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Oscar Underwood, KKK, Contested Convention

March 19, 2016

Best read of the day.

Senator Oscar Underwood was most certainly a candidate for President. Perhaps more than that, Underwood had come from Alabama with the goal of forcing the Democratic Party to confront the rising power of the Ku Klux Klan, by pushing a plank in the Party’s platform that would condemn the group by name. McAdoo, the establishment candidate, not only countenanced the Klan but ran, in certain Southern states, with the organization’s open support, and his delegates blocked the plank. Calvin Coolidge, the Republican candidate, had not condemned the Klan either, and a “Southerner and Klansman” who was attending the Democratic Convention told the Times that “if the Democrats don’t look out he will get the Klan votes in November, and that will mean the election.”


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