RichTAkes! On a Klanbake
The 1924 Democratic National Convention was held at New York’s Madison Square Garden, which was not air-conditioned. They convened on June 24, and did not come up with a nominee until July 9, after 103 ballots. A summer heat wave also happened.
Over 60 names were eventually placed in nomination, the DNC rules demanded a 2/3 majority vote to win nomination. A resolution in the platform to condemn the KKK failed to pass by one vote. There were at least 300 Klansman delegates, maybe more, who all supported the Prohibition and McAdoo from California. The other major nominee was Al Smith from New York. He was in favor to repeal Prohibition, and was also a Catholic.
The Klan was a huge movement at the turn of the 20th century. They saw themselves as defenders of Christianity, suppressing blacks and other inferior peoples, like Jews and Catholics. Nearly all were Democrats, and many local elected politicians, as well as some national politicians were members wearing a white hood at night. The Klan was the terrorist arm of the Democratic Party in effect. Not all Democrats, mind you, but large enough to wield huge power in the 20s and 30s.
The Klan held a Patriot party for NY, NJ, and PA on July 4, where they burned effigies of Al Smith, and had a baseball toss carnival type thing. 20,000 were in attendance. At the time, the Klan was not confined to the deep south. They were, however, confined to Democrats.
By the third day the Washington Post was reporting “Delegates in Fist Fights on Floor Over Klan.”
Al Smith and his anti-prohibition forces had the whiskey flowing, while McAdoo and his pro-prohibition delegates piously called for divine retribution against the “big city wets.” (~McAdoo was the Klan supported nominee. The Klan did not hold a high opinion of Catholics, either)
“The deadlock that developed might as well have between the Pope and the Imperial Wizard of the KKK, so solidly did the Catholic delegates support Smith and the Klan delegates support McAdoo.” Some reporters claimed even the prohibition forces were drunk by this point.
The image featured at the link is said to be from a 1924 Klan march in support of a fallen police officer in Madison WI, killed by two Italians selling liquor during Prohibition. (~hmm, Catholics who liked to drink)
On Independence Day, the 10th day of the convention, 20,000 Klansmen amassed across the Hudson River in New Jersey to burn crosses and punish effigies of Smith.…The convention is often called the “Klanbake” because one of the front-runners, white shoe lawyer and former Wilson Cabinet member William G. McAdoo, was supported by the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan was a major source of power within the party, and McAdoo did not repudiate its endorsement
The 103rd Ballot: Democrats and the Disaster in Madison Square Garden – Robert K. Murray – Google Books
>>Floor demonstrations abounded between ballots, with the chants for “Mac! Mac! McAdoo!” countered by Smith’s forces who cried out, “Ku, Ku, McAdoo,” as Robert K. Murray writes in his splendid 1976 book The 103rd Ballot. Fistfights and screaming matches, featuring choice obscenities were common. On Independence Day, the 10th day of the convention, 20,000 Klansmen amassed across the Hudson River in New Jersey to burn crosses and punish effigies of Smith.<<
Finally, after 102 ballots, just two candidates remained in the running. One was “an eastern Wall Street lawyer” from West Virginia. The other was, of all things, a “wet anti-Klan southerner.”
The lawyer, John W. Davis, got the nomination on the 103rd ballot. He was a compromise and, ultimately, a loser. The incumbent, Calvin Coolidge, would be elected president with 54 percent of the vote. Davis couldn’t even reach 30 percent. Davis would eventually abandon his party and embrace the GOP. (~LOL!)
By 1868, the Klan had evolved into a hooded terrorist organization that its members called “The Invisible Empire of the South.” The reorganized Klan’s first leader, or “Grand Wizard,” was Nathan Bedford Forrest, who had been a Confederate general during the Civil War.
Did you know that the Democratic Party defended slavery, started the Civil War, founded the KKK, and fought against every major civil rights act in U.S. history?
They are also the party of interment, rounding up Americans of Japanese descent under FDR in WWII.
The often cited talking point about Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” debunked.