On this day in Alabama history: Dixiecrats held convention at Birmingham’s Municipal Auditorium

On this day in Alabama history: Dixiecrats held convention at Birmingham’s Municipal Auditorium
Alabama delegates walked out of the 1948 Democratic National Convention to protest candidate Harry S. Truman's civil rights policies. This led to the creation of a faction of southern Democrats known as "Dixiecrats." (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, Courtesy of Alabama Department of Archives and History)

July 17, 1948

The Dixiecrats, formally known as the States’ Rights Democratic Party, held their first and only convention at Municipal Auditorium in Birmingham. The Dixiecrats emerged in 1948 in opposition to President Harry Truman’s widespread civil rights program, which included racial integration, repealing poll taxes and making lynching a federal crime. At the convention in Birmingham, the Dixiecrats nominated Gov. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina as their presidential candidate. Alabama’s 11 Democratic electors pledged their votes to Thurmond in that year’s election, but the party did not maintain state control after 1950. The word “Dixiecrat” later became a generic term to describe white Southern Democrats opposed to civil rights legislation.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

 

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