The Dixiecrat revolt

From the Encylopedia Americana article by Donald B. Johnson: Dixiecrats, a splinter group of Southern Democrats in the U.S. elections of 1948, who rejected President Harry S. Truman’s civil-rights program and revolted against the civil-rights plank adopted at the Democratic National Convention. A conference of states’ rights leaders then met in Birmingham and suggested Gov. J. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina for president and Gov. Fielding Wright of Mississippi for vice president. The group hoped to force the election into the House of Representatives by preventing either Truman or his Republican opponent, Thomas E. Dewey, from obtaining a majority of the electoral votes.

The plan failed. Although Thurmond electors ran and won as the official Democratic candidates in four states—Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina—other Thurmond electors running as “States Rights Democrats” lost to Truman slates. Thurmond polled 22.5% of the total Southern vote to Truman’s 50.1%. Nationally, Thurmond obtained 39 electoral votes with 1,169,032 popular votes. The Dixiecrat movement encouraged Northern blacks to vote for Truman, but it ultimately strengthened the Republican party in the South, for many Dixiecrats became Republicans.

PLATFORM OF THE STATES RIGHTS DEMOCRATIC PARTY
Unanimously Adopted at Oklahoma City, August 14, 1948
1 -We believe that the Constitution of the United States is the greatest charter of human liberty ever conceived by the mind of man.

2 -We oppose all efforts to invade or destroy the rights guaranteed by it to every citizen of this republic.

3 -We stand for social and economic justice, which, we believe can be guaranteed to all citizens only by a strict adherence to our Constitution and the avoidance of any invasion or destruction of the constitutional rights of the states and individuals. We oppose the totallitaran, centralized bureaucratic government and the police nation called for by the platforms adopted by the Democratic and Republican Conventions.

4 -We stand for the segregation of the races and the racial integrity of each race; the constitutional right to choose one’s associates; to accept private employment without governmental interference, and to learn one’s living in any lawful way. We oppose the elimination of segregation, the repeal of miscegenation statutes, the control of private employment by Federal bureaucrats called for by the misnamed civil rights program. We favor home-rule, local self-government and a minimum interference with individual rights.

5 -We oppose and condemn the action of the Democratic Convention in sponsoring a civil rights program calling for the elimination of segregation, social equality by Federal fiatt, regulations of private employment practices, voting, and local law enforcement.

6 -We affirm that the effective enforcement of such a program would be utterly destructive of the social, economic and political life of the Southern people, and of other localities in which there may be differences in race, creed or national orgin in appreciable numbers.

7 -We stand for the check and balances provided by the three departments of our government. We oppose the usurpation of legislative functions by the executive and judicial departments. We unreservadly condemn the effort to establish in the United States a police nation that would destroy the last vestige of liberty enjoyed by a citizen.

8 – We demand that there be returned to the people to whom of right they belong, those powers needed for the preservation of human rights and the discharge of our responsibility as democrats for human welfare. We oppose a denial of those by political parties, a barter or sale of those rights by a political convention, as well as any invasion or violation of those rights by the Federal Government. We call upon all Democrats and upon all other loyal Americans who are opposed to totaltarianism at home and abroad to unite with us in ignominously defeating Harry S. Truman, Thomas E. Dewey and every other candidate for public office who would establish a Police Nation in the United States of America.

9 -We, therefore, urge that this Convention endorse the candidacies of J. Strom Thurmond and Fielding H. Wright for the President and Vice-president, respectively, of the United States of America.

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS
Wm. H. MURRAY
JOHN STEEL BATSON
CLIFTON RATLIFF
M.F. RAY
MRS. ANNA B. KORN
O.L. PENNY
J.K. WELLS
BARNEY WOLVERTON
R.W. MOTT
FRANCIS HASKELL
 
 
OTHER OFFICERS ELECTED
ROSS LILLARD, President
CHUCK HERD, Vice-President
MRS. RUTH LACKEY, Secretary
 
HEADQUARTERS
 
At Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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