With the Republican National Convention wrapping up, and the Democratic National Convention starting up next week, politics -- for better or worse -- are in the air.
We live in a time of an undeniably heated political atmosphere, true. But this is hardly the first century when campaigns and elections have taken some weird turns:
-- The election of 1800, between John Adams of the Federalists and Thomas Jefferson of the Republicans, did not only prove to be a milestone in American history. It also changed forever the deep friendship that had once existed between these two Founding Fathers. From threats of civil war to a secretive deal that gave Jefferson the presidency, this election was a truly historical -- and epic -- moment. (Read more about it in Adams Vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800.)
-- The very first presidential convention was held in 1831, by the Anti-Masonic Party. (That particular political party can be best remembered for trying to enlist Henry Clay to their cause -- even though Clay was actually a Freemason.)
-- Chicago bar proprietor William Sianis placed a sign in his Billy Goat Tavern reading, "No Republications Allowed" -- just in time for the 1944 Republican National Convention. Republicans came to the bar in droves ... and Sianis turned a tidy profit.
-- The last time a political convention actually seemed to have something at stake? 1976, when Ronald Reagan battled Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination in the country's last political floor fight to date.
Read some more fun facts about past (and present) Presidential Conventions here. Then check out some important links below -- and please, remember to vote this fall!
Voting in Pennsylvania
- Pennsylvania Voter Registration Application -- Not registered to vote? Print out the form and mail it in today! (Deadline to register to vote in the upcoming general election is October 9th.)
- Votes PA -- A state website devoted to meeting the voting needs of Pennsylvania residents. Find your local poling place, check what you need to bring on Election Day, and even find out how to register to vote. Check it out!
- Pennsylvania Voter ID Law -- What you need to know.
- Be Prepared for November 6th -- PA's voting laws have changed. Follow this easy checklist to find out exactly what you need to bring. (Don't have a photo ID? This link will tell you how to get a FREE photo ID through PennDOT!)
- MPL Hot Topic: Voter ID Laws -- Should voters be required to show photo ID before marking their ballots? Check out the facts and opinions in our Hot Topic.
- Maps of the 2008 US Presidential Election Results -- Traditional maps can result in skewed perceptions of real statistics. So check out these "cartograms," maps rescaled to reflect population over land area.