Truman-Dewey Redux in November?

Are there parallels between this year’s presidential election and the Harry Truman-Thomas Dewey slugfest of 1948? That’s the theme of a featured speech at the Democrats’ Truman Day dinner next week at the Foundry.

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero will host the event, an annual combination fund-raiser and pep rally. State Democratic Party Chair Chip Forrester and Knox County Chair Gloria Johnson will speak; Johnson is also a candidate for the state House from the 13th District.

Lynn Sacco, an American history professor at the University of Tennessee, will examine the parallels between Barack Obama and a beleaguered Truman, running against a “do nothing” Congress and overcoming a challenge by Dewey, who was predicted to win. Truman advocated universal health care and desegregated the military. Sacco observes that Obama, battling with Mitt Romney, passed major health-care legislation and eliminated the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy that banned openly gay people from serving in the military.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with dinner at 7:15 and Sacco’s program at 8 on Friday, Aug. 10. Tickets are $60.

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