The Governor in Action
January 9, 1933, was a fine day in Topeka--fair, mild, and sunny. As the governor-elect's automobile arrived at the city auditorium, one small artillery piece--a symbol of economy--fired a seventeen-gun salute. The auditorium, filled with people, was aglow with the bright lights of movie and still photographers as the venerable chief justice of the Kansas supreme court, William A. Johnston, administered the oath of office to Landon. The new governor then turned to the audience to speak.
"Time and again during seventy-two years of statehood Kansas and her citizens faced severe difficulties and conquered them," but common sense, perseverance, courage, and cooperation had extricated the state from its previous troubles, and those values could serve the people well again. During the boom years, he declared, the country had led itself astray, thinking that its extravagant ways had developed new economic laws. Now, "the pathway from the swamp of despair must be built with planks of economy devoted to the principle that we must not spend that which we do not have."
At this point the auditorium lights went out, and a wave of chuckles rolled through the crowd, launched by thoughts of the connection between the governor's comment and this unintentional conservation of electricity. In the dim light coming in through the auditorium's few windows, the governor was seen to smile and wave his hands in grati-