Dewey Defeats Truman? No Way. Truman "Gave 'em Hell" on His Whistle Stop Tour in 1948

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President Truman speaks to a crowd in Richmond, Ind., during his marathon rail campaign of 1948.

By SHARE

Dewey conceded from New York at 11:14 the next morning. His sit-back-and-win strategy was no competition for Truman's fire. The next day in St. Louis, Truman stepped out of the train car and held up for the crowds the early edition of the Chicago Daily Tribune, his least favorite newspaper, which had printed nearly 150,000 copies before the final returns had come in and then sent staffers scrambling to retrieve the flawed papers. The headline—"Dewey Defeats Truman"—instantly achieved infamy, emblematic of just how much of an underdog the president truly had been.