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Henry A. Wallace Interview: 33rd Vice President of the United States

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Published on May 20, 2012

http://thefilmarchive.org/

Henry Agard Wallace (October 7, 1888 -- November 18, 1965) was the 33rd Vice President of the United States (1941--1945), the Secretary of Agriculture (1933--1940), and the Secretary of Commerce (1945--1946). In the 1948 presidential election, Wallace was the nominee of the Progressive Party.

Henry A. Wallace, son of Henry Cantwell Wallace, was born on October 7, 1888, at a farm near Orient, Adair County, Iowa. Wallace attended Iowa State College at Ames where he was a brother in the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. At Iowa State he became friends with George Washington Carver, spending time together collecting botanical specimens. He graduated in 1910 with a degree in animal husbandry. He worked on the editorial staff of the family-owned paper Wallaces' Farmer in Des Moines, Iowa, from 1910 to 1924 and edited the publication from 1924 to 1929. He experimented with breeding high-yielding hybrid corn, and authored many publications on agriculture. In 1915 he devised the first corn-hog ratio charts indicating the probable course of markets. Wallace was also a self-taught "practicing statistician", co-authoring an influential article with George W. Snedecor on computational methods for correlations and regressions and publishing sophisticated statistical studies in the pages of Wallaces' Farmer. Snedecor eventually invited Wallace to teach a graduate course on least squares.

With an inheritance of a few thousand dollars that had been left to his wife, the former Ilo Browne, whom he married in 1914, Wallace founded the Hi-Bred Corn Company in 1926, which later became Pioneer Hi-Bred, a major agriculture corporation, acquired in 1999 by the Dupont Corporation for approximately $10 billion.

Wallace was raised as a Presbyterian, but left that denomination early in life. He spent most of his early life exploring other religious faiths and traditions. For many years, he had been closely associated with famous Russian artist and writer Nicholas Roerich. According to Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., "Wallace's search for inner light took him to strange prophets.... It was in this search that he encountered Nicholas Roerich, a Russian emigre, painter, theosophist. Wallace did Roerich a number of favors, including sending him on an expedition to Central Asia presumably to collect drought-resistant grasses. In due course, H.A. [Wallace] became disillusioned with Roerich and turned almost viciously against him." Wallace eventually settled on Episcopalianism.

Henry Wallace was also a Freemason and attained the 32nd Degree in the Scottish Rite.

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Wallace United States Secretary of Agriculture in his Cabinet, a post his father, Henry Cantwell Wallace, had occupied from 1921 to 1924. Wallace had been a liberal Republican, but he supported Roosevelt's New Deal and soon switched to the Democratic Party. Wallace served as Secretary of Agriculture until September 1940, when he resigned, having been nominated for Vice President as Roosevelt's running mate in the 1940 presidential election. During his tenure as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture he ordered a very unpopular strategy of slaughtering pigs and plowing up cotton fields in rural America to drive the price of these commodities back up in order to improve American farmers' financial situation. He also advocated the ever-normal granary concept.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_A....

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