Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Today -100: July 10, 1924: Future trivia quiz answer nominated for president!

On the 103rd ballot, the Democrat National Convention selects former ambassador to Britain John W. Davis as its presidential candidate after William Gibbs McAdoo and Gov. Alfred E. Smith withdraw.

Davis, from West Virginia, is the first presidential candidate from the South since the Civil War. He is Presbyterian. His campaign supposedly cost just $5,000.

Davis is informed of his nomination by his wife, who heard it on the radio while he was out having a smoke.

The withdrawal of Smith & McAdoo should have been an emotional high point, the NYT says, but “McAdoo withdrew so reluctantly and ambiguously and hedged his renunciation with so many ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ and ‘ands’ that the emotional value of that turning point was dissipated.”

Smith volunteers to campaign for Davis, and McAdoo... is going to Europe on vacation for two months. He sends a one-sentence telegram to Davis and... that’s it. He refuses to talk to reporters. Smith is just happy that he was able to block McAdoo.

Incidentally, everyone in the Convention seems to love Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Smith’s campaign manager.

The Democratic National Convention chooses as Davis’s running mate Gov. Charles W. Bryan of Nebraska (the brother of William Jennings Bryan, who’s been fighting the Davis candidacy tooth and nail) with little fuss and only one ballot at 2:30 in the morning, after a brief boom for Sen. Thomas Walsh (Montana), who led the Teapot Dome investigation. Walsh declined to accept what he basically called a demotion.

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