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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Aug. 1, 1920)
VOL. 20, NO. 8 1
V V. "
Mr. . Bryan Declines Prohibition
' v(Bolow will bo found extracts from tho re
ports of tho Nebraska State Journal covering
tho National Prohibition Convention, in- ses
sion at Lincoln, July 21, 22, and 23. Ed.)
"Norrls, Montana, July 22, 1920.
"0. W, Bryan,
"Please dellvoi' tho following message to fue
chairwoman of the prohibition -national conven
tion now in session at Lincoln.
"Having been away from the railroads and
telegraph facilities for tho past 2-i hours, I have
not received your telegram notifying me of tho
nomination tendered mo , by tho prohibition
party convention. But reading a copy of It in
tho Bozeman Chronicle, I hasten to reply. I
profoundly appreciate the Honor dono me In
tendering this nomination, and I fnlly share in
tho convention's interest In prohibition as the
permanent polloy, of our government, and in tho
- strict enforcement of tho "Volstead actf without
any weakonfng of its provisions. I also shave
tho convention's disappointment at tlie failure
of tho Democratic ond.Republican parties to
pledge their candidates to such a policy, but I
cannot in justice to the prohibition party or to,
myself accept the nomination.
' "My connection with- :ot'her reforms would
t make it impossible foiVme to focus attention
upon tho prohibition question alone, and besides,
I am not willing to sever my connection with
the Democratic party, which Jms had a glorious
-part in securing tho prohibition amendment and
the enforcement law and which has signally
hoaored mo in years past.
"I have not deeded yet how I shall vote this
fall, "but whatever I may feel it -my duty to do
in this campaign, I expect to continue a mem-'
her of tho Democratic party, and' to serve my
country through it. '
'WILLIAM J. BRYAN."
William Jennings Bryan- will not be tho
standard-bearer of tho national -prohibition
party in tho 1920 campaign. Without waiting
until he had received the official telegram sent
hjm by officers ot the convention or other in
formation wlr,ed him and Waiting' for him at
Bozeman, Mont., where he Bpoke, Thursday
night ho sent a telegram to his brother Charles
W. Bryan, for transmission to the convention,
emphatically declining the honor.
In this he said that he appreciated the hon
or paid him, hut that ho cannot in justice to
tho prohibition party or to himself accept the
nomination. Ho is interested in other reforms,
and does not wish to focus attention on -prohibition
Mr. Bryan said that he had not yet decided
how he shall vote this fall, but that he ex
pected to continue a Democrat. H6 was not
willing to sever his connection with a party that
had a glorious part in securing tho prohibi
tory amendment and which had signally honored
The reading of tho telegram was received in
silence. At tho time the convention was about
to proceed with naming a vice president, and
after the reading had been finished the ponven
tlon turned promptly to the task "of naming a
presidential candidate. No signs of resentment
were shown, but on the contrary a little wave
of handclappjng ran over the audience.
NO SURPRISE TO MANY . . '
The decision of Mr. Bryan was not a great
surprise to the leaders of the party. These had
. heqn advised in advance hy C. W, Bryan of ex--actjy
how W J. felt toward the matter. At first?
they acquiesced in the decision and began can
vassing tjie situation. The persistency of the
rank and file, however, gave hirth to the idea
that It might bo possible to stampede him into
accepting it or to put it up to him bo strongly
that he might ho convinced that the path of
duty lay 'that way After the nomination was
made "Wednesday night arrangements were made
to start a series of chain telegrams urging up
on him the necessities of prohibition, but ap
parently Mr, Bryan, acted upon whattie read
V i, . -u ?-
in tho morning papers and before he had read
any of the telegrams sent him, including on
from his brother advising him of the situation
Privately many of tho delegates expressed
keen disappointment over the failure of their
efforts to 8ocuro Bryan's consent. They said
that 'when they left homo many friends, Demo
crats and Republicans, urged upon them tho
necessity and wisdom of nominating Bryan, and
predicting that ho would sweep the country.
Tho delegates sang "In the Sweet Bye and
Bye" in opening the evening session. Tho floor
was well filled with delegates and visitors and
thore was a scattering in the galleries.
Following the song 'the crowd repeated .the
Lord's prayer. - .,
The chairman announced - the first order of
business was the nomination of president of
the United States. She asked Vice Chairman
Mason to take tho chair. " ' .
Delegate Colvin of New York asked postpone
ment of husiness for five minutes.
Delegate George D. Harger of Pennsylvania
presented his plank regarding Armenia and
favoring the league of nations without reserva
tons. Tho resolution was promptly laid on the
The delegates seemed to know Bryan had, re
fused the nomination and seemed depressed.
When Misa Brehm, chairman, read tho telegram
from Bryan refusing the nomination a Wiscon
sin delegate moved tho order of day be changed
and the convention proceed tonorainate a
TRIED TO REACH HIM ALL DAY
Attempts had been made throughout the, day
to locate 'the Commoner, Friends, relativs'of-
fleers of the Prohibition party, press associa
tions, telephone and telegraph companies were
called into the field to aid in locating Mr Bry
an. For more than twenty-four hours he had
succeeded in secluding himself. Cass Lake, Devils
Lake and Crookston, Minn.; Pony, Ennis and
Bozeman, Mont., all claimed the nominee at
various times during the day. Late in the af
ternoon it was definitely understood that'Mi.
Bryan Was en route to Bozeman and was ex-
pected there ahout 8 o'clock mountan time!
With an uneasiness caused by the uncertainty
of the possible acceptance by Mr. Bryan the
delegates found it difficult to settle down to the
business of the day and the flood of motions,
amendments and debate during the afternoon
was stopped only when the delegates decided to
take a two hour recess before thevening Wes
son at w&ich-time the delegates "had decided
'to take up the question of a nominee for tho
viceTpresidency on the prohibition ticket.
lUR. BRYAN NOMINATED BY PROHD3I
v TION CONVENTION
NOTIFICATION TELEGRAM "
Wm. Jennings Bryan,
Prohibition .national convention nominated
you by acclamcMon with great en4husiasm, itf
response to a flood of demands 'from people
of all political creeds and from all parts of tho
nationt People are sick and disheartened over
the situation in the dominant parties and mil
lions are in revolt against both of them. We
believe that we speak advisedly when we say
that you face an unprecedented opportunity for
good. A million volunteer campaigners and
speakers will spring to your support. A hun
dred thousand college students can bo organ
ized to work for your election. Tho women are
praying for, such an opportunity as your candi
dacy affords. Millions of the rank and file of
tho voters will find In your candidacy the onlv'
opportunity for expressing their convictions
and advancing them to expression in law The
motherhood, childhood and youth of the land
7, UV, y0,Vs th? only Mtiidate through
which their civic aspirations can function It
is the opportunity of a generation. The stone
which the builders have rejected, the same
shall become the head of th corner. We pledge
your-, our wholehearted and unselfish devotiol
MARIE d. REHM. Chairmnn
- ' Prohibition National Convention, i
, ,- UMiLr JU. tt. HOHENTHAL, Secretary
William Jennings Bryan, noted citizen nni
statesman of Lincoln, Nebraska, and thrlci
candidate tor president of the United Statp
was nominated for president by the thirteenti
national prohibition convention Wednesday aj
y:03 p. m.
Mr. Bryan was nominated following a fifteen
minute xlemonstratiQn during which every stat
standard was torn from ItB fastenings and placet
in a triumphal march of dry delegations. The
Nebraska Commonor was placed in nominatioi
despite the fact that assurances were given the
delegates that Bryan had given Lincoln friend
to understand that he would decline tho nomina
A heated debate of two hours was indulge-
in before tho nomination was definitely placed!
uoiore cue convention, mias -mane urenm oi
California, permanent chairman' of the pvj-
Ijibs, called Vice Chairman Mason of New Jersey
to the chair and then placed the name of the'
Nobraskan in nomination amid the cheers of the!
several hundred delegates.
In naming Mr. Bryan the convention upsetl
precedent as well as it program by selecting Ehoj
candidate on the first day. Nominations were1
not scheduled until Friday.
START BJG DEMONSTRATION
The delegates were tired. They had been inl
session past the supper hour. This did not;
dampen their enthusiasm however and when
Chairman Farris of the Missouri- delegation with
a shout grabbed the Missouri standard and1
jumped into the aisle the delegates grabbed'
their state insignlas and started, the march of)
Every state took part in the parade and very.
few individual delegates held hack. The dele
gates pounded on the floor with the end of the
standards and howled "We want Bryan," "We'll ;J
Win. with Bryan" and "Watch the-prohibition
ists swe-op the country."
After five minutes of parading, cheering and
yelling Vice Chairman Mason pounded for order
but could not get it. The delegates were de
termined to continue the demonstration and
every bound of the gavel made the delegates,!
howl the more.
After eight minntes the pop of the demonstra-
tion had apparently di6d down arid Vice Chair-
man Mason again tried for order. This re
sulted in a new outburst of noiBe and the shout
ing was greater than before. Delegates were
red in the face from yelling. One old lady
' carried a state standard and was howling "Fll "
hack Bryan" at the top of her voice.
A steam roller locomotive yell 'Bryan-Bryan-Bryan,
Bryan, Bryan, Bryan" was introduced
and a number of th group took up the shout.
The parade ended when. tho delegates joined in
; smg;ng America,
- J. A,. Murray seconded the nomination on be
half of the Nebraska delegation. Others sec
onding the nomination were John B. Coffin of
,FIorida, Miss Margaret Wintrlnger of Illinois,
J E. Lt Miller of Missouri and Wylie Philips of
The nomination was officially, announced at 1
703.p. m. - I
The nomination was made by acclamation. Six
-,! acvvn UVTIfUCO JJC1U UUi. tJLUUUUlllJ-y ao."d 2i
to vote in the affirmative. All attempts to
swing them over to make it unanimous failed.
THE NOMINATING SPEECH
When Mss Brehm, chairman. of the conven- J
tion, called Vice Chairman Mason to the cnair
the delegates scented that a change in the sit
uation Was about to break.
They had been dehating the' question of a
possible nomination of Bryan for over two liotus
but no one seemed to have the koy'to a nomi
When Mss Brehm announced she was about I
to make a nominating speech the deieganou
arose and cheered foreclose to a minute. She
"Hav'ing known William Jennings Bryan for
'many years and knowing that he has been a
total abstainer and that his motherwas a wim j
ribboner and knowing his attitude towards
American and world prohibition I take pleasure i
m makincr thin-shftpfth. - 'i
nowing he fs the f irsjt real; Christian states-
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