Parades, Protests and Politics


The 1944 Democratic National Convention

Delegates with Roosevelt placards at Democratic     National convention; 1944.

Delegates with Roosevelt placards at Democratic National convention; 1944. (CHS, ICHi-26178)

By 1942, Republicans were beginning to take control because of unrest with the New Deal. Unemployment was still high and by 1944, war rationing and inflation along with higher taxes were taking their toll on President Franklin Roosevelt's popularity.

Roosevelt concentrated on supporting the war effort. He traveled to both fronts. The New Deal may have been in need of change, but its principles were far from disappearing. The Chicago 1944 Democratic Convention met to renominate FDR.

The Democratic platform was a short one. It praised the wartime and peacetime accomplishments of the party, argued for an international organization for world peace, and favored equal pay for women in employment. It was split, however, on the issue of civil rights.

FDR was overwhelmingly renominated with 1,086 of 1,176 ballots and he gave his fourth acceptance speech from the San Diego Naval Base, en route to Pearl Harbor, by radio. The convention roared when he finished. His ticket was one of "Victory" and "A Lasting Peace."

The only real drama of the convention was picking a vice president. Roosevelt's health was failing him, but he also needed someone who would not hinder his chance of a fourth term. The little-known conservative Sen. Harry S. Truman from Missouri was the man for the job. Henry A. Wallace, incumbent VP, fought hard, but Truman won the nomination.

Roosevelt and Truman went on to win in November, but Roosevelt suffered a massive brain hemorrhage five months later and Truman was left to win the war.


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