1952 Republican National Convention

1952 Republican National Convention
1952 presidential election
Eisenhower and Nixon
Date(s) July 7–11, 1952
City Chicago, Illinois
Venue International Amphitheatre
Presidential nominee Dwight D. Eisenhower of Kansas
Vice Presidential nominee Richard M. Nixon of California

The 1952 Republican National Convention was held at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois from July 7 to July 11, 1952, and nominated the popular general and war hero Dwight D. Eisenhower of Kansas, nicknamed "Ike," for president and the anti-communist crusading Senator from California, Richard M. Nixon, for vice president.

The Republican platform pledged to end the unpopular war in Korea, supported the development of nuclear weapons as a deterrence strategy, to fire all "the loafers, incompetents and unnecessary employees" at the State Department, condemned the Roosevelt and Truman administrations' economic policies, supported retention of the Taft-Hartley Act, opposed "discrimination against race, religion or national origin", supported "Federal action toward the elimination of lynching", and pledged to bring an end to communist subversion in the United States.[1]

Candidates before the convention

The balloting

Presidential balloting, RNC 1952
Contender: ballot1st before shifts1st after shifts
General Dwight D. Eisenhower595845
Ohio Senator Robert A. Taft500280
Governor Earl Warren of California8177
former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen200
General Douglas MacArthur104

Vice presidential

Eisenhower was so unfamiliar with party politics that even after his nomination he believed that the delegates would choose the vice-presidential nominee, surprising his advisors Lucius D. Clay and Herbert Brownell. When they explained that the delegates would support whomever he chose, Eisenhower suggested businessmen he knew such as Charles E. Wilson and C. R. Smith. Clay and Brownell explained that a running mate should be a politician who balanced the ticket in geography, age, and other areas, and suggested Richard Nixon, who had helped Eisenhower win California's delegates. Eisenhower had met Nixon, and accepted the suggestion. Nixon was nominated unanimously.[2]

Television coverage

The 1952 Republican convention was the first political convention to be televised live, coast-to-coast.[3] Experiments in regionally broadcasting conventions took place during the Republican and Democratic conventions in 1948; however, 1952 was the first year in which networks carried nationwide coverage of political conventions.[3] Fixed cameras were placed at the back and the sides of the International Amphitheatre for the press to use collectively. None of these offered a straight shot of the podium on stage, so many networks supplemented their coverage with shots from their own portable cameras.

The impact of the Republican Convention broadcast was an immediate one. After carefully watching the Republican Convention, the Democratic Party made last-minute alterations to their convention held in the same venue to make their broadcast more appealing to television audiences.[3] They constructed a tower in the center of the convention hall to allow for a better shot of the podium, and Democrats exercised more control over camera shots and the conduct of delegates in front of the cameras.

By 1956, the effect of television further impacted both the Republican and Democratic conventions. Conventions were compacted in length, with daytime sessions being largely eliminated and the amount of welcoming speeches and parliamentary organization speeches being decreased (such as seconding speeches for vice-presidential candidates, which were eliminated). Additionally, conventions were given overlying campaign themes, and their sessions were scheduled in order to maximize exposure to prime-time audience. To provide a more telegenic broadcast, convention halls were decked out in banners and other decorations, and television cameras were positioned at more flattering angles.[3]

See also


  1. "Republican Party Platform of 1952". Political Party Platforms: Parties Receiving Electoral Votes: 1840-2012. The American Presidency Project. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  2. Smith, Jean Edward (2012). Eisenhower in War and Peace. Random House. pp. 520–522. ISBN 978-0-679-64429-3.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Jarvis, Sharon. "PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATING CONVENTIONS AND TELEVISION". www.museum.tv. Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved April 1, 2017.

Further reading

Preceded by
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Republican National Conventions Succeeded by
San Francisco, California
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