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The 1948 Republican National Convention was held at the Municipal Auditorium, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from June 21 to 25, 1948.
New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey had paved the way to win the Republican presidential nomination in the primary elections, where he had beaten former Minnesota Governor Harold E. Stassen and World War II General Douglas MacArthur. In Philadelphia he was nominated on the third ballot over the opposition from die-hard conservative Ohio Senator Robert A. Taft, the future "minister of peace" Stassen, Michigan Senator Arthur Vandenberg, and California Governor Earl Warren. In all Republican conventions since 1948, the nominee has been selected on the first ballot. Warren was nominated for Vice President. The Republican ticket of Dewey and Warren surprisingly went on to lose the general election to the Democratic ticket of Harry S. Truman and Alben W. Barkley. One of the decisive factors in convening both major party conventions in Philadelphia that year was that Philadelphia was hooked up to the coaxial cable, giving the ability for two of the three then young television networks, NBC and CBS, to telecast for the first time live gavel to gavel coverage along the east coast. Only a few minutes of kinescope film have survived of these historic, live television broadcasts.
The party platform formally adopted at the convention included the following points:
- Reduction of the public debt
- Reduction of the inheritance tax
- Labor reform
- Promotion of small business through reduction of governmental intervention and regulation.
- Elimination of unnecessary federal bureaus, and duplication of functions of necessary governmental agencies.
- Federal aid to states for slum clearance and low-cost housing
- Extension of Social Security benefits
- A federal anti-lynching law
- Federal civil rights legislation. Texas delegate Orville Bullington led a successful protest demanding southern representation on the platform panel considering the civil rights proposals.
- Abolition of the poll tax
- A crackdown on domestic Communism
- Recognition of the state of Israel
- International arms control "on basis of reliable disciplines against bad faith".
- The admissions of Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico as states to the union.
Candidates before the convention
Dewey had a long list of potential running-mates, including the option of reselecting his 1944 running mate Senator John Bricker of Ohio or choosing someone else in Representative Charles Halleck of Indiana, and former Governor Harold Stassen of Minnesota. Dewey however, chose two-term California Governor Earl Warren as his running-mate; Warren was nominated unopposed.
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