Of the political conventions held in Chicago, the 1968 Democratic National Convention is the most notorious.
Today, images from the bloody anti-war protest tell the story of a nation in the throes of great change.
But Chicago has a deep history of hosting political conventions that predates 1968. Chicago’s central location and diverse population make it an obvious draw for politicians looking to spread their message far and wide. The city has hosted an unprecedented 24 national political conventions, more than any other city in America. And some of those conventions — like the one in 1968 — would alter the course of American history.
It was here in 1860 — less than a year before the start of the Civil War — that Abraham Lincoln was nominated by the Republican Party.
During the 1888 Republican National Convention in Chicago, Frederick Douglass became the first African-American to win a vote in presidential balloting at a major party convention, according to the Library of Congress. Douglass received one vote.
Urban historian and WBEZ contributor Shermann “Dilla” Thomas unearths the history of political conventions in Chicago.