Will history repeat itself? A look back at conventions gone awry

Will history repeat itself? A look back at conventions gone awry

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - About two months ago, a Donald Trump rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico "erupted into fiery violence," according to the Albuquerque Journal. On Saturday morning in New York, after the Rolling Stone's "You Can't Always Get What You Want" played on the loudspeaker, the presumptive Republican nominee officially introduced Indiana's governor as his running mate.

A lot can change in two months.

Still, the 2016 campaign has been an eventful one, and many are wondering what's going to happen next week in and around Quicken Loans Arena, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"I think most people are concerned with what is a 'brokered convention,'" said Dr. Thomas Humphrey, a Department of History interim chair at Cleveland State University. "Simply, a brokered convention is when a candidate falls short of a majority of delegates after the first vote. After that, people may begin trading, or brokering, the votes of super delegates' votes."

1924 Democratic National Convention: Ballots on ballots on ballots

Once the nominee is picked, it's full steam ahead until Election Day. But that's not always the easy part.

At the DNC in New York City in 1924, there were more than 100 ballots. John Davis was eventually picked, but he went on to lose to Calvin Coolidge in the election.

Republicans went into the 30s at 1880's Republican National Convention in Chicago, said Allan Peskin, Professor Emeritus at Cleveland State University. Ulysses S. Grant was going for a third term. But after all those ballots, dark horse James Garfield came away with the nomination and went on to be president.

This sort of situation is not an impossibility when it comes to Trump, Peskin said, but he may be doing well enough in the polls to ward off any "Dump Trump" efforts.

There hasn't been a brokered convention since Dwight Eisenhower snagged the Republican nomination in 1952, Humphrey said.

But the fireworks don't always happen inside the convention hall.

1968 Democratic Convention: Vietnam protesters descend on Chicago

Haynes Johnson, with Smithsonian Magazine, put it well:

No one who was there, or who watched it on television, could escape the memory of what took place before their eyes. Include me in that group, for I was an eyewitness to those scenes: inside the convention hall, with daily shouting matches between red-faced delegates and party leaders often lasting until 3 o'clock in the morning; outside in the violence that descended after Chicago police officers took off their badges and waded into the chanting crowds of protesters to club them to the ground. I can still recall the choking feeling from the tear gas hurled by police amid throngs of protesters gathering in parks and hotel lobbies.

So what will happen in Cleveland?

So far, conventions in Cleveland have been pretty tame.

A few hundred people who called themselves Radical Republicans gathered in Cleveland in 1864 to pick a non-Abe Lincoln nominee, according to David Blight's "Frederick Douglass' Civil War." Lincoln still went on to beat Democratic nominee George McClellan in the election. He was assassinated a year later.

In 1924, an RNC was held at Cleveland's Public Auditorium. It was the first time female delegates had equal representation with men after women received the right to vote in 1920, according to clevelandhistorical.org. President Calvin Coolidge was nominated and went on to win the general election.

In 1936, also at Public Auditorium, Kansas Gov. Alfred Landon was picked as nominee after the first ballot.

It's unclear how the 2016 will play out. Protesters have had, and will have their say, and Cleveland police believe they are ready if something should get out of hand. Until then, here's a list of suggestions for where to eat if you're from out of town and here's a traffic update (closures, detours). As Cleveland 19 News' general manager put it, "we welcome you with open arms to Cleveland."

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