Here in Callaway Park August 17, 1940, Willkie accepted Republican party presidential nomination after a nationwide grassroots campaign. An estimated crowd of 250,000 was in the park and along adjacent streets. Established campaign headquarters in Rushville. Lost election to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but received 22,304,755 votes.
Willkie was born in Elwood 1892. Earned bachelor and law degrees from Indiana University. Practiced law in Indiana, Ohio, and New York. President of Commonwealth and Southern Corporation, a New York utility holding company serving eleven states, 1933-1939. His book One World (1943) called for world peace. Died 1944; buried in Rushville.