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Jefferson–Jackson Day is the annual fundraising celebration (dinner) held by Democratic Party organizations in the United States. It is named for Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, which the party calls its founders. During presidential election campaigns, key dinners are important venues for candidates to attend.
It is usually held in February or March around the same time as the Republican Party’s equivalent Lincoln Day, Reagan Day, or Lincoln–Reagan Day dinners. The Iowa dinner is held in November so as to precede the state’s caucuses for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Into the 1960s, state and local Democratic Parties across the country depended on well-attended Jefferson–Jackson Day dinners to provide their annual funding.
In 1936 it was only referred to as The Jackson Day Dinner and President Roosevelt delivered the annual address:
President Roosevelt: “It is true that we Americans have found party organizations to be useful, and indeed necessary, in the crystallization of opinion and in the demarcation of issues. It is true that i have received many honors at the hands of one of our great parties. it is nevertheless true that in grave questions the confront the Unite States today that I, as President of the United States, must and will consider our common problems first, foremost and preeminently from the American point of view.
To most of us Andrew Jackson appropriately has become the symbol of certain great ideals. I like best to thin of his as a man whom the average Americans deeply and fundamentally understood. To the masses of his countrymen his purposes and his character were an open book. They loved him well because they understood him well – his passion for justice, his championship of the cause of the exploited and the downtrodden, his ardent and flaming patriotism. Jackson sought social justice. Jackson fought for human rights in his many battles to protect thee people against autocratic and oligarchic aggression.
If at times his passionate devotion to this cause of the average citizen lent an amazing zeal to his throughout, his speech and his actions, the people loved him for it the more. They realized the intensity of the attacks by his enemies – by those who, thrust from power and position, pursued him with relentless hatred. The beneficiaries of the abuses to which he put an end pursued him with all the violence that political passions can generate. But the people of his day were not deceived. They loved him for the enemies he had made.”
American politics and attitudes have changed considerably since 1936. As a reminder, here is that complete address, as it was given on January 8, 1936.