1940 Democratic National Convention
Democratic National Conventionwas held at the Chicago Stadiumin Chicago, Illinoisfrom July 15- July 18, 1940. The convention resulted in the re-nomination of President Franklin Rooseveltas the Democratic Party candidate for an unprecedented third term. Secretary of Agriculture Henry Wallacewas nominated for Vice-President.
Despite the unprecedented bid for a third term, Roosevelt was nominated on the first ballot. Vice President
John Nance Garnerhad sought the nomination for the presidency and soundly lost to Roosevelt. Henry Wallace was Roosevelt's preferred choice for the Vice-Presidency. His candidacy was opposed vehemently by some delegates, particularly the conservative wing of the party which had been unenthusiastic about Wallace's liberal positions. Nonetheless, Wallace was ultimately nominated.cite web |title=The 1940 Democratic National Convention |publisher=Chicago Historical Society |url=http://www.chicagohs.org/history/politics/1940.html |accessdate=2008-03-27]
Throughout the winter, spring, and summer of 1940 there was much speculation as to whether Roosevelt would break with long-standing tradition and run for an unprecedented third term. The "two-term" tradition, although not yet enshrined in the
U.S. Constitution, had been established by President George Washingtonwhen he refused to run for a third term in 1796, and no President had ever been elected to a third term. Roosevelt, however, refused to give a definitive statement as to his willingness to be a candidate, and he even indicated to some ambitious Democrats, such as James Farley, that he would not be a candidate again and that they could seek the nomination. However, as Nazi Germanyswept through Western Europeand menaced Britain in the summer of 1940 Roosevelt decided that only he had the necessary experience and skills to see the nation safely through the Nazi threat. He was aided by the party's political bosses, who feared that no Democrat except Roosevelt could defeat the charismatic Willkie. John Nance Garner, Roosevelt's Vice-President, was a Texas conservative who had turned against Roosevelt because of his liberal economic and social policies; Roosevelt therefore decided to pick another running mate. He chose Henry A. Wallace, his Secretary of Agriculture, to be the vice-presidential nominee. Wallace, an outspoken liberal, was strenuously opposed by many delegates at the convention, particularly the more conservative Southern Democrats.
Wallace won the vice-presidential nomination by a vote of 626 to 325 for House Speaker
William Bankheadand a smattering of others.
1940 Republican National Convention
United States presidential election, 1940
Democratic National Convention
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