During December of 1937, Jackson continued to follow his Chief's
advice to speak as frequently as he could, especially around New York
City. Town Meeting of the Air has long been a popular American
radio feature. The Assistant Attorney General was asked to participate
in one of these discussions early in January 1938. He accepted.
He was to represent Government. Wendell Willkie, later the 1940
Republican presidential nominee and at this time an officer of the large
Commonwealth and Southern utility system, was chosen to represent
The meeting was once postponed—not at Jackson's request—and
was finally scheduled for Thursday evening, January 6.
When he finally sat down it was announced that Willkie had exceeded the
agreed time limit by seven minutes. Jackson was courteously offered
a like addition to his speaking time. "Of course, I could not make
use of the time tendered to me without previous warning, and waived
it. The questioning was distinctly hostile and so was the audience,"
Jackson wrote afterward. '''
The very next day Town Hall officials called on Jackson to apologize
and said they hoped he would not issue any statement.
"What happened?" Jackson asked.
They told him that Willkie had asked for two hundred tickets, which
had been given to him. When the meeting was postponed, two hundred
more were also given to Willkie. Officials discovered later that the
dates had been changed on the first two hundred. Result: Willkie had
four hundred tickets for the January 6 debate. Jackson had been
issued six tickets for a box which was occupied by members of his
family. Jackson commented on this raw deal by Willkie thus:
I found it very difficult to regard Mr. Willkie as a man of honor on
that basis. It was not surprising that he should ask for as many
tickets as he could get, but even in the matter of division of time the
published record shows that he used 50 per cent more time than he had
agreed,and used it even after I had concluded my own speech. When I heard
the galleries at the Philadelphia Republican Convention, I suspected
that he was repeating his performance there. I never trusted him and
repeatedly told the President in later times that Mr. Willkie would
He did on his trip abroad.'
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
there was Wendell Willkie. In December 1937, he agreed to take part in a debate with Robert H. Jackson. The original debate was cancelled but Willkie had been given 200 tickets for that one. He was also given 200 more tickets for the rescheduled debate and he altered the 1st 200 tickets to get 400 of his supporters in the radio studio. Here are the details from America's Advocate, pp. 128-30:
Posted by Steve J. at 6:19 PM