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The 1968 Democratic National Convention

(DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION, Chicago, 1968). Collection of papers of John M. Bailey, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, concerning the convention

Various places, 1968

More than 50 items. Good condition, organized in plastic sheets in an old red vinyl three-ring binder.

The 1968 Democratic National Convention of 1968, held in Chicago, was a landmark event in American political history. John M. Bailey of Connecticut, who had helped to orchestrate Johnson’s landslide victory in 1964, oversaw the contentious presidential campaign of 1968, in which Robert Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, and others sought the Democratic nomination. This collection of papers to and by longtime Democratic National Committee Chairman John M. Bailey includes:

•    Eugene McCarthy, 3-page telegram requesting an opportunity appear before the Committee to present his argument that “the administration’s course in Vietnam is dangerous and wrong.”

•    Various papers by the McCarthy campaign concerning its goals and requesting information concerning officers, seating, and other logistical matters at the convention. In the end the party was less than helpful to the McCarthy campaign, instead unifying behind Humphrey. These papers help to reveal the struggles of the McCarthy campaign to present its dissenting views.

•    Convention press kit containing biographies, maps, flyers, and a poster.

•    Correspondence concerning credentials and passes.

•    Correspondence and press releases concerning the status of the campaign, ranging from state delegates voicing their concerns to a copy of Bailey’s memorandum to the White House reporting on developments state-by-state.

•    Copies of a letter signed by Kennedy two weeks before his assassination with a note stating that his family agreed to its distribution.

The 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago saw protests and riots outside the convention and a bitterly contested fight inside the convention hall ultimately leading to the nomination of Hubert Humphrey, who lost to Nixon in November.