1936

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN & ELECTIONS

OVERVIEWS & CHRONOLOGIES: 1936

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

OVERVIEW

Election Year: 1936

Election Day Date: November 3, 1936

Winning Ticket:

  • Franklin Roosevelt, John Garner, Democratic 27,752,648 60.80% 523 98.5%

Losing Ticket(s):

  • Alfred Landon, Frank Knox, Republican 16,681,862 36.54% 8 1.5%
  • William Lemke, Thomas O’Brian, Union 892,378 1.95% 0 0.0%
  • Norman Thomas, George Nelson, Socialist 187,910 0.41% 0 0.0%
  • Other (+) – – 132,901 0.29% 0 0.0%

Voter Turnout: 61.0%

Central Forums/Campaign Methods for Addressing Voters:

Election Law/Campaign Finance Changes: Repealed primary law North Dakota (1935)

Incumbent President and Vice President on Election Day:

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John Nance Garner, Democratic 1933-1941

Population: 128,181,000

GDP:  Nominal GDP (billions of dollars): $83.8 Real GDP (billions of 2005 dollars): $977.9 GDP Deflator (index 2005=100%) 8.57 Population (in thousands): 128,181
Nominal GDP per capita (current dollars): $654 Real GDP per capita (year 2005 dollars): $7,629

Number of Daily Newspapers: 2,086 (1940)

Average Daily Circulation: 42,947,824 (1940)

Households with Radio: 12,049,000 (1940)

Method of Choosing Electors: Popular vote (mostly General Ticket/Winner Take All)

Method of Choosing Nominees:

  • National party convention;
  • Presidential preference primaries

Central Issues:

  • Great Depression (8th year) New Deal economic policy; Social Security  unemployment benefits
  • Federal Emergency Relief Administration; the Civil Works Administration (which Works Progress Administration; Public Works Administration; the National Recovery Act (NRA); The Agriculture Adjustment Act; the Resettlement Administration; Congress passed legislation regulating the stock market; end of the gold standard
  • 1934 midterm elections; Democrats won ten more seats in the U.S. Senate and nine seats in the U.S. House

Leading Candidates (Nomination/Primaries):

Democratic Party Candidates

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt, President (New York)
  • Henry S. Breckinridge, Former Assistant Secretary of War (New York)

Republican Party Candidates

  • Alf Landon Governor of Kansas
  • William Edgar Borah Senator (Idaho)
  • Frank Knox Owner and publisher (Illinois)

Main Controversies (Nomination/Primaries):

  • Senator Huey Long (Louisiana) “Share Our Wealth” program; Long and Share Our Wealth Society organized clubs cross- country; momentum towards a third party. Fear Long was intending to run for President. Long was assassinated in September 1935;  radio priest Father Charles Coughlin continued and formed the Union Party, that was more to the left than the Democrats, and nominated North Dakota Congressman William Lemke for President.
  • Roosevelt veered his policies, leftward to make Long’s program and subsequent party seem irrelevant

Campaign Innovations (Nomination/Primaries):

Major Personalities (Nomination/Primaries):

William Borah; Henry S. Breckinridge; County Attorney Earl Warren (California); Governor Warren E. Green (South Dakota); Stephen A. Day (Ohio);

Turning Points (Nomination/Primaries):

Republican Party:

  • William Borah, Senator from Idaho, popular in polls, collected double the primary votes than any of the Republican hopefuls.
  • Borah progressive and “insurgent,” running to defend “liberal principles.” Old Guard/Party machinery and big business opposed his nomination.

Democratic Party:

  • Henry S. Breckinridge, anti-New Deal lawyer (New York) was Roosevelt’s only opponent in the primaries; ran in 4 primaries; lost by large margins, except in New Jersey
  • In New Jersey Roosevelt did not file for the preference vote, Roosevelt garnered 19% in write-ins, and his delegate choices won
  • Breckinridge’s best result was 15% in Maryland

Primaries/Nominations Quotations: 

  • So therefore, I call upon the men and women of America to immediately join in our work and movement to share our wealth. There are thousands of share-our-wealth societies organized in the United States now. We want 100,000 such societies formed for every nook and corner of this country—societies that will meet, talk, and work, all for the purpose that the great wealth and abundance of this great land that belongs to us may be shared and enjoyed by all of us. We have nothing more for which we should ask the Lord. He has allowed this land to have too much of everything that humanity needs. Senator Huey Long’s ”Share Our Wealth” Speech, 1935
  • “One of the DuPonts. . .said the other day that I am a dangerous man. He said he’d take anybody but me for President. Thank God, I haven’t lived in vain!” William Borah

Primaries:

  • Democratic 14 36.5% delegates
  • Republican 12 37.5% delegates

Primaries Results:

Democratic Party (Jul 01, 1936)

  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt(I): 4,830,730, 93.19%
  • Henry Skillman Breckinridge: 136,407, 2.63%
  • Upton Sinclair: 106,068, 2.05%
  • John S. McGroarty: 61,391, 1.18%
  • Joseph A. Coutremarsh: 39,730, 0.77%
  • Others: 3,306, 0.06%
  • Alfred E. Smith: 2,974, 0.06%
  • Charles Coughlin: 2,854, 0.06%
  • John Nance Garner: 108, 0.00%
  • William E. Borah: 87, 0.00%

Republican Party:  (Jul 01, 1936)

  • William E. Borah: 1,478,676, 44.45% (Wisconsin, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Oregon) quite strong in Illinois and South Dakota)
  • Alfred M. Landon: 729,908, 21.94% (Massachusetts, New Jersey) caucuses,  state party conventions
  • Frank Knox: 527,054, 15.84%
  • Earl Warren: 350,917, 10.55%
  • Stephen A. Day: 155,732, 4.68%
  • Warren E. Green: 44,518, 1.34%
  • Leo J. Chassee: 18,986, 0.57%
  • Herbert Clark Hoover: 7,750, 0.23%
  • Others: 6,288, 0.19%
  • Frederick Steiwer: 3,285, 0.10%
  • Arthur H. Vandenberg: 2,104, 0.06%
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt(I): 1,159, 0.03%
  • Francis Townsend: 116, 0.00%
  • Lester J. Dickinson: 71, 0.00%
  • Charles L. McNary: 50, 0.00%
  • Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.: 0, 0.00%
  • Ogden L. Mills: 0, 0.00%

Conventions (Dates & Locations):

  • Democratic National Convention: June 23-27, 1936, Convention Hall; Philadelphia Joseph T. Robinson (Arkansas), Acclamation, Franklin D. Roosevelt (New York), John Nance Garner (Texas)
  • Republican National Convention: June 9-12, 1936 Public Auditorium; Cleveland 1st ballot, Alfred M. Landon (Kansas), Frank Knox (Illinois)

Convention Turning Points: 

Democratic National Convention:

  • Roosevelt controlled the convention,
  • repealed two-thirds rule (given the South veto power);
  • Self-tribute with fifty-six seconding speeches, forty-nine men and eight women

Republican National Convention:

  • At the convention Kansas Governor Alfred Landon, (only Republican state executive reelected in 1934), gained so much delegate support, prompting Primary winner William Borah to withdraw prior to the roll call.
  • Knox withdraw and was Landon’s choice for Vice President; Day, Green, and Warren releasing their delegates
  • Landon did not attend the convention, instead sent a telegram with his thoughts and positions on the issues for his acceptance of the nomination

Number of Ballots to Choose Nominees:

Democratic Party Nomination:

Presidential (Acclamation)

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt 1100

Vice Presidential (Acclamation)

  • John Nance Garner 1100

Republican Party Nomination:

Presidential 1st ballot

  • Alfred Landon 984
  • William E. Borah 19

Third Party Candidates and Nominations:

Union Party (National Union for Social Justice):

  • Senator Huey Long (Louisiana) and Share Our Wealth Society organized clubs cross-country; momentum towards a third party. Long was assassinated in September 1935;  radio priest Father Charles Coughlin continued and formed the Union Party, that was more to the left than the Democrats
  • Long had planned to create “Share Our Wealth” Party, He would not run in 1936, he believed the ticket in 1936 would split the Democratic vote, resulting in a Republican victory.
  • Share Our Wealth movement slogan “Every Man a King,” song co-written by Long in 1935 to promote his proposal.
  • This would prompt the Democrats to adopt his platform, and in 1940 Long would run as a Democrat
  • Senators Burton K. Wheeler (D-Montana); William E. Borah (R-Idaho); Governor Floyd B. Olson (FL-Minnesota) original candidates for the “Share Our Wealth” ticket
  • Father Coughlin’s allies Dr. Francis Townsend, who wanted an old-age pension system, Rev. Gerald L.K. Smith white supremacist, spokesman for the Christian Right wanted Congressman William Lemke (R-North Dakota) for the nominee
  • Lemke was not as well known as the previous choices, only won 2% of the vote, the next year the party was dissolved
  • William Dudley Pelley, Chief of the Silver Shirts Legion, ran on the ballot in Washington State, received less than 2,000 votes.

Communist party:

Socialist Labor party

Prohibitionist party

Convention Keynote Speaker:

Nominating Speech Speakers (President):

Party Platform/Issues:

  • Democratic Party: Praised success of expanded federal public works to end unemployment;  stimulate private industry, resolve labor disputes, and oppose monopolies, anti-trust laws; Roosevelt agricultural policies doubled the net income of farmers, neutrality in foreign affairs  disputes; foreign trade expansion
  • Republican Party: criticized the New Deal, threat to constitutional democracy; the powers of Congress, Supreme Court, undermined state control over their own affairs; non-political local agencies unemployment relief; reduce government spending; federal public works projects on merit only; balancing the budget; solvency of the currency; neutrality

General Election Controversies/Issues:

  • New Deal/Franklin Roosevelt center of political debate

Campaign Innovations (General Election): 

  • The Gallop Poll: George Gallup, created a scientific poll to determine theoutcome of the elections, his results from a sample of 50,000 people showed a Roosevelt victory
  • Gallop also predicted that the Literary Digest which had correctly predicted elections since 1920, would mis-predict this election. The Literary Digest predicted a landslide victory for Landon and the Republicans.
  • Gallop’s accurate results made his public opinion polls a staple in future campaigns, extending to regular use by politicians and journalists

Major Personalities (General Election): James A. Farley;

Campaign Tactics:

Democratic Party:

  • Roosevelt commenced later in the general election, stumped, gave speeches;  personal appearances and radio addresses
  • Campaign funded by labor unions
  • Roosevelt wanted the campaign to focus on him and his policies, labeled opponents “economic royalists” and claimed Republicans think “that government is best which is most indifferent to mankind.”
  • Successfully attracted Ethnic-Catholic and African-American to the Democrats
  • Huge crowds rallied when Roosevelt made appearance or gave a speech. In Chicago five miles of supporters lined up, and 100,000 attended in the stadium for his speech

Republican Party:

  • Speeches, professionally developed radio ads
  • Landon originally did not know how to proceed with campaigning, started off complimentary to New Deal and respectful to Roosevelt, sharing some social objectives, his attacks increased as the campaign closed charging the New Deal was unconstitutional and sounded more like Hoover had in 1932
  • Landon attacked the increase of government agencies and the New Deal as “unjust, unworkable, stupidly drafted, and wastefully financed.”
  • Create fear over the social security tax

Turning Points (General Election):

  • Economy rebounding since 1935, Democratic support from farmers, laborers, and the for the first time organized labor
  • Landon gained momentum in October;
  • First candidates to meet during a campaign since Wilson and Taft in 1912, campaigning was a separate affair; They met at a conference of governors in Des Moines, Iowa: Roosevelt: “Well, Governor, however this comes out, we’ll see more of each other. Either you come to see me or I’ll come to see you.”; Landon: “I certainly shall,” Roosevelt: “And, Governor,” “don’t work too hard!” Afterward “Harmony dripped so steadily from each rafter that I fully expected one of the candidates to withdraw.” Republican Senator Arthur Capper of Kansas
  • Two thirds of the Press supported Landon’s candidacy; partisan editorials
  • The Hearst papers accused Roosevelt of being surrounded by a “Communist entourage”
  • The Chicago Tribune claimed “Moscow Orders Reds in U.S. To Back Roosevelt”;  charged communism would take over if Roosevelt won
  • The Literary Digest (leading national magazine) had predicted correctly every presidential election since 1920. Their October 31,1936 survey claimed a Landon victory with an Electoral College vote of 37? – 161. (This mistake by the Literary Digest proved to be devastating to the magazine’s credibility, and in fact the magazine went out of existence within a few months of the election.)
  • In the last days the Republicans used scare tactics to deter voters from Roosevelt, about Social Security Act, that was going into affect January 1, 1937 would steal money from people’s pay checks, their message appeared in factory bulletins, slip with employees pay slips

Popular Campaign Slogans:

  • Republican Party: “Life, Liberty, and Landon”

Campaign Song:

Influential Campaign Appeals or Ads:

  • Republican Party: “YOU’RE SENTENCED TO A WEEKLY PAY REDUCTION FOR ALL YOUR WORKING LIFE. YOU’LL HAVE TO SERVE THE SENTENCE UNLESS YOU HELP REVERSE IT NOVEMBER 3.”
  • “Effective January, 1937, we are compelled by a Roosevelt ‘ New Deal’ law to make a 1 per cent deduction from your wages and turn it over to the government. Finally, this may go as high as 4 per cent. You might get this money back . . . but only if Congress decides to make the appropriation for this purpose. There is NO guarantee. Decide before November 3 — election day — whether or not you wish to take these chances.”

Money Spent (Each Campaign/Party/Overall):

Defining Quotation (Winning Candidate):

  • “Never before in history, have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome their hatred. I should like to have it said of my first administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second administration that in it these forces met their master.” Franklin Roosevelt the day before the election at Madison Square Garden 
  • “There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny. In this world of our in other lands, there are some people, who, in times past, have lived and fought for freedom, and seem to have grown too weary to carry on the fight. They have sold their heritage of freedom for the illusion of a living. They have yielded their democracy. I believe in my heart that only our success can stir their ancient hope. They begin to know that here in America we are waging a great and successful war. It is not alone a war against want and destitution and economic demoralization. It is more than that; it is a war for the survival of democracy. We are fighting to save a great and precious form of government for ourselves and for the world.” Franklin D. Roosevelt, Speech before the Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, A Rendezvous With Destiny, June 27, 1936
  • “Who is there in America, who believes that we can run the risk of turning back our Government to the old leadership which brought it to the brink of 1933?” Franklin Roosevelt
  • “There’s one issue in this campaign. It’s myself, and people must be either for me or against me.” President Franklin Roosevelt to an adviser
  • “Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred.” Franklin Roosevelt, Madison Square Garden Speech, October 31, 1936
  • “I knew I should have gone to Maine and Vermont, but Jim wouldn’t let me.” Franklin Roosevelt

Defining Quotation (Losing Candidate):

  • “Enlist for the duration of the war in this campaign of President Roosevelt’s to get America on its feet…even the iron hand of a dictator is better than paralysis.” Alf Landon, March 27, 1933
  • “Whether he intends to change the form of our government — whether labor, agriculture, and business are to be directed and managed by government.” Alf Landon, October 1936

Campaign Quotations:

  • “As I was instrumental in removing Herbert Hoover from the White House, so help me God, I will be instrumental in taking a Communist from the chair once occupied by Washington.” Father Charles Coughlin

Significant books from/about the campaign:

  • Burns, James MacGregor. Roosevelt: The Lion and the Fox (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Co., 1956).

Lasting Legacy of Campaign:

  • The 1932 election was a vote against Hoover, but in 1936 Roosevelt’s victory was a vote of confidence in his policies
  • Roosevelt won the greatest electoral landslide since the beginning of the current two-party system in the 1850s.
  • Carried all but 8 electoral votes and every state except Maine and Vermont.
  • 523 electoral votes, 98.49% of the electoral vote, the highest percentage since 1820.
  • Largest number of electoral votes ever recorded at that time; so far only surpassed by Ronald Reagan in the 1984 election when 7 more electoral votes were available.
  • Roosevelt won 60.8% of the national popular vote, the second highest popular-vote percentage won by a U.S. presidential candidate since 1820.

 

CHRONOLOGY

  • March 5, 1933: “Roosevelt declares a four-day “bank holiday” in order to stop the panic “run” on the nation’s banks.” (“He also summons Congress to a special session on March 9.”)
  • March 9 – June 16, 1933: Roosevelt’s first hundred days in office, Congress passes many of the New Deal’s core programs to relieve the depression. Congress passes the Emergency Bank Act.  New Deal is instituted; Agricultural Adjustment Act; Congress passes legislation to create; the Civil Works Administration; Civilian Conservation Corps; Farm Credit Administration; Home Owners Loan Corporation; Tennessee Valley Authority; Public Works Administration; National Industrial Recovery Act.
  •  “Congress meets beginning what is later known as Roosevelt’s “Hundred Days.” During this period, Congress enacts many of the principal programs of FDR’s “New Deal.” It passes the Emergency Banking Act on March 9, allowing banks to reopen as soon as they can prove they are solvent; within three days, more than 1,000 banks will reopen, helping to raise the nation’s confidence almost overnight.”
  • March 12, 1933: FDR delivers his first “fireside chat” radio address to the nation.
  • April 19, 1933: Roosevelt makes a proclamation and takes United States off the gold standard. (“While the value of the dollar declines internationally, the policy also allows more money to become available to Americans, stimulating the economy.”)
  • May 12, 1933: Congress passes Federal Emergency Relief Act (FERA) which provides grants for relief programs. Congress also passes the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which establishes the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) (“restricts the production of certain crops and pays farmers not to till their land”) (Roosevelt hopes that the AAA will reduce agricultural production, raise prices, and aid suffering farmers)
  • June 16, 1933: Hundredth day of Roosevelt’s Administration, Congress passes the National Industry Recovery Act (NIRA). “On this, the final day of FDR’s “Hundred Days,” Congress passes a number of bills. The most important of these is the National Industry Recovery Act (NIRA) the centerpiece of Roosevelt’s efforts to revive American industry. It establishes two of the early key agencies of the New Deal: the Public Works Administration (PWA) and the National Recovery Administration (NRA). The PWA focuses on providing jobs through the construction of roads, public buildings, and other projects, while the NRA’s goal is to stimulate competition to aid both consumers and producers. In addition to the NIRA, Congress passes the Banking Act of 1933, which establishes the Federal Bank Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Farm Credit Act.”
  • November 8, 1933: “FDR, by executive order, establishes the Civil Works Administration. Headed by Harry Hopkins, the CWA hopes to provide work for 4 million unemployed Americans.”
  • January 30, 1934: Congress passes the Gold Reserve Act. “Congress passes the Gold Reserve Act, allowing the President to fix the value of the U.S. dollar at between 50 to 60 cents in terms of gold.”
  • January 31, 1934: “FDR signs the Farm Mortgage Refinancing Act, establishing the Federal Farm Mortgage Corporation, designed to help farmers pay their mortgages by granting them easier terms of credit. Both efforts illustrate the federal government’s increasing control over the nation’s currency.”
  • February 2, 1934: “By executive order, FDR establishes the Export-Import Bank to encourage commerce between the United States and foreign nations, especially Latin America.”
  • April 28, 1934: “FDR signs the Home Owners Loan Act, a bill designed to promote home construction.”
  • May 10-11, 1934: “A severe dust storm hits the central and southern plains, blowing an estimated 300,000,000 tons of topsoil from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, and Colorado as far east as the Atlantic Ocean. It is only one of a number of such storms ravaging a region which becomes known as “the Dust Bowl.” In large part, the conditions are due to the improper plowing and farming practices used to squeeze yields and profits out of the land during the Depression. Many inhabitants, some of whom are known as “Okies” and “Arkies,” pack up their belongings and move to California.”
  • June 6, 1934: “Roosevelt establishes U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; Federal Housing Administration. FDR signs the Securities Exchange Act, creating the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), which will license stock exchanges and determine the legality of certain speculative market practices. The following day, Congress will pass the Corporate Bankruptcy Act, allowing corporations facing bankruptcy to reorganize if two-thirds of its creditors agree. Efforts at both prevention and prescription, the bills address some of the factors which led to the severity of the Great Depression.”
  • June 28, 1934: Roosevelt signs the Federal Farm Bankruptcy Act and National Housing Act into law. “In his continued efforts to rejuvenate the economy, FDR signs two bills into law. The Federal Farm Bankruptcy Act places a moratorium on all farm mortgage foreclosures; the National Housing Act creates the Federal Housing Administration, designed to further stimulate homebuilding.”
  • July 16, 1934: “Organized labor calls for a “general strike”the first ever in U.S. history after 12,000 members of the International Longshoremen’s Association have already walked out in San Francisco. Numerous strikes will occur across the nation during the summer.”
  • 1934: Senator Huey Long (Louisiana) founds the Share the Wealth society, “Share Our Wealth” program; Long gives ”Share Our Wealth” Speech. Long and Share Our Wealth Society organize clubs cross-country. There is a momentum towards a third party, and fear Long is intending to run for President. Roosevelt veers his policies, leftward to make Long’s program and subsequent party seem irrelevant
  • November 6, 1934: Mid-Term elections: Democrats win ten more seats in the Senate and nine seats in the House. (“In midterm elections, the Democrats gain spots in both the House and the Senate, picking up nine seats in each body. The gains serve as a public endorsement of FDR’s New Deal programs.”)
  • April 8, 1935: Congress passes the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act. (“The bill authorizes nearly $5 billion to establish federal programs in line with FDR’s goals. The first of these, the Resettlement Administration (RA), will be created less than a month later and will help rural and some urban families relocate to more productive regions of the country.”)
  • May 6, 1935: Roosevelt establishes the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act through an Executive order. (“With funds from the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act, FDR issues an executive order establishing the Works Progress Administration (WPA).”)
  • May 11, 1935: “FDR establishes the Rural Electrification Administration to provide loans for the construction of power plants and lines to those regions that private companies deemed unprofitable.” (“Public utilities will come under federal regulation following the passage of the Public Utilities Act in August.”)
  • May 27, 1935: The Supreme Court rules in Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States that the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 is unconstitutional. “The NIRA, officially terminates at the end of the year.”
  • July 5, 1935: Roosevelt signs the National Labor Relations Act, creating the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). (“The NLRB ensures the right of labor to organize and bargain collectively.”)
  • August 14, 1935: FDR signs the Social Security Act. (“establishes the Social Security Board (SSB), one of the most far-reaching pieces of legislation in the country’s history. The act guarantees pensions to Americans over the age of 65, establishes a system of unemployment insurance, and assists states in aiding dependent children, the blind, and the aged who do not already qualify for Social Security.”)
  • August 30, 1935: Congress passes the Revenue Act, “increasing taxes on inheritances and gifts, as well as on higher incomes and corporations.”
  • August 31, 1935: FDR signs the Neutrality Act into law, “forbidding the shipment of arms and munitions to belligerents during a state of war.”
  • September 8, 1935: Senator Huey Long is assassinated in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
  • November 9, 1935: John L. Lewis, president of the United Mine Workers, becomes chairman of the newly formed Committee for Industrial Organization within the American Federation of Labor (AFL). “Illustrating the growing divide within organized labor, John L. Lewis, president of the United Mine Workers, becomes chairman of the newly formed Committee for Industrial Organization within the American Federation of Labor (AFL). Within two years, this faction will be expelled, changing its name to the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) after mounting continued challenges to the AFL’s more conservative leadership and goals.”
  • 1935: North Dakota primary law is repealed.
  • January 6, 1936: The Supreme Court rules in U.S. v. Butler that Agricultural Adjustment Act is unconstitutional. (In U.S. v. Butler, the Supreme Court rules the Agricultural Adjustment Act to be unconstitutional. The dissenting justices accuse the majority of ruling on personal belief since the AAA enjoyed wide public support. Within two months, Congress will pass the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act, providing services similar to that of the AAA through slightly different means.)
  • January 24, 1936: Despite Roosevelt’s veto, Congress passes the Adjusted Compensation Act after ten years of negotiations. “Ending a more than decade-long battle, Congress passes the Adjusted Compensation Act over Roosevelt’s veto. The bill provides immediate cash redemption of the bonus certificates first issued to veterans in 1924. The certificates were due to mature in 1944 but, due to the recent economic downturn dubbed the “Roosevelt Recession”Congress finally gathered enough support to override FDR’s veto.”
  • 1936: Republican Senator from Idaho William Borah, who is popular in the polls, collects double the primary votes than any of the Republican hopefuls. Borah is a  progressive and “insurgent,” running to defend “liberal principles.” Old Guard/Party machinery and big business oppose his nomination.
  • 1936: Democrat Henry S. Breckinridge (New York) is anti-New Deal lawyer was Roosevelt’s only opponent in the primaries. He runs in 4 primaries, and loses by large margins, except in New Jersey.
  • 1936: New Jersey Primary, Roosevelt does not file for the preference vote, Roosevelt garners 19% in write-ins, and his delegate choices won
  • 1936: Maryland Primary, Breckinridge’s best result at 15%
  • April 6, 1936: National Greenback Convention nominates John Zahnd for President
  • April 28, 1936: Social Labor Party Convention nominates John W. Aiken for President.
  • May 7, 1936: Prohibition Party Convention nominates David Leigh Colvin for President.
  • May 26, 1936: Socialist Party Convention nominates Norman Mattoon Thomas for President.
  • June 1, 1936: Christian Party Nomination nominates William Dudley Pelley for President.
  • June 9-12, 1936: Republican National Convention convenes at the Public Auditorium in Cleveland, Ohio and nominates on the 1st ballot, Alfred M. Landon (Kansas) for President, and Frank Knox (Illinois) for Vice President. At the convention Kansas Governor Alfred Landon, the only Republican state executive reelected in 1934, gains so much delegate support, prompting primary winner William Borah to withdraw prior to the roll call. Knox also withdraws and becomes Landon’s choice for Vice President. Day, Green, and Warren also release their delegates. Landon does not attend the convention, instead sends a telegram with his thoughts and positions on the issues for his acceptance of the nomination
  • June 19, 1936: Union Party National Convention nominates William Lemke for President. Radio priest Father Charles Coughlin continues Huey Long’s plan and forms the Union Party, that was more to the left than the Democrats, and nominates North Dakota Congressman William Lemke for President.
  • June 27, 1936: “In Chicago D. Leigh Colvin, the Prohibition party’s candidate for President, declares today that he will attack Governor Landon as well as President Roosevelt during the Fall campaign.”
  • June 23-27, 1936: Democratic National Convention convenes at Convention Hall, in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Joseph T. Robinson (Arkansas) serves as chairman. The convention renominates by acclamation, Franklin D. Roosevelt (New York) for President, and John Nance Garner (Texas) for Vice President. Roosevelt controls the convention and repeals two-thirds rule (which had been introduced originally to give the South veto power). There is a self-tribute organized with fifty-six seconding speeches by forty-nine men and eight women for Roosevelt.
  • June 28, 1936: Communist Party Convention nominates Earl Russell Browder for President
  • July 12, 1936: Farm Labor Party Convention convenes, no nominee results.
  • August 7, 1936: Rev. Gerald L.K. Smith gives a speech at the National Press Club for Lemke’s campaigns. Smith attacks Republican and Democratic opponents,; he calls the Republicans stupid, and Roosevelt aiding Communism, by deceiving Americans into having a Communist government.  Also charges that the New Deal persecuted Senator Long’s followers. (NYT)
  • August 14, 1936: Roosevelt is termed an ally of C.I.O. “William Hutcheson, president of the International Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and labor director of the Landon campaign, asserted yesterday that President Roosevelt was linked to the forces of John L. Lewis that are seeking industrial organization of workers.” (NYT)
  • August 15, 1936: National Union for Social Justice, an organization run by Father Charles Coughlin in Royal Oak, Michigan endorses William Lemke for President.
  • Roosevelt wants the campaign to focus on him and his policies, he labels his opponents “economic royalists” and claims Republicans think “that government is best which is most indifferent to mankind.”
  • September 3, 1936: President Roosevelt and Governor Landon meet in Des Moines, Iowa shake hands and “exchange pleasantries” prior to a lunch and conference on drought relief that 12 other governors attend.
  • September-November, 1936: The presidential campaigns heats up, with Roosevelt being criticized from multiple sides for his New Deal policies. Nearly 80 percent of American newspapers endorse the Republican candidate Alf Landon, with many predicting a heavy defeat for the incumbent.
  • September 3, 1936: Republican candidate Landon’s lead widens over Roosevelt in rural areas “in the “grass roots” poll being conducted by some 3,000 country newspapers in cooperation with the Publishers Autocaster Service and the American Press.” In the poll’s second installment is 126,559 to 72,273 in Landon’s favor, and 10,161 for Lemke. (NYT)
  • Huge crowds rally whenever, Roosevelt makes appearance or gives a speech. In Chicago five miles of supporters line up, and 100,000 attended in the stadium for his speech.
  • Landon attacks the increase of government agencies and the New Deal as “unjust, unworkable, stupidly drafted, and wastefully financed.”
  • September 6, 1936: Republican candidate Landon makes a speech in Wichita, Kansas
  • September 8, 1936: “Landon says he took 17 votes from Roosevelt in Massachusetts.” (“Representative William Lemke, Union Party candidate for President, laid claim today to the seventeen electoral Votes of Massachusetts after his appearance at a Labor Day rally sponsored by former Mayor William Hale (Big Bill) Thompson of Chicago.”) (NYT)
  • September 11, 1936: Landon addresses Young Republicans of Nation in Topeka, Kansas.
  • September 21, 22, 1936:? Governor Landon speaks in Des Moines to present full drought program.
  • October 1936: Landon gains momentum
  • October 7, 1936: “In more direct criticism of his opponent than has been his custom, Governor Landon declares today that President Roosevelt is wrong in asserting in his recent speech at Pittsburgh that the $1,500,000,000 paid to World War veterans as a bonus was no longer a future obligation of the government.” (NYT)
  • October 9, 1936: President and Governor Landon attend their drought-relief conference in the capital Des Moines, Iowa and as Senator Capper of Kansas claims, “harmony dripped so steadily from every rafter that I fully expected one of the candidates to withdraw.” Iowa is swinging in Roosevelt’s favor because of economic improvements in the capital and countryside.
  • October 10, 1936: Roosevelt gives an address in Omaha.
  • October 11, 1936: “In Chicago, the Republican National Committee issues in the evening attacking Roosevelt’s budget views, claim he will not cut costs, “thanking President Roosevelt for proving in his Omaha speech last night one of the main points which Governor Landon made at Chicago Friday night — that spenders can’t be trusted to balance the budget.”” (LANDON CHARGE ‘PROVED’ Statement Says Elimination of Waste Will Mean Big Saving Despite Relief Needs.) (NYT)
  • October 10, 1936: “For the fifth consecutive week President Roosevelt continues to make gains in the Literary Digest Presidential straw vote. In the sixth installment of the Digest, the lead of Governor Landon, Republican Presidential nominee, has been decreased to somewhat less than 3 to 2.” (NYT)
  • October 19, 1936: Representatives for President Roosevelt, Governor Landon and Norman Thomas present their foreign policies. (NYT)
  • The Hearst papers accuse Roosevelt of being surrounded by a “Communist entourage”
  • The Chicago Tribune claims “Moscow Orders Reds in U.S. To Back Roosevelt”;  charges communism would take over if Roosevelt won
  • October 25, 1936: Politicians invade the radio. Roosevelt and Landon at Big Rallies. RADIO listeners are warned that the air this week will be saturated with politics. President Roosevelt is scheduled for two broadcasts and Governor Landon for four, between now and next Sunday.
  • October 28, 1936: “300,000 line 30-mile route through three boroughs to see President Roosevelt and welcome the President to New York City as he began the last week of his campaign for re-election.” (NYT)
  • October 28, 1936: President Roosevelt and Governor Landon both campaign in New York
  • October 30, 1936: “Landon has a lead of 4-3 in last Digest Poll. Final Tabulation Gives Him 370 Electoral Votes to 161 for President Roosevelt. According to the Liberty Digest poll Governor Landon will win the election by an electoral vote of 370 to 161, will carry thirty-two of the forty-eight States, and will lead President Roosevelt about four to three in their share of the popular vote.” (NYT)
  • October 31, 1936: Franklin Roosevelt, Madison Square Garden Speech
  • October 31,1936: The Literary Digest (leading national magazine) had predicted correctly every presidential election since 1920. Their survey claimed a Landon victory with an Electoral College vote of 370 – 161. (This mistake by the Literary Digest proved to be devastating to the magazine’s credibility, and in fact the magazine went out of existence within a few months of the election.)
  • October, November 1936: In the last days the Republicans use scare tactics to deter voters from Roosevelt, about Social Security Act, that was going into affect January 1, 1937 would steal money from people’s pay checks, their message appeared in factory bulletins, slip with employees pay slips
  • November 2, 1936: In an election eve, wind-up tour of Westchester, White Plains, New York, Governor Lehman denounces ‘Un-American’ Foes’ assails the Republican “pay envelope” campaign tonight as a “malicious, selfish and un-American scheme” to frighten the workers of the State and nation. He characterized the Republican tactics as a “monstrosity.”
  • November 3, 1936: Election Day; Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt is reelected President and John Nance Garner is reelected Vice President. Roosevelt successfully attracts Ethnic-Catholic and African-American to the Democrats
  • December 14, 1936: Presidential Electors cast the electoral vote in their state capitols.

 

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