Summer of 1962 in a sound car – the 3 + 1 Campaign

"Hugh Cleage and 3 plus 1 car"My uncle Hugh Cleage standing by the sound car he rigged up for the 1962 Congressional election in Detroit.  My Aunt Gladys, my sister and I spent hours in that car riding through our community. “Make your children proud.  Vote for Frederick Yates, a Negro in the 15th District…” One of us would ride in the car reciting as Gladys drove down the street while the other would leaflet the houses.  My sister and I were both in high school. I would turn 15 in August 1962.  My cousin Jan sometimes rode with us but she was too young to man the mic.

Below are 4 pages from 2 issues of the Illustrated News put out before the election. Click to enlarge.  Diggs was re-elected but none of our other candidates won.

3 plus 13 plus 1 1vol w no 32 illustrated news vol w no 32 illustrated news 6

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32 thoughts on “Summer of 1962 in a sound car – the 3 + 1 Campaign

  1. I remember riding in a sound car when i was little! I thought it was SOOOOO exciting! Not so much the door to door though!

  2. That must have been so exciting! I love the photo of your Uncle and enjoyed reading the pages from the Illustrated news. My dad loved cars, and for a while in the 70s, he owned and drove an old Buick. It was incredibly comfortable but completely impractical for English roads, especially as we lived on a farm miles from the nearest town. The weekly shopping trip used to take hours as we drove for a mile or so before reversing back to the nearest farm gate, starting off again and before too long we were reversing again. A Buick on a narrow, winding country road is not a great idea and although dad loved that car, he had to let it go. He talked about it long after he sold it and always referred to it as his America Automobile.

  3. Those were the days! Everything seemed possible and forward moving!

    Didn’t Diggs win in the 13th?

    keep it coming!

  4. This is a great piece of 1962 history! Thanks for the article and the photo. I have shared it on my Google+, Tumblr, and pages. I have a website dedicated to 1962 and expect to use this information whenever I write an article on elections.

  5. You did it again with a piece that is spot on. I wonder if anyone else will have a car with radio equipment on top to match the theme picture – I doubt it somehow.

  6. What a great collection of memmorabelia. You were obviously “politically active” even as a teen! So glad you kept these pics/clippings/posters and can share them with us here.

  7. The only time I’ve ever been near broadcasting trucks & equipment was several years ago when a woman & 2 teenage girls were murdered near Yosemite Nat’l Park. One of the girls was left on a wooded hillside by a lake close to where we lived. The family was coming to see the site where she had been discovered & TV trucks showed up to cover the event. Many in the surrounding communities showed up to express their sympathy (or out of curiosity, though I’d like to think most of us showed up for the former). As the family went down the path to see the spot, a minister said a few words to the rest of us & then we all just stood there quietly in the paved overview of the lake. After a few moments it began to feel just a bit uncomfortable with all of us just standing there waiting while the family was down the hill viewing the spot where their deceased loved one had last lain, so I started very softly singing “Amazing Grace” & as I’d hoped, one by one, others began singing it until everyone was singing. It became very emotional. People were sniffling & wiping their eyes. Some were crying outright. My own eyes were rather teary. I noticed out of the corner of my eye the family had come back up the hill & were standing there quietly listening. When the song was over, the minister said “Amen” & the crowd responded. And then strangers were hugging each other & offering love and sympathy to the family. It was an awesome thing to see & though the word “awesome” is often overused, it’s really the only word to describe what happened that afternoon. I’ll never forget it.

  8. Great post for this week’s broadcasting theme. I take it the other two men did not get elected?

  9. Another wonderful post. I think you should write a book!

    You continue to amaze me with your experiences and being part of history!

    Well Done.

  10. I think you win:) I’ve just read all the blogs from last to first and yours is the only broadcast car.

  11. Kristin,
    What a wonderful photo of your uncle and the sound car!! And such a great story. Wonderful to be a part of that campaign. Bravo.

  12. That picture of the sound car is awesome! Wow it must have been fun being the one on the mic. So much history you have lived and seen Kristin. Thank you so much for sharing as always. Oh and I just saw your Geneabloggers interview. Loved it!

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