Democratic National Convention: a wild ride in 1924

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Almost nine decades ago, the Democrats got together in New York City and tore themselves apart.

They fought over civil rights and the Ku Klux Klan. They fought over religion. They fought over legalizing liquor. And they did it for more than two whole weeks while botching everything from the music to the celebratory fire sirens.

The Democratic National Convention of 1924 remains the most destructive of all time. "During its 16 days and 103 ballots, the party virtually committed suicide," writes historian Robert K. Murray.

The players included a future president who'd lose that November, a Catholic governor, a KKK sympathizer and the ultimate nominee, a man who described the chaos, in a bit of understatement, as "a three-ring circus with two stages and a few trapeze acts."...

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