A good way to gauge how much America and politicking has changed in the past century-plus is to look at party platforms. In 1892, when the Republicans last held their nomination convention in our state, they were worried about instituting a bimetallism standard for currency with silver and gold, insuring the "life and limbs of employees of transportation companies," and building and controlling a canal in Nicaragua. Things such as winning wars thousands of miles away, calling citizens to volunteer 4,000 hours over their lifetime, and "supporting judges that uphold the law"—all of which were included in the party's 2004 platform—weren't even on the radar for the elephants of yore. Local writer and historian Iric Nathanson will delve into the past to examine the 1892 convention, the only political convention to be held in Minnesota before this year's. He'll look at the important resolutions they passed, including an anti-lynching measure; how the GOP landed in Minneapolis in the first place; and he'll discuss the Industrial Exposition Building, once a Minneapolis landmark that didn't make it through the first half of the 20th century. The upcoming convention will share two things with the one in 1892: an unpopular president (Benjamin Harrison in '92) and fresh wounds from getting thumped in mid-term elections.
Thu., Aug. 14, 7 p.m., 2008