(5 of 7)
"Man of God." Part II of the Share-the-Wealth movement is in the rest of the U. S. Until recently Senator Long gave it little more attention than to have circulars mailed out to enthusiasts who sent him letters. Such organization as Part II has had has been provided by the Rev. Gerald L. K. Smith. Nearly a year ago he left the First Christian Church of Shreveport to join Senator Long. A young, vigorous pulpit-pounder, he organized Share-the-Wealth Clubs far & wide on a revivalist basis. Sample of his exhortations: "They said I was run out of St. Francisville. That was a lie. I've never been run out of any town. . . . The only thing about me that will run is my nose. . . . God says the wealth of the land shall be distributed every 50 years. Has it been distributed? . . . God says there shall be forgiveness of all debts every seven years. Have we been forgiven our debts? . . . How many of you have three suits of clothes? . . . How many have four good suits of underwear? . . . Never has a man gone to the Senate from Louisiana who has uttered the oratorical and rhetorical gems uttered by Senator Huey P. Long. . . . I've slept with him, eaten with him, talked with him, prayed with him and I know he is a man of God. All we need is 20,000,000 ballots." Lots of Share-the-Wealth clubs, however, have never heard Mr. Smith. Anybody who writes to Senator Long receives free literature urging him to form a Share-the-Wealth Society and "Be sure to send in the coupon off the circular with the names of your officers." There are no dues, no charges of any kind against members unless they want to send Mr. Christenberry $2 for 1,000 buttons. So anybody can become the president of such a club.
Bomber. One who did was Eugene S. Daniell Jr., once a candidate for President of the U. S. on the National Independent Party (his own) ticket. He made more of a splash in August 1933 when he threw two tear gas bombs into the ventilating system of the New York Stock Exchange. Like some 200 others in and around New York City, he made himself head of a Share-the-Wealth Club, began preaching on Wall Street opposite the office of J. P. Morgan & Co., got about 150 followers who now meet with him Friday nights in Brooklyn.
Of such stuff is the Share-the-Wealth movement. Secretary Christenberry carries a black notebook in his vestpocket in which he keeps tally. He says there are 27,431 clubs in the U. S. with 4,684,060 members. Even he probably does not know within a million or two how much truth there is in that figure.
1936 Ticket. Fortnight ago Senator Long told a newshawk in Washington: "There positively will be a Share-the-Wealth ticket in the field in the 1936 campaign. No doubt about that. That ticket will be headed by a man who won't go back on his word. He will be a man who is honorable enough to commit suicide if we win and he doesn't make good on his promises."
"Senator, are you honorable enough to commit suicide under such circumstances?"
Huey Long roared with laughter: "You may say, that my modesty prohibits me from answering that question."