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tv   The Presidency Hubert Humphrey 1968 Democratic National Convention  CSPAN  October 20, 2020 12:29pm-1:09pm EDT

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convention in chicago. vice president humphrey lost to republican richard nixon in a close general election with less than 1% of the popular vote separating the two. george wallace finished third in the race. >> mr. chairman. mr. chairman. my fellow americans. my fellow democrats. i proudly accept the nomination of our party.
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this moment -- this moment is one of personal pride and gratificati gratification. yet one cannot help but reflect the deep sadness that we feel over the troubles and the violence which have erupted regrettably and tragically in the streets of this great city. and for the personal injuries which have occurred. [ applause ].
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surely we have now learned the lesson that violence breeds counter violence. and it cannot be condoned whatever the source. [ applause ]. i know that every delegate to this convention shares tonight my sorrow and my distress over these incidents and may we, for just one moment, in sober reflection and serious purpose, may we just quietly and silen y
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silently, each in our own way, pray for our country and may we just share for a moment a few of those immortal words of the prayer of st. francis of assisi, words which i think may help heal the wounds, ease the pain and lift our hearts. listen to this immortal saint. where there is hatred, let me sow love. where there is injury, pardon -- where there is doubt, faith.
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where there is despair, hope. where there is darkness, light. those are the words of a saint. and may those of us of less purity listen to them well and may america tonight resolve that never, never again shall we see what we have seen. [ applause ].
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yes, i accept your nomination in this spirit that i have spoken. knowing that the months and the years ahead will severely test our america. and might i say that as this america is tested, that once again we give our testament to america. and i do not think it is sentimental, nor is it cheap, but i think it is true that each and every one of us in our own way should once again reaffirm to ourselves and our posterity that we love this nation. we love america. [ applause ].
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but take heart, my fellow americans, this is not the first time that our nation has faced a challenge to its life and its purpose. and each time we have had to face these challenges, we have emerged with new greatness and with new strength. we must make this moment of crisis, we must make it a moment of creation. [ applause ]. >> in the worst of times, a great people must do the best of things and let us do it. [ applause ].
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we stand in such a moment now in the affairs of this nation because, my fellow americans, something new, some different has happened. there is an end of an era. and there is the beginning of a new day. [ applause ].
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>> instead of frank, hard debate, we would deserve the contempt of our fellow citizens and the condemnation of history. [ applause ]. yes, we dared to speak out. and we have heard hard and sometimes bitter debate, but i submit this is the debate and this is the work of a free people. the work of an open convention and the work of a political party responsive to the needs of this nation. [ applause ].
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democrat affords democracy, debate and disseptember, but it also requires decision. and we have decided here not by edict but my vote, not by force but by ballot. [ applause ]. majority rule has prevailed, but minority rights are preserved. [ applause ]. there is always the temptation,
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always the temptation to lead the scene of battle in anger and despair. but those who know the true meaning of democracy accept the decision of today but never relinquishing their right to change it tomorrow. [ applause ]. in the space of but a week, this convention has literally laid the foundations of a new democratic party structure in america from precinct level to the floor of this convention we have revolutionized our rules and our procedures. [ applause ]. and that revolution is in the proud tradition of our party. it is in the tradition of
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franklin roosevelt who knew that america had nothing to fear but fear itself. [ applause ]. and it is in the tradition of that one and only harry truman who let them have it and told them like it was -- >> [ applause ]. and that's the way we're going to do it from here on out. and it is in the tradition of that beloved man who talked
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sense to the american people [ applause ]. and, oh, tonight how we miss this great, good and gentle man of peace in america. and my fellow americans, all that we do and all that we ever hope to do must be in the tradition of john f. kennedy who said to us, who said to us ask not what your country can do for you but what can you do for your country. [ applause ].
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and my fellow democrats and fellow americans, in the spirit of that great man, let us ask what we can do for the freedom of man. [ applause ]. and what we are doing is in the tradition of lyndon b. johnson, who rallied a grief-stricken nation. [ applause ].
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who rallied a nation when our leader was stricken by the a sis in's bullet and said to you and said to me and said to all the world, let us continue. and in the space -- and in the space of five years since that tragic moment, president johnson has accomplished more of the unfinished business of america than any of his modern predecessors.
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and i truly believe that history will surely record the greatness of his contribution to the people of this land. and tonight to you, mr. president, i say thank you, thank you, mr. president. [ applause ]. ♪ [ applause ].
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yes, my fellow democrats, we have recognized and indeed we must recognize the end of an era and the beginning of a new day. and that new day belongs to the people, to all the people everywhere in this land of the people, to every man, woman, and child that is a citizen of this republic. [ applause ]. and within that new day lies nothing less than the promise seen a generation ago by the
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poet thomas wolfe. to every man, his chance. to every man, regardless of his birth, his shining golden opportunity. to every man the right to live and to work and to be himself. and to become whatever thing his manhood and his vision can combine to make him. this is the promise of america. yes, a new day is here across america, throughout the entire world the forces of emancipation are at work. we hear freedom's rising chorus, let me live my own life. let me live in peace. let me be free, say the people. [ applause ].
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and that cry is heard today in our slums, on our farms and in our cities. it is heard from the old as well as from the new. and it will be answered by us in how we face the three realities that confront this nation. the first reality is the necessity for peace in vietnam and in the world. the second reality, the second reality is the necessity for
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peace and justice in our cities and in our nation. [ applause ]. and a third reality is the paramount necessity for unity. unity in our country. [ applause ]. let me speak first then about vietn vietnam. there are differences of course. serious differences within our party on this vexing and painful issue of vietnam. to my fellow americans once you
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have examined the differences, i hope you will also recognize the much larger areas of agreement. [ applause ]. let those who believe our cause in vietnam has been right or those who believe that it has been wronged agree here and now, agree here and now that neither vindication nor repaoud kwraeugz will bring peace or be worthy of this country. phraus phra [ applause ]. the question is not the yesterdays but the question is,
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what do we do now? no one knows what the situation in vietnam will be. when the next president of the united states takes that oath of office on january 20th, , 1969. but every heart in america prays that by then we shall have reached a cease-fire in vietnam and be in negotiation towards a durable peace. meanwhile, as a citizen, a candidate, and vice president, i pledge to you and to my fellow americans that i shall do everything within my power within the limits of my capacity and ability to aid the negotiations and to bring a prompt end to this war.
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not all of our lives in uncertainty and challenge and peril, the words of a prophet, yes, the words of a president, yes, the words of the challenge of today, yes, and the words of john kennedy, to you and to me and to posterity. last week, we witnessed once again in chezechoslovakia a desperate attempt of tyranny to crush out the forces of liberalism by force and brutal power to hold back change. but in eastern europe, as
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elsewhere, the old era will surely end. and there, as here, a new day will dawn. and to speed this day, we must go far beyond where we've been, beyond containment to communication, beyond the emphasis of differences to dialogue. beyond fear to hope. we must cross those remaining barriers of suspicion and despair. we must halt the arms race before it halts humanity. and this is a vain hope? is it but a dream?
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i say the record says no. within the last few years, we have made progress. we have negotiated a nuclear test ban treaty. we have laid the groundwork for a nuclear non-proliferation treaty. we have reached agreement on banning weapons in outer space. we have been building patiently, stone by stone, each and our own way, the cathedral of peace. and now, we must take new initiatives, new initiatives with prudence and caution, but with perseverance we must find the way and the means to control and reduce offensive and defensive nuclear missile systems. the world cannot indefinitely hope to avoid nuclear war, which
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one rash act, one error in judgment, one failure in communications could unleash upon all humanity and destroy all of mankind. but the search for peace is not for the timid or the weak. it must come from a nation of high purpose, firm, without being belligerent, resolute, without being bellicose. strong without being arrogant. and that's the kind of america that will help build the peace of this world. but the task of slowing down the
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arms race, of halting the nuclear escalation -- there is no more urgent task than ending this threat to the very survival of our planet. and if i am elected as your president, i commit myself, body, mind, and soul, to this task. now our second reality is the necessity for peace at home. there is, my friends -- let's see it as it is, there is trouble in america. bu but it does not come from a lack of faith. it comes from a kindling of hope. when the homeless can find a home, they do not give up the search for a better home. when the hopeless find hope,
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they seek higher hopes. and in 1960, and again in 1964, you, the american people, gave us a mandate to awaken america to its somement needs. you asked us to get america moving again. and we have. and america is on the move. and we have -- we have awakened expectations. we have aroused new voices and new voices that must and will be heard. we have inspired new hope in millions of men and women, and they are impatient, and rightly so, impatient now to see their hopes and their aspirations fulfilled. we have raised a new standard of life in our america. not just for the poor, but for every american, wage earner,
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businessman, farmer, school child, and housewife. a standard by which the future progress must be judged. our most urgent challenge is in urban america, where most of our people live, some 70% of our people live on 2% of our land. and within 25 years, 100 million more will join our national family. i ask you tonight, where shall they live? how shall they live? what shall be their future? we are going to decide in the next four years those questions. the next president of the united states will establish policies not only for this generation, but for children yet unborn. our task is tremendous, and i need your help. the simple solution of the
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frustrated and the frightened to our complex urban problems is to lash out against society. but we know, and they must know that this is no answer. violence breeds more violence. disorder destroys. and only in order can we build. riot makes more ruin. reason makes for solution. nor can there be any compromise with the right of every american who is anxious and willing to learn to have a good education. and it is to these rights, the rights of law and order, the rights of life, the rights of liberty, the right of a job, the right of a home and a decent neighborhood, and the right of
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an education -- it is to these rights that i pledge my life in whatever capacity and ability i have. but we cannot be satisfied with merely repairing that which is old. we must also move beyond the enclosures of our traditional cities to create new cities, to restore our present cities, yes. and we must bring prosperity and modern living and opportunity to our rural areas. we must design and open america, opening new opportunities for new americans in open land. i say to this audience, we have
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invested billions to explore outer space where man may live tomorrow. we must also be willing to invest to develop inner space, right here on earth, where man may live today. and now, the third reality. essential if the other two are to be achieved is the necessity, my fellow americans, for unity in our country, for tolerance, for holding together as a family. and we must make a great decision. are we to be one nation? or are we to be a nation divided, divided between black and white, between rich and poor, between north and south, between young and old?
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i take my stand. we are and we must be one nation, united by liberty and justice for all. one nation under god, indivisible, and with justice for all. this is our america. there can be no compromise on securing of human rights. if america is to make a crucial judgment of leadership in this coming election, then let that selection be made without either candidate hedging or equivoca equivocatiequivocat equivocating. winning the presidency for me is not worth the silence or evasion on the issue of human rights.
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and winning the presidency -- and listen well. winning the presidency is not worth a compact with extremism. i choose not simply to run for president. i seek to lead a great nation. and either we achieve true justice in our land, or we shall doom ourselves to a terrible exhaustion of body and spirit.
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i base my entire candidacy on the belief which comes from the very depths of my soul, which comes from basic religious conviction that the american people will stand up, that they will stand up for justice and fair play, and that they will respond to the call of one citizenship, one citizenship open to all for all americans. the american presidency, the american presidency is a great and powerful office. but it is not all-powerful. it depends most of all upon the will and the faith and the dedication and the wisdom of the american people.
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and i know, as you know, there is an essential strength in the american people. and tonight i call you, i call you, the american people, not to be of one mind, but to be of one spirit. i call you, the american people, not to a life of false security, false promises and ease, but to a new sense of purpose, a new dedication, and a new commitment. remember that those who founded this republic said that in order to secure these inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, they pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. i submit, my fellow americans, we dare do no less in our time
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if this republic is to survive. so i call you forth. i call forth that basic goodness that is there. i call you to risk the hard path of greatness. and i say to america, put aside recrime nation and dissension -- recrime nation and dissension, turn away from violence and hatred. believe. believe in what america can do. and believe in what america can be. and with the help of that vast, unfrightened, dedicated, faithful majority of americans, i say to this great convention tonight and to this great nation of ours, i am ready to lead our
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country. ♪ week nights this month on american history tv we are featuring the contenders our series that looks at 14 presidential candidates who lost the election but had a lasting effect on u.s. politics. tonight, we feature former governor of alabama and four-time presidential candidate george wallace. watch tonight beginning at 8:00 eastern. enjoy american history tv this week and every weekend on c-span3. every saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3 go inside a different college classroom and hear about topics ranging from the american
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revolution, civil rights, and u.s. presidents to 9/11. >> thanks for your patience and for logging in to class. >> with most college campuses closed due to the coronavirus watch professors transfer teaching to a virtual setting to connect with their students. >> reagan met him encouraged him, supported him. >> freedom of the press, which we will get to later, i should mention madison called it freedom of the use of the press. it is indeed freedom to print things and publish thing. it is not a freedom for what we refer now institutionally as the press. >> every saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. lectures in history is also available as podcast. find it where you listen to podcasts. you are watching american history tv. every weekend on c-span3,
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explore our nation's past. c-span3, created by america's cable television companies as a public service and brought to you today by your television provider. up next, we see richard nixon accept his party's presidential nomination at the 1968 republican national convention in miami beach, florida. mr. nixon defeated incumbent have been hubert humphrey in a close general election with less than 1% of the popular vote separating the two. independent candidate george wallace came in third. ♪ >> thank you very much. thank you. thank you very much. thank you. ♪


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