DNC 2016

Hot-dog-eating Senators, FDR and a real donkey: 10 photos from the 1936 Philadelphia DNC

DNC1936_donkey

The 2016 DNC won’t be Philadelphia’s first. The city hosted the Democratic National Convention in 1936 and 1948 at Convention Hall near UPenn (now the site of the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine). Billy Penn dug up a few old pictures to show what it was like back in 1936, when the Democrats nominated Franklin Roosevelt for the second of four times. Back then, these nominations at conventions were often contested and, as you’ll see below, fistfights could even break out. Photos are from the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin via Temple University Libraries.

1936

Senator Joe Guffey, Attorney General Charles Margiotti, Secretary of Internal Affairs Thomas Logue and local Democratic leaders John Kelly and Matthew Closkey walk up Broad Street toward the convention.

DNC1936_Delegate Walk

Philadelphia donated $200K to the Democratic National Convention to sweeten the pot. That’s the equivalent of $3.4 million today.

DNC1936_check

Al Smith supporters get pissed and start a fight. Smith didn’t get the nomination. FDR did.

DNC1936_fight

About 200 local college students and debutantes show off their dresses for the Convention.

DNC1936_womencostumes

Guys, they had a real Democratic donkey! And he’s trying to eat paper at the information desk.

DNC1936_donkey

Some dude rode this Conestoga wagon from Reading to Manayunk so he could see the Convention.

DNC1936_Wagon

Not everyone gets excited by the DNC. Man falls asleep during Senator Joseph Robinson’s speech.

DNC1936_sleeping

Chestnut Street gets decorated for the Convention.

DNC1936_Chestnut

Men make fun of Democratic Committee Chairman Jim Farley by dressing up as clowns.

DNC1936_clowns

Texas senators Earle Mayfield and Thomas Pollard eat hot dogs with local woman Beatrice Zippel.

1936DNC_HotDogs

FDR after he gets the nomination.

DNC1936_FDR

Want some more? Explore other DNC 2016 stories.

Mornings are for coffee and local news

Billy Penn’s free morning newsletter gives you a daily roundup of the top Philly stories you need to start your day.

You finished another Billy Penn article — keep it up!

We hope you found it useful, fun, or maybe even both. If you want more stories like this, will you join us as a member today?

Nice to see you (instead of a paywall)

Billy Penn’s mission is to provide free, quality information to Philadelphians through our articles and daily newsletter. If you believe local journalism is key to a healthy community, join us!

Your donation brought this story to life

Billy Penn only exists because of supporters like you. If you find our work valuable, consider making a sustaining donation today.

Being informed looks good on you

Thanks for reading another article, made possible by members like you. Want to share BP with a friend?