Lead: Mired in the worst economic depression in the nation’s history, the United States faced a choice in 1932 between cold administrative competence and bold political inspiration. It was not even close.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts. 

Content: After a post-war decade of rising, though unevenly distributed, prosperity, America entered the election season of 1928 with great expectations for many more years of happy times. The Republicans claimed full responsibility for the nation’s exuberant fortunes and nominated the technocrat and Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover to carry their standard against the Happy Warrior, Governor Alfred E. Smith of New York. Despite widespread agreement with Smith’s opposition to Prohibition, the electorate was still skeptical of electing a Roman Catholic to the nation’s top office and generally satisfied with what it perceived as Republican economic stewardship. Hoover was elected in a landslide.

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