Monday, October 9, 2017


1924 Democratic National Convention AKA KLANBAKE
The 1924 Democratic National Convention, also called the Klanbake,[1]held at the Madison Square Garden in New York City from June 24 to July 9, 1924, took a record 103 ballots to nominate a presidential candidate. It was the longest continuously running convention in United States political history. It was the first major party national convention that saw the name of a woman, Lena Springs, placed in nomination for the office of Vice President. John W. Davis, a dark horse, eventually won the presidential nomination as a compromise candidate following a protracted convention fight between front-runners William Gibbs McAdoo and Al Smith.
The notoriety of the "Klanbake" convention and the violence it produced cast a lasting shadow over the Democratic Party's prospects in the 1924 election and contributed to their defeat by incumbent Republican President Calvin Coolidge. Davis and his vice presidential running-mate, Charles W. Bryan of Nebraska, went on to be defeated by the Republican ticket of President Calvin Coolidge and Charles G. Dawes
The selection of New York as the site for the 1924 convention was based in part on the recent success of the party in that state. Two years earlier, in 1922, thirteen Republican congressmen had lost their seats to Democrats. New York had not been chosen for a convention since 1868. Wealthy New Yorkers, who had outbid other cities, declared their purpose "to convince the rest of the country that the town was not the red-light menace generally conceived by the sticks". Though dry organizations opposed the choice of New York, it won McAdoo's grudging consent in the fall of 1923, before the oil scandals made Smith a serious threat to him. (McAdoo's candidacy was hurt by the revelation that he had accepted money from Edward L. Doheny, an oil tycoon implicated in the Teapot Dome scandal.) McAdoo's own adopted state, California, had played host to the Democrats in 1920.[2]
Ku Klux Klan
 The Ku Klux Klan was resurrected after the 1915 release of D.W. Griffith's very popular motion picture The Birth of a Nation. After World War I, the popularity of the Klan surged due to connections of its public relations leadership to those who had promoted the successful Prohibition Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,[4] becoming a political power throughout many regions of the United States, not just in the South. Its local political strength throughout the country gave it a major role in the 1924 Democratic Party National Convention (DNC). The 20th Century Ku Klux Klan was notoriously anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic, in addition to being anti-black. The Klan advocates opposed those supporting Catholics from the major cities of the Northeast and Midwest. The tension between pro- and anti-Klan delegates produced an intense and sometimes violent showdown between convention attendees from the states of Colorado and Missouri.[citation needed] Klan delegates opposed the nomination of New York Governor Al Smith because Smith was a Roman Catholic. Smith campaigned against William Gibbs McAdoo, who had the support of most Klan delegates.
KKK platform plank
The second dispute of the convention revolved around an attempt by non-Klan delegates, led by Sen. Oscar Underwood of Alabama, to condemn the organization for its violence in the Democratic Party's platform. Klan delegates defeated the platform plank in a series of floor debates. The final vote on condemning the Klan was 542.85 in favor, 546.15 against, so the plank was not included in the platform.[1] To celebrate, tens of thousands of hooded Klansmen rallied in a field in New Jersey, across the river from New York City.[5] This event, known subsequently as the "Klanbake",[1] was also attended by hundreds of Klan delegates to the convention, who burned crosses, urged violence and intimidation against African-Americans and Catholics, and attacked effigies of Smith.[citation needed]

Smith's name was placed into nomination by Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his first appearance at the Democratic National Convention since his paralytic illness. This signaled a political comeback for Roosevelt; he would be elected Governor of New York four years later and President eight years later.