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In Case You Didn't Know… Convention Facts

Barack Obama will accept the Democratic nomination on August 28, 2008; 45 years after Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech and 55 years after the murder of Emmett Till. He will become the first African-American nominee for president of a major party.

Obama will accept the Democratic nomination at INVESCO field. In 1960, John F. Kennedy gave his acceptance speech before supporters at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. This speech is often referred to as the "New Frontier" speech.

This is the second time the Democratic Party is holding their convention in Denver, Colorado. The first time was in 1908, when William Jennings Bryan was nominated for president.

Hillary Clinton is expected to speak at the convention on August 26th, 2008 - the 88th anniversary of the day women earned the right to vote.

Hillary Clinton's name will be placed into nomination at the convention.
The last woman to be placed into nomination for president at a major party's convention was Ellen McCormack, an anti-abortion rights activist, at the 1976 Democratic convention. She received 22 delegate votes. At the 1972 Democratic convention, Shirley Chisholm of New York was placed into nomination. Chisholm received 151.95 votes. Sen. Margaret Chase Smith of Maine was the first woman to be placed into nomination by a major party. At the Republican convention in 1964 she received 27 votes.

Past Conventions

First Democratic National Convention: 1832 in Baltimore.

First Televised Party Convention: 1940 Republican Convention in Philadelphia, by NBC.

First Conventions Televised by CBS: In 1948, CBS televised both party conventions. Since there were fewer than half a million TV sets in the United States at that time, coverage was limited to the Northeast region.

The Longest Democratic Convention: 1924 in New York, when James Davis was nominated after 17 days and 103 ballots.

The Shortest Democratic Convention: The shortest Democratic convention was in 1872. It lasted 6 hours and Horace Greeley was nominated for President.

Last Time A Senator Was The Democratic Nominee: Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., in 2004. It was an all-Senate ticket with Sen. John Edwards D-N.C. as Kerry's running mate.

Last Time An All-Senate Ticket Won A Presidential Election: John F. Kennedy (D) and Lyndon B. Johnson (D) in 1960.

First Appearance Of A Presidential Nominee At A National Convention: Franklin D. Roosevelt at the Democratic national convention in Chicago in 1932.

City That Has Hosted The Most National Political Conventions: Chicago (11 Democratic and 14 Republican)

Last Time the Presidential Nomination Required More than 1 Ballot: 1952 Democratic Convention in Chicago. At that convention, 11 names were placed in nomination in a heated contest between Adlai Stevenson, Estes Kefauver, Richard Russell, Averell Harriman and Paul Dever. Adlai Stevenson became the nominee on the third ballot with 617. 5 delegate votes.

Last "Losing" Candidate's Name Placed in Nomination at a Democratic Convention: Jerry Brown, 1992 in New York. The former Governor of California was nominated and received 596 votes. He seconded his own nomination and gave a speech at the convention.

Party Platform: The first Democratic platform was adopted at the 1840 Democratic convention and was fewer than 1,000 words in length.

African Americen Convention Firsts

First African American To Be Placed In Nomination By A Major Party: 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. The Rev. Channing E. Phillips, a civil rights leader, became the first African American to be placed in nomination for the Presidency of the United States by a major political party. He received 67.5 votes.

Last Time An African American Was Placed In Nomination By A Major Party: 1988 Democratic convention in Atlanta. Jesse Jackson's name was placed in nomination. He received 1218.5 votes.

First African American to Receive a Vote at a Convention: Frederick Douglass was the first African American ever to receive a vote in presidential balloting at a political convention. He received one vote on the fourth ballot at the 1888 Republican convention in Chicago.

First African-American To Deliver A Major Party's Keynote Address: 1976 Democratic Convention. Congresswoman Barbara Jordan of Texas,

Women Convention Firsts

First Woman To Be Placed Into Nomination At A Democratic Convention: 1972 convention in Miami Beach. Shirley Chisholm of New York was placed into nomination. Chisholm received 151.95 votes.

First Woman To Be Placed Into Nomination At A Major Party Convention: 1964 Republican convention in San Francisco. Sen. Margaret Chase Smith of Maine was placed into nomination and received 27 votes.

Last Time A Woman's Name Was Placed Into Nomination At A Democratic Convention: 1976 in New York. Ellen McCormack, an anti-abortion rights activist, was nominated and received 22 delegate votes.

First Woman To Receive A Vote At A Democratic Convention: 1920 Democratic Convention in San Francisco. Laura Clay, a Suffragist from Kentucky, became the first woman to receive a delegate vote for the Democratic nomination for president. The party platform included the support for the right of women to vote.

Last Time a Woman Received A Vote At The Democratic Convention: 1992 Democratic Convention in New York. Patricia Schroeder, a Colorado Congresswoman. Schroeder received 8 delegate votes from her home state of Colorado. She briefly ran for President in 1988.

First Woman Delegate At A Democratic Convention: 1900 in Kansas City. Elizabeth Cohen of Utah. She was initially an alternate but became an official delegate due to a vacancy. Cohen seconded the nomination of William Jennings Bryan.

Sources: Democratic National Committee, National Party Conventions (CQ Press), A Room at a Time (by Jo Freeman), http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/conventional-facts.html, The Almanac of Women and Minorities in Politics 2002.