Democrats nominate William Jennings Bryan for president 120 years ago #OnThisDay #OTD (July 10 1896)

(Friday, July 10, 1896, evening local time) — Former Representative William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska was nominated president today at the 1896 Democratic National Convention meeting at Chicago Coliseum in Chicago.

Former Representative Richard P. Bland of Missouri finished ahead of Bryan on the first ballot 235-137 votes. Bryan secured the nomination on the fifth ballot over former Governor Robert E. Pattison of Pennsylvania 652-95 votes.

At age 36, Bryan was the youngest Presidential nominee in American history, only one year older than the constitutional minimum.

Bryan’s keynote “Cross of Gold” address, delivered prior to his nomination, lambasted Eastern monied classes for supporting the gold standard at the expense of the average worker. This was a repudiation of Cleveland administration policy, but proved popular with the delegates to the convention.

The convention would nominate Bryan’s running mate the following day to oppose the Republican ticket of William McKinley and Garret Hobart in the United States presidential election, 1896.

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