The 1932 Republican National Convention
The Republicans returned to Chicago in 1932, after a 12-year hiatus. The Chicago Stadium, completed in 1929, was the largest indoor arena in the world at the time. (CHS)
The United States was in the third year of the Great Depression when the Republican Convention came to Chicago in 1932. The nation blamed Republican incumbent Herbert Hoover for the country's woes. Previously, Harding and Coolidge had ushered in the prosperity of the 1920s and Hoover was elected on this same issue. But when the economy collapsed, the party in power began to fall. Hoover's philosophy was that Americans could pick themselves up without government help.
Going into the convention, delegates were discouraged and many canceled their hotel reservations and stayed home. Chicago Stadium, where the convention was held, was only one-third full on opening day. It was a convention to re-nominate the sitting president and most delegates were resigned to nominating Hoover in June and watching him lose in November.
Hoover did have one opponent--former Senator Joseph France of Maryland. But the public address system cut out during France's nomination speech and Hoover was renominated with 1,126 ½ votes on the first ballot.
The party adopted and lengthy, ultra-conservative platform that almost ignored the pressing issues of the depression and economic recovery. Hoover failed to campaign strongly and lost in all but six states to Franklin Delano Roosevelt in November.
Al Capone - Chicago Black Sox - A Century of Progress - Chicago Fire
The World's Columbian Exposition - Parades, Protests and Politics
The Pullman Era - The Stockyards
Fort Dearborn (Coming Soon!)
Back to the Chicago Historical Society Home Page
Copyright © 1999 by the Chicago Historical Society