Not even during the Reagan era would the Republican Party enjoy the dominance it had in the 1920s. The presidential election of 1924 occurred at a low point for the Democrats, but from which they would recover during the Great Depression.
The Republican National Convention took place in Cleveland that June. Calvin Coolidge, who had succeeded to the presidency when Warren Harding died, proved to be a capable administrator and was very popular. Delegates nominated the former Massachusetts Governor on the first ballot.
For second place on the ticket, President Coolidge’s choice, Idaho Senator William Borah, declined to be considered. The convention then nominated Illinois Governor Frank Lowden, but he also refused. So, the nod went to Charles Dawes. The technocratic Dawes has been Comptroller of the Currency, WWI general and Budget Director.
1924 Republican National Convention Assistant Sergeant At Arms Badge
The Democratic National Convention was gaveled to order later that month in New York City. Top contenders for the presidential nomination were New York Governor Al Smith versus Woodrow Wilson’s Treasury Secretary and son-in-law William McAdoo. With the convention soon deadlocked, delegates cast an astounding 103 ballots before a compromise candidate emerged victorious. John Davis had been a West Virginia congressman, Solicitor General and ambassador to Britain.
1924 Democratic National Convention Ticket
Reaching out to their party’s left wing, delegates nominated for vice president the younger brother of three-time presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan. Charles Bryan was Governor of Nebraska.
Wisconsin Senator Robert La Follette mounted a third-party campaign for the presidency.
The economy booming, most people opted to ‘Keep Cool With Coolidge’. The incumbent won 54% of the vote, with 29% for Davis 29 and 17% for La Follette. Electoral College results were Republican – 382, Democrat – 136, Progressive – 13.
Reaching out to midwestern states, Republicans decided to hold their 1892 national convention in Minneapolis. Hosting thousands of delegates and spectators would be the city’s Industrial Exposition Building. The convention began on June 7th and lasted four days.
There was little doubt about re-nominating President Benjamin Harrison, a former Indiana Senator and Civil War general. Though the GOP had suffered big losses in the 1890 midterms, no viable contender emerged to challenge the lackluster incumbent. He won on the first ballot. For a running mate, delegates replaced Vice President Levi Morton with another New Yorker, Whitelaw Reid, newspaper editor and former Ambassador to France.
1892 Republican National Convention Ticket
It is noteworthy that the convention permanent chairman was William McKinley, who four years later would be elected President. The 1892 Republican National Convention was the first for either major party with women delegates. Among the attendees were Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony.
Harrison/Reid lost the November election to former President Grover Cleveland and running mate Adlai Stevenson. The popular vote was 46% to 43% to 11% for other candidates, and 277 electoral votes to 145 to 22 for another candidate.
The 2016 Democratic National Convention is returning to the same site of its 1936 event. July 25-28, 2016, will see the DNC commence in Philadelphia.
Though this year’s convention seems fairly straightforward, the 1936 convention was home to a bit more controversy. Held at Convention Hall from June 23-27, the DNC instituted a new voting rule for the first time. Previously, a presidential nominee needed to win two-thirds of the vote to clinch the nomination. Due to the South’s overwhelming representation, they could easily veto any nominee they didn’t favor.
1936 Democratic National Convention Ticket
However, in 1936, the rule was changed to reflect a majority. Now, as long as a candidate had the majority vote, he’d land the nomination without question or opposition. Current President Franklin D. Roosevelt had pushed for the removal of the rule and succeeded. The change in policy was an attempt to unity the party, but it would take decades before true unity took place.
Removing the two-thirds rule proved to work in FDR’s favor. He won 100% of the convention’s voice vote. Existing Vice President John Nance Garner also easily took the convention’s VP nomination.
In his acceptance speech, FDR revisited the most important points of the New Deal. The New Deal was his economic stimulus program put in place to combat the effects of the Great Depression. The New Deal policies began in 1933. FDR used his speech to rally support for the New Deal from all sides. He also vowed to fight against economic inequality. His 1936 acceptance speech continues to be a well-studied piece of literature.
Similar to 1936, the current year’s DNC has similar themes with both presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton and rival Bernie Sanders speaking openly about economic policy and equality. Additionally, both are currently in the process of working together for party unity. Though it doesn’t look like any voting rules will be changed, Sanders has singled out DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schulz for corrupt nomination practices. Both issues strike similar chords as the 1936 convention.
Aside from the continuing reign of FDR, the convention also gave birth to one of his oft-quoted lines: “I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people”. Unlike Republican nominee Alf Landon, Roosevelt had made a name for himself by showing up in person to accept his nominations. In 1932, he’d flown to Chicago to accept, and in the process, had made United States history.
The practice seemed to work in his favor. He received the Democratic nomination twice more in 1940 and 1944. He was the first president to secure a third and fourth term.
The 1936 DNC served as the grounds for history to be made. It was a year of firsts in both policy and achievement. 2016 offers an interesting parallel in its potential to achieve history. By nominating the first female Democratic nominee, this year’s convention could follow in its predecessor’s footsteps and write its own chapter in history.
The presidential election of 1896 is remembered as the Great Realignment. As voters moved past contentious issues dating back to the Civil War, millions changed their political preferences. The economy was in severe recession. Farmers suffered from low prices, while urban workers faced new challenges in overcrowded cities.
The Republican National Convention met in St. Louis that June, and the GOP nominated William McKinley. A heroic Union Army veteran, he had served in the regiment commanded by Rutherford Hayes. The seven-term congressman recently completed a term as Governor of Ohio. He stood for sound money and high tariffs. For the vice presidency, the convention nominated Garret Hobart, former New Jersey state legislator and Republican National Committeeman.
1896 Republican National Convention Ticket
Leading up to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago a month later, frontrunner was Richard Bland, a former Missouri congressman. That was until former Nebraska congressman William Jennings Bryan addressed the delegates. Just thirty-six years old, the attorney and gifted orator won them over with his famous Cross of Gold speech. He argued that the working man was being crucified by the gold standard. Boosting the money supply with silver coinage, he argued, would reverse price declines and restore prosperity. In an effort to balance the ticket, for the vice presidency delegates nominated Arthur Sewall, industrialist and Democratic National Committeeman for Maine. While the Populist Party also nominated Bryan, they nominated former Georgia congressman Thomas Watson for vice president.
1896 William Jennings Bryan Speech Ticket
The energetic Bryan broke precedent by campaigning extensively for himself, delivering hundreds of speeches around the country. Though his Democratic Party held the White House, he cast himself as anti-establishment, which in a sense he was. McKinley responded with a front porch campaign — speaking to Republican groups which came to see him.
William McKinley defeated Williams Jennings Bryan, by 51% to 47% in the popular vote and 271 to 176 in the Electoral College.
We are now just under 100 days to the Republican National Convention taking place in Cleveland, Ohio. This year’s RNC is scheduled from Sunday, July 17, to Thursday, July 21, 2016. Convention sessions will be on the 17th to the 21st with a “Welcome Event” occurring on Sunday evening (July 17). In modern times there have typically been two sessions on Monday and one session on the evenings of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday the Vice Presidential nominee usually speaks and accepts the nomination for VP. The grand finale is Thursday evening when the Presidential nominee closes out the Convention with an acceptance speech. Will the nominee be Trump? Cruz? Somebody else? The complicated nature of this election cycle could make for an extremely exciting RNC with tons of new and creative political items.
2016 Donald Trump for President 3.5″ Button
The 2016 RNC will be a treasure trove of political memorabilia. We will attend the Republican National Convention and will likely be on hand at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia as well (July 25 – 28). Follow us for updates on Twitter @HistoryTickets where we will highlight some of our better finds. Please let us know if you are interested in anything particular. In addition to this website, you are able to link directly to our eBay store at the following link www.WheatCents.com where we will update each day of the conventions. It’s a fun year to collect political memorabilia!