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The 2012 Election Special cover of TIMEJason Reed—Reuters
The 2012 Election Special cover of TIME
Jason Reed—Reuters
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See Winning Presidents on the Cover of TIME Dating Back to 1952

Nov 08, 2016

Though TIME published its first issue in 1923, several presidential elections passed before the first special presidential election issue trumpeted the victor on the cover. By that point, Franklin Delano Roosevelt had been elected four times, serving from 1933 up until his death in 1945, and his successor Harry S. Truman—inaugurated April 12, 1945, following FDR's death—had eked out a famous upset against New York's Republican Governor Thomas E. Dewey in 1948.

In 1952, the Republican Party won back control of the White House in a landslide victory when Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower and running mate Richard Nixon defeated Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson and his running-mate John Sparkman. TIME underscored the enormity of the people's choice by quoting the Declaration of Independence on the cover: "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." Framing the results as a "ballot-box revolution," the magazine went on to argue that "T he U . S . is more genuinely united behind the President -elect than it has been for many years. Few Presidents in U . S . history have had so clear a mandate from so many divergent groups. It is, in fact, a mandate for a fresh start in the U . S .'s dealings with the world and with itself."

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The world will find out on Tuesday night whether the next such winner is elected by a similar mandate. In the meantime, here are the words and images with which TIME has announced the presidential victories of decades past.

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