1936 Democratic National Convention

The 1936 Democratic National Convention was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from June 23 to 27, 1936. The convention resulted in the nomination of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Vice President John N. Garner for reelection.

1936 Democratic National Convention
1936 presidential election
Roosevelt and Garner
Date(s)June 2327, 1936
CityPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
VenueConvention Hall
Franklin Field
Presidential nomineeFranklin D. Roosevelt of
New York
Vice Presidential nomineeJohn N. Garner of Texas

Change in Rules

Prior to 1936, the rule for nominating candidates for President and Vice President required a two-thirds vote of the delegates. However, this rule was abolished at the 1936 Democratic Convention and conventioneers adopted a rule which provided that a majority could nominate. This would allow for candidates to more easily be nominated and would thus produce less balloting. It also began to diminish the South's clout at the convention, making it easier for Democrats to begin adopting civil rights and other liberal ideas into their platforms. The two thirds rule had long given the South a de facto veto on presidential nominees, but Roosevelt pushed for the removal of the policy, in part due to past deadlocks (for example, the 1924 presidential nomination required 103 ballots).[1] With the rule's abolition, Missouri Senator Bennett Champ Clark noted that "the Democratic Party is no longer a sectional party, it has become a great national party."[1] Southern Democrats would continue to decline in power,[1] ultimately leading to the Dixiecrat movement and Nixon's 1968 Southern strategy.

South Carolina Senator Ellison D. Smith walked out of the convention hall once he saw that a black minister, Marshall L. Shepard, was going to deliver the invocation.[2] Smith recalled, "He started praying and I started walking. And from his great plantation in the sky, John C. Calhoun bent down and whispered in my ear 'You done good, Ed.'"


The Balloting:

Democratic National Convention presidential vote, 1936
Name Franklin D. Roosevelt
Certified Votes Voice Vote(100.00%)
Margin 0 (0.00%)

President Roosevelt and Vice President Garner were renominated by acclamation without need for a roll-call vote.

In his acceptance speech on June 27 at the adjacent Franklin Field, Roosevelt remarked, "This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny."

See also


  1. Schulman, Bruce (1994). From Cotton Belt to Sunbelt: Federal Policy, Economic Development, and the Transformation of the South, 1938-1980. Duke University Press. pp. 44–46. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  2. "Curtains for Cotton Ed". Time. 1944-08-07. Retrieved 2012-05-09.
Preceded by
Chicago, Illinois
Democratic National Conventions Succeeded by
Chicago, Illinois
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