A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 23, 2015
Happy Warrior

English Romantic poet William Wordsworth (1770-1850) wrote “Character of the Happy Warrior” in 1806, after the death of Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson (1758-1805). Many people in the military and in politics have taken the “happy warrior” moniker of Wordworth’s poem.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) nominated New York Governor Alfred E. Smith (1873-1944) for president at the Democratic National Convention in New York City’s Madison Square Garden on June 26, 1924. “He is the happy warrior of the political battlefield,” Roosevelt said of Smith. The nickname stuck, although it would be Roosevelt, not Smith, who would reach the presidency. The Happy Warrior Playground, at West 97th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan, was named to honor Al Smith.

A letter to the New York (NY) Times in 1994 claimed that Roosevelt got the “Happy Warrior” language from Judge Joseph M. Proskauer. who managed Smith’s gubernatorial campaigns in 1920 and 1922.

Democrat politician Hubert Humphrey (1911-1978) was called the “Happy Warrior” when he was nominated for vice president in 1964 and ran for president in 1968. The “Happy Warrior” term is still used in politics, often stated as “Happy Progressive Warrior” or “Happy Conservative Warrior.”


NYC Parks
Happy Warrior Playground
W. 97 St. and Amsterdam Ave.
Manhattan
Located at West 98th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, this playground and the adjoining school honor four-term New York Governor Alfred Emanuel Smith (1873-1944). The son of Irish immigrants, Smith dropped out of school to help support his family. His lack of formal education, however, did not hinder Smith from becoming a distinguished New York political leader. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) nicknamed him “The Happy Warrior,” referring to William Wordsworth’s poem Character of the Happy Warrior (1807), which celebrates diligence and perseverance.

Wikipedia: Character of the Happy Warrior
“Character of the Happy Warrior” is a poem by the English Romantic poet William Wordsworth. Composed in 1806, after the death of Lord Nelson, hero of the Napoleonic Wars, and first published in 1807, the poem purports to describe the ideal “man in arms,” and has, through ages since, been the source of much metaphor in political and military life.

Summary
Wordsworth begins by asking us “Who is the happy Warrior? Who is he What every man in arms should wish to be?” He then proceeds to answer his own query:

The Happy Warrior is a generous spirit, who, amidst, or, in spite of, the tasks of real life, hath done what pleased his innocent, “childish thought.” His noble ideas and deeds are “an inward light” (not unlike the Quaker belief in an inner light) that, despite their inwardness, make the path before the warrior “always bright.” The Happy Warrior is a diligent student, eager to amass whatever knowledge comes his way; furthermore, and as a result, his principal concern must be his own moral being. All fearsome challenges he transmutes, subduing what negative qualities they may have, and learning from what good they have to offer. The warrior is “skilful in self-knowledge” (like the philosophers of ancient Greece, living by the famous injunction to “know one’s self") and understands that the true purpose of “suffering and distress” is to grow in compassion and “tenderness.”

Wikipedia: Al Smith
Alfred Emanuel “Al” Smith (December 30, 1873 – October 4, 1944) was an American statesman who was elected Governor of New York four times and was the Democratic U.S. presidential candidate in 1928. He was the foremost urban leader of the efficiency-oriented Progressive Movement and was noted for achieving a wide range of reforms as governor in the 1920s. He was also linked to the notorious Tammany Hall machine that controlled New York City’s politics; was a strong opponent of Prohibition and was the first Catholic nominee for President. His candidacy mobilized Catholic votes—especially women who previously had not voted. It also mobilized the anti-Catholic vote, which was strongest in the South.

As a committed “wet” (anti-Prohibition) candidate, Smith attracted not only drinkers but also voters angered by the corruption and lawlessness brought about by prohibition. However, he was feared among Protestants, including German Lutherans and Southern Baptists, who believed that the Catholic Church and the Pope would dictate his policies. Most importantly, this was a time of national prosperity under a Republican Presidency, and Smith lost in a landslide to Republican Herbert Hoover. Four years later Smith sought the 1932 nomination but was defeated by his former ally and successor as New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt. Smith entered business in New York City and became an increasingly vocal opponent of Roosevelt’s New Deal.
(...)
At the 1924 Democratic National Convention, Smith unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for president, advancing the cause of civil liberty by decrying lynching and racial violence. Roosevelt made the nominating speech in which he saluted Smith as “the Happy Warrior of the political battlefield.” Smith represented the urban, east coast wing of the party as an anti-prohibition “wet” candidate while his main rival for the nomination, California Senator William Gibbs McAdoo, stood for the more rural tradition and prohibition “dry” candidacy. The party was hopelessly split between the two and an increasingly chaotic convention balloted 100 times before both accepted they would not be able to win the two-thirds majority required to win and so withdrew. The exhausted party then nominated the little-known John W. Davis of West Virginia. Davis went on to lose the election by a landslide to the Republican Calvin Coolidge. Undeterred, Smith fought a determined campaign for the party’s nomination in 1928.

OCLC WorldCat record
The happy warrior. A sermon on the death of Mr. Gladstone, May 22nd, 1898.
Author: Peter Taylor Forsyth
Publisher: London, [1898]
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
The Life of Gal Sir Harry N.D. Prendergast, R.E., V.C., G.C.B. (the happy warrior), by Cel Henri M. Vibart,...
Author: Henry Meredith Vibart, Cel.
Publisher: London : E. Nash, 1914.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
The happy warrior : daily thoughts for all who are serving their country (whether on land, sea, or in air)
Author: E M Gell; Imperial War Museum (Great Britain); Adam Matthew Digital (Firm)
Publisher: London : A.R. Mowbray & Co., [1917]
Series: First World War (Marlborough, England)
Edition/Format: eBook : Document : English : Rev. for 1917

OCLC WorldCat record
A happy warrior; letters of William Muir Russel, an American aviator in the great war, 1917-1918 ... a family memorial.
Author: William Muir Russel
Publisher: Detroit, Mich., Printed by Saturday night Press, Inc., 1919.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Roosevelt, the happy warrior,
Author: Bradley Gilman
Publisher: Boston, Little, Brown, and Co., 1921.
Edition/Format: Print book : Biography : English
Subjects
Roosevelt, Theodore,—1858-1919.

OCLC WorldCat record
Woodrow Wilson : the happy warrior
Author: Edwin Mims
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], [1924]
Edition/Format: Print book : Biography : English

27 June 1924, Boston (MA) Herald, pg. 12, cols. 1-2:
Minute by Minute Story of Deafening Din for Al Smith
Roosevelt Address Considered Best of Convention—Walsh Unable to Obtain Order and Chides Gallery

By THOMAS CARENS
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, New York, June 26—The unofficial minutes of the third session of the Democratic national convention are as follows:
(...)
12:29—“He is the happy warrior of the political battlefield.” “You bet he is,” screamed a woman in section B.
12:34—Roosevelt, with both arms upraised and voice, filled with passion, reaches climax—“our own Alfred E. Smith,” and a screech that can be heard in Brooklyn goes up.

14 April 1928, Council Bluffs (IA) Nonpareil, pg. 3, col. 4:
“Al" Smith, “Happy Warrior,”
Offered for Presidency Again

(By The Associated Press.)
NEW YORK—Alfred E, Smith—happy warrior. The characterization, coined by Franklin D. Roosevelt in nominating the New York governor for president at the democratic national convention in 1924, is declared by friends to epitomize the career of the executive, again a candidate for the highest nomination of his party.

OCLC WorldCat record
The happy warrior, Alfred E. Smith : a study of a public servant
Author: Franklin D Roosevelt; William D Hassett; Franklin D. Roosevelt Collection (Library of Congress)
Publisher: Boston ; New York : Houghton Mifflin Company, 1928
Edition/Format: Print book : Biography : English

OCLC WorldCat record
[Al Smith, the “Happy Warrior,” interviewed by reporters on his return from his first trip to Europe]
Author: Alfred Emanuel Smith; WOR (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Publisher: [1937]
Edition/Format: Audiobook : Sound recording Computer File : English
Database: WorldCat
Summary:
Al Smith, the “Happy Warrior,” interviewed by reporters on his return from his first trip to Europe.

28 August 1964, The Evening Star (Washington, DC), “Humphrey’s Romance With Life” by Doris Fleeson, pg. A-13, col. 1:
ATLANTIC CITY—For 53 years Hubert Humphrey has had an ardent romance with life and it has now handed him the love letter he craved. He has a vice-presidential nomination which can conceivably be parlayed into the presidency.

Inevitably he will be branded the happy warrior, with fond overtones of Al Smith who too came up from poverty and adversity though of a very different sort.

OCLC WorldCat record
Humphrey: “The Happy Warrior” Continues His Grim Battle
Author: Bryce Nelson
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: Science, v162 n3849 (19681004): 100-104
Database: JSTOR Health & General Sciences Collection
Other Databases: MEDLINE

OCLC WorldCat record
A conversation with Senator Hubert H. Humphrey. The Happy Warrior talks with Bill Moyers.
Author: Bill D Moyers; Hubert H Humphrey
Publisher: Center for Cassette Studies [1976]
Edition/Format: Audiobook on Cassette : Cassette recording : English
Database: WorldCat
Summary:
A candid discussion of Sen. Humphrey’s political career, his illness, and his future.

OCLC WorldCat record
Hubert H. Humphrey : the happy warrior
Author: Ellen Erlanger
Publisher: Minneapolis : Lerner Publications Co., ©1979.
Series: Achievers.
Edition/Format: Print book : Biography : Juvenile audience : English

New York (NY) Times
Don’t Credit F.D.R. With ‘Happy Warrior’
Published: December 22, 1994
To the Editor:
William Safire implies in “ ‘And Enjoy This’ “ (column, Dec. 15) that Franklin D. Roosevelt chose “the happy warrior” sobriquet for Al Smith when nominating Smith for President at the 1924 Democratic National Convention.

The choice was made by Judge Joseph M. Proskauer. Proskauer managed Smith’s gubernatorial campaigns in 1920 and 1922, before Governor Smith appointed him to the New York State Supreme Court in 1923. Smith relied on Proskauer to insert “some highbrow college stuff” in his speeches. Hence “the happy warrior” from Wordsworth.

Roosevelt was reluctant to use it in his speech, fearing it too literary for politicians. He left it in at Proskauer’s insistence. Smith went on to battle a record number of 103 ballots before losing the 1924 Democratic nomination to a compromise candidate, John W. Davis. Davis in turn was trounced by Calvin Coolidge in November.
JOHN KAROL Orford, N.H., Dec. 19, 1994

The Weekly Standard
The ‘Consummate Happy Warrior’
Arizona’s freshman governor goes from success to success.

DEC 14, 2015 | By FRED BARNES
Doug Ducey’s path to the governor’s office in Arizona was unforeseen and unlikely.

RushLimbaugh.com
Ted Cruz: Happy Conservative Warrior
December 16, 2015
RUSH: Last night in this debate… You know, I thought Ted Cruz was outstanding last night.  Ted Cruz speaks like a traditional powerful, well-versed proud—unabashedly proud—conservative.  He is an articulate representative of conservatism and the conservative movement, and he is a happy warrior.  He loves doing what he’s doing.  He loves mixing it up.  He loves getting in there.  And he is relishing this opportunity to put on display what he believes and what millions of the rest of us believe.

National Journal
From Reluctant Recruit to Happy Warrior
“I think people are relieved,” Paul Ryan says of his speakership so far, projecting confidence about his 2016 agenda.

Daniel Newhauser @DNEWHAUSER
December 18, 2015
Christ­mas is com­ing, and House Speak­er Paul Ry­an is in a merry mood.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Wednesday, December 23, 2015 • Permalink