Lead: During the election of 1896 American voters just about lost control of themselves, all over the question of money.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1893 the US sank into the worst financial depression the nation had yet experienced. Banks failed, farmers lost their holdings, and President Grover Cleveland, just beginning his second non-consecutive term, saw his long held dreams of reform shattered by the stricken economy. All his efforts to revive business and lift the national spirit came to grief and by 1896, Cleveland was even rejected for his party’s nomination. Instead, the Democrats chose a champion of free silver, a little-known congressman from Nebraska. He won by getting out in front of a tidal wave.