Convention Snapshot – 1964 Vote On Civil Rights Plank – Republican Convention
The 1964 Republican Convention – a one-hour snapshot of events taking place on July 14th/15th – the second day of the convention. Aside from all the opening business of the first day, the second day got down to platforms and amendments and a good look at which way the Party was heading in this “year of Goldwater”.
Clearly, the East Coast Liberal Republican establishment were becoming a thing of the past – the New York delegation was quickly becoming marginalized – Governor Nelson Rockefeller, the face of the Liberal Wing of the party was booed relentlessly during his keynote address. The creeping sense the party was being overtaken by the extremist wing was made more evident by the presence of Ku Klux Klan demonstrators outside the Republican Convention at the Cow Palace, loudly proclaiming allegiance to Barry Goldwater.
Most telling was one of the first orders of voting business – on adopting the Civil Rights Bill for the convention platform. An hour was devoted to speeches on the bill; the hour that’s represented here. As the addresses wore on, it was abundantly evident that the Party of Lincoln was no longer, and that the Black members of the delegation were vowing to leave amid the cloud of vitriol being aimed at them.
When the vote was finally ordered, the No votes were two to one and the Civil Rights Amendment to be included in the convention platform was promptly dropped.
There would be many more surprises in store over the course of the next several days. But when it was over, you knew the Republican Party was heading in a direction they had never ventured before, and many weren’t happy. Many felt the party had been hijacked by extremists. And that, come November, things would not bode well for the possibility of a Goldwater in The White House.
Here is a one hour excerpt of that second day, July 14 (into the 15th), 1964 – as reported by NBC News.