Conventional Wisdom: Show Segments
The following are individual show segments included in the BackStory episode “Conventional Wisdom: A History of American Political Conventions”, broadcast in August 2012. You can listen to the entire episode here.
Caught in the Act
The History Guys talk to a former presidential convention delegate who was caught napping on the job by a Chicago newspaper. See photographic evidence of Snook’s faux-pas here.
Power to the People
With the help of historian Michael Holt, BackStory producer Jess Engebretson tells the story behind the first political convention, organized in 1832 in order to show support for the small Anti-Masonic Party that had sprung up in reaction to the number of political elites involved in the secretive Masonic society.
From Across the Pond
The History Guys chat with Rutgers historian Nancy Hewitt about how the European revolutions of 1848 influenced the organizers of the Seneca Falls convention of that same year.
Please (Don’t) Be Seated
BackStory producer Allison Quantz tells the story of an unofficial, integrated delegation from Mississippi that attempted to claim seats at the 1964 Democratic National Convention and were denied. Their aim was to protest the ways in which African-Americans were kept from being a part of the official delegation. Quantz speaks with members of that unofficial delegation – Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton and Dr. Leslie McLemore – and the History Guys then discuss other groups that have used conventions to gain legitimacy in the eyes of insiders.
Peter, Ed, and Brian take a call from a listener.
Talk of the Nation
Brian chats with Richard Bensel about William Jennings Bryan’s famous “Cross of Gold” speech, delivered at the Democratic National Convention in 1896, and Bensel explains the changing role of the press in political reporting at the time.