Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life
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Gracie Allen: The Joke That Became a Campaign

In 1940 the United States was just emerging from the shadow of the Great Depression and war loomed in Europe. Into these serious times stepped Gracie Allen, part of the popular comic duo Burns and Allen, who launched a campaign for President. Allen’s ‘Surprise Party’ began as a publicity stunt, but during a whistle-stop tour across the country the campaign took on a life of its own.

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Shirley Chisholm: The Politics of Principle

In 1972, Shirley Chisholm launched a spirited campaign for the Democratic nomination. She was the first woman and first African American to run.

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William Jennings Bryan: The Speech That Changed Politics

William Jenning Bryan’s “Cross of Gold” speech is known today as one of the most important oratorical performances in American history.

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