Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Thursday June 26

meeting of Maccabean

Smith got today a tumultuous
ovation when named for the
Presidency at the Democratic
convention, He is a good boy
I hope he will be nominated.


Matt's Notes

For those of you just joining us, "The Maccabean" refers to Papa's chapter of B'Nai Zion (a.k.a. Order Sons of Zion) a Zionist fraternal order and mutual support society closely affiliated with the Zionist Organization of America. Papa was a founding member of "The Maccabean" and served as its master of ceremonies.

"Smith" refers to New York Governor Al Smith, the anti-Prohibition, anti-Klan and anti-McAdoo hometown favorite at the 1924 Democratic Convention. The ovation Papa heard when a young Franklin Roosevelt nominated Smith was, according to the New York Times, "the loudest demonstration ever heard at a national convention" and "lasted an hour an thirteen minutes...it broke out again when later speakers from other States seconded the nomination and ran for twenty-three minutes more."

Alas, the Times coverage also described how the "outburst" was well-organized by Tammany forces (who brought in a marching band and distributed noisemakers to choice delegates well in advance) and lacked the spontaneity of Smith's introduction at the 1920 Convention in San Francisco, where he was seen as an up-and-coming star. It's hard to imagine that today's national press would even bother to point out the artifice behind the latest Giuliani or McCain or Clinton or Obama appearance, but perhaps back then the Times felt the need to clarify things for the radio audiences who had never before heard a convention broadcast. (I wonder if Papa listened to the demonstration in its entirety.)

Meanwhile, trouble continued to brew at the Convention over the inclusion of anti-Klan language in the Democratic platform. The truly spontaneous outbursts over this issue that were about to occur would make a much bigger impression, and be far more damaging to the Democratic party, than anything Tammany could cook up.



OUTBURST BEATS M'ADOO'S; Smith Demonstration the Loudest Any Convention Ever Heard.

OUTBURST LACKED THE SPIRIT OF 1920; Tribute to Gov. Smith at San Francisco Was Joyously Spontaneous.

SMITH'S BIG OVATION WELL ORGANIZED; What an Observer on the Floor Saw of the Mechanics of Great Demonstration.

PLATFORM DRAFT SHAPED; Anti-Klan Idea and 34 Other Planks Reach the Main Committee.

M'ADOO MEN SOUGHT RECESS; Wanted Balloting on Nominee Last Night Before Klan Plank Action.

D'ADOO SEES PLOT IN ENTERTAINMENTS; Smith Men Are Accused of Seeking His Delegates by Showing Them Good Time.


Image Source:

"Now step right to the front" by Clifford Kennedy Berryman. Library of Congress # LC-USZ62-10783. LOC says rights "may be restricted," so I'm looking into it.

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