Here, George Gallup appears to be showing an early television audience that his research indicates Tom Dewey would defeat Harry Truman in the presidential election of 1948. Ruh-roh. Uploaded by mercuriusdigital1.wordpress.com.
I may not know what you think. And you may not know what I think. But since 1935, we all know what we all think – thanks to George Gallup and the Gallup Poll. Gallup first gained credibility by correctly predicting Franklin Roosevelt’s victory over Alf Landon, although today you’d have to say a trained monkey could have picked that race. Even so, Gallup set a standard for the public opinion industry by not accepting advertising, thereby making its findings more credible.
Uploaded by thegalluphouse.com.
Today, there’s hardly any social or political issue for which Gallup can’t give a reliable indicator of public sentiment. And not just in America, but in some 140 countries around the world. On any given day, Gallup can tell you the President’s approval rating, the percentage of Americans who exercise regularly, whether or not the job market is growing, whether people believe their standard of living is improving, and dozens of other fascinating subjects.
Of course, no one is infallible, and neither is Gallup. Like every other organization, it failed to predict the Harry Truman upset of Thomas Dewey in the 1948 presidential election. It also expected Gerald Ford to defeat Jimmy Carter. But polling methods and science has made huge strides since those mistakes, and Gallup will probably never make that mistake again.
Tennessee Williams's plays won Tony Awards, New York Drama Circle Awards, and Pulitzer Prizes. Photo by Evening Standard - Getty Images, uploaded by answers.com.
Lots of writers are eager to write their breakthrough novel, for fame or riches. Some want to tell their family’s story, or their own. Some enjoy the lesser commitment involved in short stories. Lots enjoy the challenge of telling a story through the expressive language of poetry. But you don’t find many writers who make writing plays their primary medium. But it definitely worked for Tennessee Williams.
Uploaded by lessignets.com.
While in college, Williams wrote a play called Cairo, Shanghai, Bombay! which was produced by a community theater in Missouri. He said of the experience, “The laughter…enchanted me. Then and there the theater and I found each other for better and for worse. I know it’s the only thing that saved my life.”
Although Williams wrote close to 30 major plays, the period between 1944 and 1961 saw his most celebrated and honored writing. Some of the works created during that period include:
The Glass Menagerie (1944) • A Streetcar Named Desire (Pulitzer Prize for Drama – 1947) • Summer and Smoke (1948) • The Rose Tattoo (Tony Award – 1952) Camino Real (1953) • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Tony Award – 1955) • Suddenly, Last Summer (1958) • Sweet Bird of Youth (1959) • The Night of the Iguana (1961).
Jimmy Carter presented Tennessee Williams with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980.
Copyright 2009-2011, Robin G. Chalkley. All material on these pages, and the listing of items as Great American Things, is copyrighted. The exceptions are the photographs and videos, which remain the property of their respective owners.
Header photo used courtesy of Flickr photographer too melo.