Interview with Joseph Rauh
QUESTION 1
INTERVIEWER:

LET ME BEGIN BY ASKING YOU ABOUT 1948, AND UH, JUST BRIEFLY THE UH, THE SIGNIFICANCE OF, OF WHAT HAPPENED THAT YEAR?

Joseph Rauh:

At the 1948 Democratic Convention, we upset the machinery. By we, I mean Hubert Humphrey and a bunch of young people. We upset the establishment of the Democratic Party. The establishment of the Democratic Party was just as reactionary on civil rights as the Republicans. So what did we do? We tied civil rights to the masthead of the Democratic Party. Hubert Humphrey made this great speech. Uh, it was a lovely—it was a great platform we put in there. It came out for all the statutes that one would want, FEPC, anti-lynching, anti-poll tax. It was just perfect. And uh, Hubert uh, offered it as the minority plank. It was the first time since prohibition that the minority plank had won. And uh, as we came out of there, it was 100 degrees that day in Philadelphia, and it was 120 in that thing, but as we came out of that sweatshop we all knew that we had forever changed the Democratic Party, and that's absolutely right. Everything that has happened since then resulted from the fact that we made the Democratic Party take a civil rights plank and then who walked out? Strom Thurmmond, and the southerners. We built—we shifted the whole emphasis of the Democratic Party from a southern dominated party to a civil rights dominated party.