No President Or Nominee Ever Spoke At A Convention. Then FDR Broke The RulesBreaking News
tags: elections, political history, presidential history, Franklin Roosevelt
On July 2, 1932, New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt did something no presidential nominee had ever done at a political convention.
He gave an acceptance speech.
At a time when the United States was in the grip of the Great Depression under Republican President Herbert Hoover, Roosevelt declared: “I pledge you, I pledge myself to a new deal for the American people.”
The speech shattered the custom of nominees giving acceptance speeches weeks after a convention upon receiving formal notification of their nomination.
Even more startling was that the 50-year-old Roosevelt traveled by airplane to Chicago for the Democratic convention inside Chicago Stadium. Flying was considered to be risky. “Yet here was a man nominated for the highest position” in the land, who “demonstrated his complete faith in the modern system of swift transportation,” one columnist wrote. (Roosevelt would later become the first president to fly overseas to visit American troops during World War II.)
This election year marks another startling departure from the customs of nominating conventions. With a large traditional gathering impossible because of the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump plans to speak every night of a mostly virtual Republican National Convention.
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