The new sign in front of the Granite Block Spa, across from Fall River's City Hall, proclaimed in neon lights: "Joe Martin, Our Next President." Hastily, the Joe Martin Day Committee advised the proprietor that this wasn't the right idea at all.

The idea was that Joe Martin Day would be a strictly nonpartisan affair, just a home-district celebration by Fall River's citizens to show homespun Speaker of the House Joe Martin "the pride and affection they feel in him by virtue of the high office he has attained." The plan had been conceived by William S. Canning, a movie-chain...

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