Governor Roosevelt’s triumphant return to the Convention Hall, October 18th, 1932

Governor Roosevelt’s triumphant return to the Convention Hall, October 18th, 1932

In keeping with our Presidential visits to Rochester series, on October 18th, 1932, New York State Governor and Democratic presidential candidate Franklin Roosevelt spoke at the Convention Hall.


Franklin D. Roosevelt with son James, Rochester, 10/18/32 [Photo: Library of Congress]

On September 23rd, 1920, Vice Presidential candidate, Franklin Roosevelt spoke at the Convention Center. That November, he and running mate James Cox lost in a landslide to Harding and

On October 18th, 1932 Roosevelt — now Governor of New York — returned to the Hall a few weeks away from his own landslide victory over President Herbert Hoover.


Election of 1932


Sat Aug 20 1910 page 1


Wed Oct 3 1928 page 1

In Roosevelt’s remarks at the Convention Hall, he mentioned other visits to Rochester. His first was in 1910 as an alternate delegate at the State Democratic Convention. That November, Roosevelt would win the Senate seat representing Duchess County.


Roosevelt campaigning for Governor in Batavia, Tue Oct 23 1928 page 7

And in 1928, at the Convention Hall again, Roosevelt was nominated to success as the Democratic gubernatorial candidate.

In Punishing the Past: Presidential Elections in Times of Crisis (1932, 1968, 2008), University of Pennsylvania Professor Bruce Kuklick makes the provocative claim that rather than being about the future of the nation, elections must be about the past.  In 1932, Kuklick argues that voters were not so much endorsing Roosevelt’s still shifting plans for reversing the Great Depression, but instead were voicing a full scale repudiation of Hoover and his administration. By the same measure, 2008 was similar to 1932 in that voters were not so much buying Obama’s vision of hope and change, but reacting to the Bush administration’s Iraq War and the Great Recession just emerging.

Using Kuklik’s thesis, a Trump victory in November would mark a negative referendum on Obama’s two terms in which Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State.


Tue Oct 19 1954 page19

When comparing 1932 and 2016, some pundits — offering an extreme interpretation I don’t share — see a Trump victory as akin to the gains made by the National Socialist German Workers Party in the 1932 Weimar Republic national elections.

Roosevelt would visit Rochester again as President on October 17th, 1936. And almost to the day, 18 years later Eleanor Roosevelt with have lunch with the the University of Rochester’s President C.W. de Kiewiet.

UPDATE: Talker subscriber Bill Sauers adds another Roosevelt visit:

“Governor Roosevelt also visited Our Mother of Sorrows church in Greece in June 1930 to commemorate their 100th anniversary.”

In When President John Quincy Adams visited Rochester on July 27th and 28th, 1843 and toured Mt. Hope Cemetery, the grave of Nathaniel lincolnRochester.

In On Abraham Lincoln in Rochester from Michael Nighan, a plaque and a train station.


In Memorial Day, 1892, when President Benjamin Harrison dedicated the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Monument in Washington Square Park with Frederick Douglass. And Occupy Rochester, Benjamin Harrison, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass in the same park Occupy would occupy.dewey-cropped

In FDR’s first visit to Rochester as a national candidate, September 23rd, 1920. And the League of Nations., Rachel in Washington Square Park.

In FDR in Rochester en route to a New Deal landslide, October 17th, 1936, an unfinished portrait.

In When President Truman campaigned in Rochester en route to his upset win over NY Governor Thomas Dewey, a thruway sign.

In 56 years ago when JFK spoke at the War Memorial. Two days after his debate with Nixon. Nine days after RFK was here., the War Memorial.

In LBJ and RFK in Rochester, October 15th,1964, a plaque in Highland Park.

war-memorialIn 45 years ago when President Nixon visited Rochester. And 3 days later when East High School erupted in racial violence a media briefing at the Landmark Hotel in Pittsford.running-for-prz

In When Carter stumped Rochester in ’76. And Howard the Duck. it was Howard for Prez.rfk-lbj

with BrIAN croppedIn 27 years ago today when President George H. W. Bush visited Wilson Magnet High School, a signed chalkboard.

In 5 Meliora Weekends ago when President Clinton spoke. And Great Books with President Seligman

In A seat at the President’s table three years later, soup and a grilled cheese sandwich at Magnolia’s.


Sarah, we were there too! “Lafayette in the SOMEWHAT United States” and Rochester

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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