Al Smith, Presidential Contender
“The Contenders: They Lost the Election But Changed Political History” is a C-SPAN series of live programs about 14 presidential candidates before 1996 who lost the election but who had a lasting effect on U.S. politics.
Historians Beverly Gage and John Evers talked about the life and career of 1928 Democratic presidential nominee Alfred E. Smith, Jr. (1873-1944). Nicknamed the “Happy Warrior,” Al Smith never went to high school or college, yet he was speaker of the New York State Assembly and four-term governor. He was the first Catholic ever nominated by a major party and is honored at the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner, at which presidential nominees of both parties speak. Video clips of past dinners were shown as well as clips of Al Smith and a 1932 newsreel. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Al Smith’s great-grandson gave taped interviews. The historians responded to telephone calls, electronic communications, and the audience in the New York State Assembly Chamber.
“The Contenders: They Lost the Election But Changed Political History” is a C-SPAN series of live programs about 14 presidential candidates before 1996 who lost the election but who had a lasting effect on U.S. politics. close
People in this video
John J. Evers Historian (Former) New York State Assembly
Beverly Gage Associate Professor Yale University->History Department
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