Current Issue

July6, 2011

Vol. 111, No. 15

A bishop's visit

In response to: From The Archives

Published on July6, 2011

Re PAW’s request for memorable visits by presidential aspirants (From the Archives, March 23): One of the strangest appearances by a presidential candidate occurred in the fall of 1960. Sen. John F. Kennedy had appeared just before classes, but it was merely a drive-by on Mercer Street after visiting the governor at his Princeton residence. Kennedy was tanned and fit and sitting right up on the back of an open limousine, as was the custom in pre-assassination days.

In September, however, a small flier appeared scattered around Commons announcing the candidacy of Bishop Homer A. Tomlinson of the Theocratic Party. There were 12 points to his platform, including: 1. For Union of Church and State in Jesus, Prince of Peace; 3. For 10 percent Tithes — for Church and Nation, Instead of Taxes; and 8. To End the Use of Tobacco, Intoxicants, Narcotics, Gambling.

This platform fascinated our more creative students, and they arranged for a campus rally, bringing Bishop Tomlinson down from New York. Notices were posted, and he arrived to find hundreds of enthusiastic students assembled, some in white robes and carrying placards with such slogans as: “He who lives by the flesh shall die by the flesh — after 6 p.m.”

The bishop gamely suited up in his own white robe with a crown and inflated a globe of the earth, which he carried upon his shoulders. The procession went through Blair and Pyne courtyards, some students spreading palm fronds ahead of him, and the bishop paused for his campaign speech, acknowledging the humorous spirit of the event, but wishing to get his message out to the public. He took offense, however, when some began chanting “Sieg! Heil!”

Eric K. Olsen ’63
Sylvania, Ohio

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