Friday, April 7, 2017

Visiting Adlai Stevenson's Grave

My home in Decatur is located about 40 miles from three major central-Illinois cities, the capital Springfield to the west, the home of the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana to the east, and Bloomington-Normal to the north. Bloomington's favorite son is for Senator and presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson who grew up in the town and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery.

Stevenson twice was the Democratic Party nominee for president against Dwight Eisenhower and during President Kennedy's administration he served as the U.S. representative to the United Nations. He was there during the Cuban Missile Crisis and famously confronted the Soviet Union representative about missiles in Cuba at the United Nations and i
n front of Stevenson's grave a United Nations flag flies.

Stevenson is really Adlai Stevenson II and he is named after his Grandfather, Adlai Stevenson, who was also as major politician and was actually the Vice President during Grover Cleveland's second term as President. They are buried next to each other in the cemetery.

Adlai Stevenson I's grave. 

Probably the most famous moments of Stevenson's presidential campaigns was when he was photographed with a hole in the bottom of his shoe. Eisenhower capitalized on the moment as representing much more than a presidential candidate too busy to get his shoe repaired or buy a new pair. It is funny to think about the things that the American voter used to care about when choosing their president compared to our current way to doing things.

This is Adlai Stevenson II's rather simple and modest grave. He died suddenly of a heart attack in 1965 while still the United Nations representative at a conference in Switzerland.