The year 2016 marked the 12th presidential convention hosted by the City of Philadelphia. Proudly known as America’s birthplace, Philadelphia’s influence on American government and national politics is unparalleled in the United States.
The country’s 3 most historical documents – the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights were all enacted in Philadelphia. The earliest of conventions that established America’s government – the First Continental Congress (1774), Second Continental Congress (1775), and the Constitutional Convention (1787) – all convened in Philadelphia.
The first presidential national convention hosted in Philadelphia was in 1848, when the Whig political party convened and nominated Zachary Taylor as its presidential candidate. Eight years later in 1856, Philadelphia hosted 2 national presidential conventions – the American party and the first-ever Republican presidential convention. In total, Philadelphia has hosted 6 Republican conventions, 3 Democratic conventions, 1 Whig, 1 American, and 1 Progressive.
Philadelphia is also the only City to host 3 national conventions in one year – Republican, Democratic, and Progressive parties all convened here in the summer of 1948. The parties agreed to meet in one city because that same year the 3 Philadelphia presidential conventions were the first to be broadcast on live television, making it easier for the major television networks – ABC, CBS, and NBC -- to provide coverage. It was also the last year that the conventions were held in a non-air-conditioned facility. The record-breaking summer temperatures along with the hot lights of the television cameras created what was described as “an unbearable pressure cooker” inside Philadelphia’s Convention Hall.
It was 52 years later, following the 3 party convention year of 1948, when a presidential convention returned to Philadelphia. In 2000, the City welcomed the Republican National Convention, its 11th presidential convention since 1848.
From July 25-28, 2016, Philadelphia hosted the 47th Democratic National Convention where delegates decided the party’s platform -- their core beliefs -- and nominated Democratic candidates for President and Vice President who will represent their party in the November 2016 national election.
Philadelphia is where the Founding Fathers met, debated, and formed a new country with a new democracy. As Philadelphia’s Host Committee for the 2016 Democratic National Convention slogan reads, “Let’s Make History Again!”