Girish Mahajan

1924 Republican National Convention

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Date(s)  June 10–12, 1924
Venue  Public Auditorium
City  Cleveland, Ohio
1924 Republican National Convention
Presidential nominee  Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts
Vice Presidential nominee  Charles G. Dawes of Illinois

The 1924 National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States was held in Cleveland, Ohio, at the Public Auditorium from June 10 to June 12. For this convention the method of allocating delegates changed in order to reduce the overrepresentation of the South. This effort proved only partly successful as Southern delegates would actually be more overrepresented than they had been in 1916 or 1920; however, they were not as overrepresented as they had been before 1912.

Contents

It also made history by being the first GOP convention to give women equal representation. The Republican National Committee approved a rule providing for a national committee-man and a national committee-woman from each state. More controversy ensued over whether to condemn the Ku Klux Klan with the result ultimately being to say nothing either way.

President Calvin Coolidge was formally nominated for a full term and went on to win the general election. The convention nominated Illinois Governor Frank Lowden for Vice President on the second ballot, but he declined the nomination. The convention then selected Charles G. Dawes. Also considered for the nomination was Senator Charles Curtis of Kansas, a future Vice President.

Republican candidates

Coolidge faced a challenge from California Senator Hiram Johnson and Wisconsin Senator Robert La Follette in the 1924 Republican primaries. Coolidge fended off his progressive challengers with convincing wins in the Republican primaries, and was assured of the 1924 nomination by the time the convention began. After his defeat in the primaries, La Follette ran a third party candidacy that attracted significant support.

Vice presidential nomination

Former Vice President Coolidge had ascended to the presidency after the death of Warren G. Harding in 1923. As the 25th Amendment had not yet been passed, Coolidge served the remainder of Harding's term without a vice president. The 1924 Republican Convention was thus tasked with picking a running mate for Coolidge.

With Coolidge having locked up re-nomination, most attention was focused on the vice presidential nomination. Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover of California and appellate judge William Kenyon of Iowa were seen as the front-runners for the nomination, as both were popular Western progressives who could provide balance to a ticket led by a conservative from Massachusetts. Coolidge's first choice was reported to be Idaho Senator William E. Borah, also a progressive Westerner, but Borah declined to be considered for the ticket. Illinois Governor Frank O. Lowden, University of Michigan president Marion Leroy Burton, Ambassador Charles B. Warren of Michigan, Washington Senator Wesley Livsey Jones, John Coulter of North Dakota, General James Harbord, and General Charles Dawes also had support as potential running mates. Despite saying that he would not accept the nomination, Lowden was nominated for Vice President on the second ballot over Dawes, Kenyon, and Ohio Congressman Theodore E. Burton. However, Lowden declined the nomination, an action, that as of 2017, has never been repeated, and in the early 21st century is considered unthinkable. The Republicans thus held a new vice presidential ballot, with Coolidge favoring Hoover. However, the Republicans picked Dawes, partly as a reaction to the perceived dominance of Coolidge in running the convention.

Prayers

Each of the three days of the convention opened with a lengthy invocation by a different clergymen—one Methodist, one Jewish, one Catholic. Each was listed among the convention officers as an official chaplain.

On June 10, the opening prayer was given by William F. Anderson, Methodist Episcopal bishop of Boston. Among other things, he called for "stricter observance of the law and the preservation of the Constitution of the United States", in other words, for more zealous enforcement of Prohibition.

The next day's session was opened by Rev. Dr. Samuel Schulman, rabbi of Temple Beth-El in New York. Schulman spoke with appreciation for "the Republican Party's precious heritage of the championship of human rights"; he called for "every form of prejudice and misunderstanding" to be "driven forever out of our land". Speaking of Calvin Coolidge, he praised "the integrity, the wisdom, the fearlessness of our beloved President".

On June 12, the final day's invocation was given by Roman Catholic Bishop Joseph Schrembs of Cleveland. Schrembs characterized President Calvin Coolidge as "a chieftain whose record of faithful public service, and whose personality, untarnished and untainted by the pollution of political corruption, will fill the heart of America with the new hope of a second spring".

References

1924 Republican National Convention Wikipedia


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