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1943: Vice-President Henry Wallace’s Victory Garden

Rare film outtakes. Various scenes Wallace working around corn and tomatoes. Link to film here.

Henry A. Wallace was editor of Wallaces’ Farmer and Iowa Homestead until he was selected as Secretary of Agriculture by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933.

33rd Vice President of the United States under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, In office January 20, 1941 – January 20, 1945

Excerpts from The Wallace Centers of Iowa, sustainable food & civility initiatives and Henry A. Wallace – An Authentic American Dreamer

At the turn of the 20th century, corn shows were at the height of popularity, and judging criteria stressed physical uniformity of ear and kernel type. In 1903, Henry A. participated in a corn judging short course, and when he questioned the value of the “beauty contest” in predicting the yield, the instructor encouraged him to plant each of the 40 ears on an ear-to-row basis the next season and compare yields.

Wallace grew his first experimental plot while still a high school student and found that the ear which had placed first in the show yielded among the poorest. He chose some of the best-yielding seed and sold 10 bushels for $10 per bushel. This was the start of his life-long involvement with the improvement of corn through genetic selection.

In response to his forced resignation as President Truman’s Secretary of Commerce (for opposing a cold war with Russia), Wallace broadcast a statement on Sept. 20, 1946:

“Winning the peace is more important than high public office. It is more important than any consideration of party politics. The success or failure of our foreign policy will mean the difference between life and death for our children and our grandchildren. It will mean the difference between the life and death of our civilization. It may mean the difference between the existence and the extinction of Man and of the world. It is therefore of supreme importance, and we should every one of us regard it as a holy duty to join the fight for winning the peace.”
Wallace received heartfelt thanks from many for his efforts toward world peace.

Albert Einstein wrote Wallace on Sept. 18, 1946:
“Your courageous intervention deserves the gratitude of all of us who observe the present attitude of our government with grave concern.”

Helen Keller wrote Wallace on Oct. 11, 1946:
“Rejoicing I watch you faring forth on a renewed pilgrimage looking not downward to ignoble acquiescence or around at fugitive expediency, but upward to mind-quickening statecraft and a life-saving peace for all lands.”

The Wallace Centers of Iowa

Henry A. Wallace – An Authentic American Dreamer