Conventional Facts

Frederick Douglass (Wikimedia Commons)

First national political convention: 1831, convened by the Anti-Masonic Party

First Democratic national convention: 1832

First Republican national convention: 1856

First woman presidential candidate: Victoria Woodhull, nominated in 1872 by the Equal Rights Party at the Apollo Theater in New York City

First African-American nominated for vice president: Frederick Douglass, in 1872 by the Equal Rights Party

First woman delegates: Frances Warren of Wyoming (Republican) and Elizabeth Cohen of Utah (Democratic), both in 1900

First convention to be broadcast on radio: 1924, both Republican and Democratic conventions

First televised convention: 1940 (Republican)

First appearance of a presidential nominee at a national convention: 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt at the Democratic national convention in Chicago

Shortest convention: 6 hours, 1872 (Democratic)

Longest convention: 17 days, 1924 (Democratic)

Convention held twice: The 1860 Democratic national convention in Charleston, SC, adjourned in May and reconvened in June in Baltimore, MD

First first lady to address a national political convention: Eleanor Roosevelt, at the 1940 Democratic convention

First woman to seek a major party's nomination for president: Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, 1964 Republican convention

First African-American woman to seek a major political party's nomination for president: Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm of New York, 1972 Democratic convention

First African-American and first woman to deliver a major party's keynote address: Congresswoman Barbara Jordan of Texas, 1976 Democratic convention

Number of national political conventions held west of the Mississippi: 19

First convention held west of the Rocky Mountains: 1920 Democratic national convention in San Francisco

City that has hosted the most national political conventions: Chicago (11 Democratic and 14 Republican)

Duration of Bill Clinton's nominating speech for Governor Michael Dukakis at the 1988 Democratic convention: 32 minutes

Number of balloons dropped at the 2004 Republican national convention in New York: 100,000 (biodegradable, it should be noted)

Smithsonian curator Larry Bird shows off convention artifacts and other campaign memorabilia from the collection of the National Museum of American History

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