America was in a frenzy by election day. In a blistering speech, a former Republican president warned that the nation teetered on a precipice with a bleak future ahead if the Democrat prevailed. The Democrat spoke confidently of continued prosperity, promising to keep the country out of a barbaric war that had turned a distant continent into an abattoir. Turmoil in Mexico sent residents scrambling over the border. Headlines in West Virginia reported ballot stuffing. The outlook was too close to call, but favored the Republican, who voted in his home city of New York.