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HOOVER THE NOMINEE

DATE OF EVENT: Thursday, June 14, 1928

DATE PUBLISHED: Friday, June 15, 1928, in The Kansas City Times

Editor’s note: The Republican Party held its national convention in Kansas City for the first time in 1928, nominating Herbert Hoover, who would win the election that fall on a ticket with Senate Majority Leader Charles Curtis of Kansas. In his acceptance speech, Hoover predicted a “final triumph over poverty” — words he would later regret.



A cheering Republican national convention last night made Herbert Hoover of California the party’s candidate for President of the United States.

The secretary of commerce was nominated long before the roll of states had been finished on the first ballot. He received 837 votes, with only 545 necessary for a choice.

A sullen message to the convention, instead of the expected nominating speech, from Frank O. Lowden, former governor of Illinois, asking that his name be withdrawn because of his dissatisfaction with the farm plank, dumbfounded delegates and spectators shortly before the vote was taken.

This sensational move on the part of Mr. Lowden completely upset previous calculations on the first ballot roll call which resulted as follows: Hoover, 837; Lowden, 74; Curtis, 64; Watson, 45; Norris, 24; Goff, 18; Coolidge, 17; Dawes, 4; Hughes, 1; Not voting, 5.

Immediately upon announcement of the result, Governor Ben S. Paulen of Kansas, on behalf of Senator Curtis, moved that the nomination be made unanimous. Instantly there were seconds of the motion from states backing other candidates and with a whoop Secretary Hoover was made the unanimous choice of the convention.

The corked up enthusiasm for Secretary Hoover of days burst loose in two mighty demonstrations last night comparable with the bigger of Republican convention tributes to candidates since the battling days of 1912.

The Lowden withdrawal because of the outcome of the farm fight … first shocked then angered the convention as it quickly demonstrated by wild whoops of approval as the next nominator declared his candidate wasn’t a “quitter.”

The fine Curtis demonstration, even though it came more from the galleries than the delegates, was a splendid tribute. It showed a warmth and affection and respect for the Kansan that was real, from the people out West here who know him.

The attempt of Ralph B. Cole of Ohio, one of the bitter-enders against Hoover, to stampede the convention for President Coolidge — after making a bitter speech indirectly attacking the man the convention was about to nominate — would have been a sensation except that it fell as a complete “dud.” He hurled the bomb but it didn’t explode and the delegates, first surprised, just got a fighting note in their cheers for Hoover.

Then after all the oratory and demonstrating, the cheering and the waving of banners, the blowing of horns and the whistles, the ringing of bells and twisting rattles, came what 1,089 delegates had traveled to Kansas City for — the calling of the roll of states to express their choice upon the party’s next standard bearer.

All in all, it was Hoover’s big night. It began that way. It ended that way — even though there were some sour notes struck in between …

Alabama had yielded to California for the placing of Secretary Hoover in nomination and the Hooverites had yelled themselves hoarse in a 20- to 25-minute demonstration. They had repeated the show longer, louder and lustier, with the march of states around the packed convention floor under the standards of their states. It looked like everyone was in for a happy, harmonious, enthusiastic evening, especially as there was no doubt of the outcome — with the accustomed rivalry in cheers and demonstrations that goes with conventions.

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