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1944 Democratic National Convention
1944 Presidential Election
FDR in 1933.jpg 34 Harry Truman 3x4.jpg
Convention
Date(s) July 19 - July 21
City Chicago, Illinois
Venue Chicago Stadium
Candidates
Presidential Nominee Franklin D. Roosevelt
of New York
Vice Presidential Nominee Harry Truman of Missouri
1940  ·  1948

The 1944 Democratic National Convention was held at the Chicago Stadium in Chicago, Illinois from July 19 - July 21, 1944. The convention resulted in the re-nomination of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt for an unprecedented fourth term. Senator Harry S. Truman of Missouri was nominated for vice president.

Roosevelt's fourth nomination was largely unchallenged. The contention lay in the vice-presidential nomination. Although the party's conservatives could not stop FDR from winning the nomination, the obvious physical decline in the President's appearance, as well as rumors of secret health problems, led many delegates and party leaders to strongly oppose Henry Wallace. Wallace, who was FDR's second Vice-President, was regarded by most conservatives as being too left-wing and personally eccentric to be next in line for the Presidency. Numerous party leaders privately told Roosevelt that they would fight Wallace's renomination, and they proposed Missouri Senator Harry Truman, a moderate who had become well-known as the chairman of a Senate wartime investigating committee, as FDR's new running mate. Roosevelt, who personally liked Wallace and knew little about Truman, reluctantly agreed to accept Truman as his new running mate to preserve party unity. Even so, many liberal delegates refused to abandon Wallace, and they cast their votes for him on the first ballot. However, enough large Northern, Midwestern, and Southern states supported Truman to give him the victory on the second ballot. The fight over the vice-presidential nomination proved to be historic, as FDR's declining health led to his death in April 1945, and Truman thus became the nation's 33rd President.[1]

The keynote address was given by Governor Robert S. Kerr of Oklahoma, in which he "gave tribute to Roosevelt's war leadership and new deal policies."[2]

President Roosevelt was making a trip to the South Pacific in order to discuss military strategy with General Douglas MacArthur, and thus didn't attend the convention. This was the last time that a presidential nominee failed to attend a national convention during the 20th century.

Balloting

Presidential vote
Candidate 1st ballot
President Franklin Roosevelt 1086[3]
Harry F. Byrd 89
James A. Farley 1
Vice-Presidential vote
Candidate 1st ballot 2nd ballot (before shifts) 2nd ballot (after shifts)
Harry S. Truman MO 319.5 477.5 1,031
Henry A. Wallace IA 429.5 473 105
John H. Bankhead II AL 98 23.5 0
Scott W. Lucas IL 61 58 0
Alben W. Barkley KY 49.5 40 6
J. Melville Broughton NC 43 30 0
Paul V. McNutt IN 31 28 1
Prentice Cooper TN 26 26 26
Scattering 118.5 20 7

References

Literature

  • Robert H. Ferrell, Choosing Truman: The Democratic Convention of 1944 (1994), Columbia: University of Missouri Press, ISBN 0-8262-1308-1
Preceded by
1940
Democratic National Conventions Succeeded by
1948
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