orchestra played two nights a week at a ballroom in the Twin Cities. And a Minneapolis church hosted an Iowa evangelist named B.F. House. A newspaper ad said House was known for “preaching…praying for the sick…(and) playing the trombone” in 1948, yesterday in La Crosse.