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1972 Republican National Convention
1972 Presidential Election
Richard Nixon.jpg Spiro Agnew.jpg
Date(s) August 21 - August 23
City Miami Beach, Florida
Venue Miami Beach Convention Center
Presidential Nominee Richard Nixon of California
Vice Presidential Nominee Spiro Agnew of Maryland
1968  ·  1976

The 1972 National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States was held from August 21 to August 23, 1972 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, Florida. It nominated the incumbents Richard M. Nixon of California for President and Spiro T. Agnew of Maryland for Vice President. The convention was chaired by then-U.S. House Minority Leader and future Nixon successor Gerald Ford of Michigan.


Site Selection

San Diego, California, had originally been selected as host city for the convention. Columnist Jack Anderson, however, discovered a memo written by Dita Beard, a lobbyist for International Telephone and Telegraph, suggesting the company pledge $400,000 toward the San Diego bid in return for the U.S. Department of Justice settling its antitrust case against ITT [1]. Fearing scandal, and citing labor and cost concerns, the GOP transferred the event—scarcely three months before it was to begin—to Miami Beach, which was also hosting the 1972 Democratic National Convention. It was the third and last time both the Republican and Democratic national party conventions were held in the same city. The RNC did not return to San Diego until 1996.


The convention set a new standard, as it was scripted as a media event to an unprecedented degree[2].

The keynote address, by Anne Armstrong of Texas, was the first national convention keynote delivered by a woman [3].

The balloting

Nixon easily turned back primary challenges on the right from Rep. John M. Ashbrook of Ohio and on the left from Rep. Pete McCloskey of California. However, under New Mexico state law, McCloskey had earned one delegate, which the convention refused to seat, fearing that the delegate might put McCloskey's name in nomination and give an antiwar speech. U.S. Representative (and delegate) Manuel Lujan of New Mexico, a staunch Nixon supporter, decided to honor state law by voting for McCloskey himself. The final result was that Nixon received 1,347 votes to one for McCloskey and none for Ashbrook. Throughout the precisely scripted convention, delegates chanted "Four more years! Four more years!"[1]

Spiro Agnew was re-nominated for vice president with 1,345 votes, against one vote for television journalist David Brinkley and two abstentions. The NBC network, for which Brinkley worked, had some "Brinkley for Vice President" buttons made, which the news team wore as a joke.

Protest activity

The convention was targeted for widespread protests, particularly against the Vietnam War, and the Nixon administration made efforts to suppress it. In 2005, files released under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit showed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation even monitored Beatle John Lennon after he was invited to play for Yippie protests. The monitoring of Lennon later concluded that he was not a dangerous revolutionary, being "constantly under the influence of narcotics."

The U.S. Justice Department indicted Scott Camil, John Kniffen, Alton Foss, Donald Perdue, William Patterson, Stan Michelsen, Peter Mahoney and John Briggs—collectively known as the Gainesville Eight—on charges of conspiracy to disrupt the Convention. All were exonerated.

In his autobiography, Born on the Fourth of July, Ron Kovic describes how he and fellow Vietnam Veterans Against the War protesters Bobby Muller, Bill Wieman, and Mark Clevinger were spat upon at the convention. [4].

See also


  1. ^ "A New Majority for Four More Years?". TIME. 1972-09-04.,9171,910380-1,00.html.  

External links

Preceded by
Miami Beach, Florida
Republican National Conventions Succeeded by
Kansas City, Missouri


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