1896 Democratic National Convention

The 1896 DNC happened in Chicago

Decades before the whole world watched the clashes between young protestors and the Chicago Police Department and the Illinois National Guard at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, the city played host to one of the earliest, large-scale DNCs. It took place at the second Chicago Coliseum, which was located at 63rd Street near Stony Island in Woodlawn from July 7th to 11th, 1896.

During the convention, thousands of delegates attended and eventually nominated William Jennings Bryan, a U.S. Representative from Nebraska. What clinched his nomination? His now-famous “Cross of Gold” speech where he lambasted the country’s moneyed elite for supporting the gold standard and wanted to have silver play an equal part to help support the working class, especially after the financial panic of 1893.

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