The 1916 Republican National Convention
Flag used during the 1916 Republican National
The Republican party remained split after the 1912 convention and 1916 brought two conventions to Chicago-the regular Republicans and the Progressives, who split off four years earlier. The goal of the Republicans was to present a coherent and united front to the Democrats. They needed a compromise candidate and they found one in Charles Evans Hughes, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Hughes entered public life in his mid-forties when investigating gas and electric utilities in New York City. Theodore Roosevelt had backed his election to governor of New York in 1906 President Taft nominated him to the Supreme Court. The problem was that Hughes openly rejected the possibility of a nomination. He wanted to courts kept out of politics.
The Progressives asked the Republicans for a joint conference, but the Republicans would not accept Roosevelt and the Progressives wouldn't give him up. A second meeting was held but, again, no agreement was reached.
Hughes garnered support but was not an overwhelming choice. He won on the 3rd ballot. The Progressives nominated Roosevelt at their convention in the Auditorium Theatre, but he met with Hughes and withdrew from the race.
The Presidential race was a close one: Democrat Woodrow Wilson edged Hughes by 23 electoral votes.
Al Capone - Chicago Black Sox - A Century of Progress - Chicago Fire
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