Monday-Thursday, July 25-28, 1960: Republican National Convention

Vice President Richard Nixon is the all-but-certain nominee as the Republicans gather in Chicago, though Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater and (presumably) New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller remain in the running. Attention turns toward the platform, the direction of the party and a running mate. Meanwhile, the accomplishments and popularity of outgoing President Dwight D. Eisenhower are a running theme of the convention.

* Platform and direction of party: Largely the work of Rockefeller, the so-called "Compact of Fifth Avenue" was hammered out during a meeting between the Nixon and Rockefeller camps at the governor's Fifth Avenue apartment on July 22-23. Nixon signed off on the platform to ensure Rockefeller's support and to placate the more liberal factions of the party. His actions outraged the GOP's more conservative elements, particularly Goldwater, whose "Conscience of a Conservative" (published that March) had brought him to prominence, as it forcefully stated the direction in which he wanted to move the party. The Chicago Tribune thundered in an editorial, "Grant Surrenders to Lee."
-- Platform summary and significance: @ and @. Text: @
-- Text of "Conscience of a Conservative": @

* July 25: Convention gets under way at the International Amphitheatre. A civil rights rally, 5,000 strong and led in part by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., takes place outside the building. (As the Democrats had done two weeks prior, the GOP would address civil rights at length in its platform.)
-- Transcript of NBC interview with King: @

* July 26: Eisenhower addresses the convention. Rockefeller officially withdraws his candidacy, releasing his pledged delegates and urging their support of Nixon.
-- Text of Eisenhower speech: @

* July 27: Party platform is approved. Nixon's and Goldwater's names are placed in nomination. Goldwater withdraws his candidacy, saying in his speech, "Let's grow up, conservatives ... let's -- if we want to take this party back and I think we can someday -- let's get to work." Nixon claims the nomination, with 1,321 delegates to 10 for Goldwater. (The photo above is Nixon's reaction to his first-ballot victory.)

* July 28: Nixon selects Henry Cabot Lodge, the United States' ambassador to the United Nations, for the vice presidential slot. (Rockefeller had turned down Nixon's offer.) Nixon addresses the convention.

* Convention summary from Chicago Historical Society: @
* Videos of convention highlights: @ and @
* Videos of speeches (includes Goldwater, Lodge and former President Herbert Hoover): @ (Audio and text of Nixon's acceptance speech: @)
* Telegram from NBC to Nixon and Kennedy (and their replies) regarding prime-time debates: @

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