Skip to content

   

In Context: A Brief Guide to 1972

Don't remember 1972? Get your 70s on here. Learn more about this tumultuous time in American history with this helpful backgrounder.

The 1968 Democratic Convention

A scene from inside the 1968 Democratic convention The 1972 Democratic National Convention in Miami was carefully organized to distinguish it from the 1968 convention in Chicago, which was characterized by vociferous dissent within the party and violence in the streets outside. Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley used 20,000 police, National Guard soldiers, and Secret Service agents to try to control antiwar demonstrators. Inside the convention hall, supporters of antiwar candidate Eugene McCarthy felt marginalized by the party's elites, who used convention rules to place Hubert Humphrey on the ticket, despite the fact that Humphrey had won zero primaries or caucuses.

To ensure that 1972 would be different, the party chose George McGovern to head a convention reform commission. Among the reforms implemented were rules that convention delegates should "fairly reflect" the preferences of state voters, rules calling for proportional inclusion of women and minority groups, and open-procedure rules intended to decrease the authority of state party officials in choosing delegates.

Next » | The 26th Amendment

Sources
» CNN All Politics: Democratic National Convention
» Howstuffworks: How Political Conventions Work





Talk About This

Share This

In 1972 I was 8 years old boy living in Newark, New Jersey. I remember this campaign and was glued to the television with my mother following it. What an amazing and beautiful woman!”

— C. Edward Carroll-Burl, Viewer

Explore the Topic

Election Day | Expert Roundtable: Changing the System

POV asked a roundtable of election experts: What's the one thing that you would do to improve the accuracy of, access to and efficiency of the election system in America? They weigh in with suggestions for improvements at the polls.

Read More »

Related Films