Monday, August 25, 2008

Rocky Mountain High

I've written a fair amount about how this year's Republican convention is the second such event to be held in Minnesota. There is a similar situation for the other party, in that this is the second time Denver has hosted a Democratic convention.

Both parties are returning to their convention sites after a long absence. This is the 100th anniversary of the last Democratic convention in Denver. The Republicans last met in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area 116 years ago.

From July 7 to July 10, 1908, the Democratic National Convention was held in Denver. William Jennings Bryan was nominated for the third time (and the third time was not a charm) for president by the Democrats. I wrote about Bryan here, and about the 1908 election here.

Back in May, the Denver Post published this article about the 1908 convention. According to that report, the city put up $100,000 to secure the convention that year. That translates to over $2,000,000 when adjusted for inflation, but is still a far cry from the $100,000,000 that the article indicates Denver needs to raise this year.

The article details some of the diversions planned for the 1908 delegates, including transporting snow down from the mountains for a midsummer snowball fight!

That was necessary, in part, because there was little drama within the convention hall. In a result that was unusual during the era when the Democrats maintained their two-thirds rule for presidential nominations, Bryan easily won the nomination on the first ballot.

Even though he was nominated for the third time in 1908, Bryan was still only 48 years old. That is only one year older than Barack Obama is now.

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