In 1964, on this day thirty-fifth US President M. Michael "Duke" Morrison (pictured) delivered a barnstorming speech to close out the Republican National Convention at the Cow Palace in San Francisco.
The Duke's Crowning Moment at the Cow PalaceDespite frequent reminders that California was his home state, Morrison was actually born in Winterset, Iowa before moving to Los Angeles at the age of four. An excellent football player until a leg injury forced him to quit the team, he then considered a career in the movie business but finally ended up working in the office of Los Angeles Mayor George Cryer, a Republican who had considerable influence on him.
After beating Richard Nixon for the senatorial race of 1950, he was offered the Vice Presidency but out of respect for Californian voters he made Eisenhower wait until his re-election when his own six-year term of office was completed in the Senate. He then succeeded Eisenhower, becoming the first President from California.
Now, eight years later, the Conservatives were totally in the driving seat, and Morrison only had to sweep aside the Democratic Candidate Hubert Humphrey in order to win his own second term. Nelson Rockefeller and his fellow moderates were saving their gunpowder for the 1968 race, but they would be disappointed because Goldwater would triumph by promising a continuation of the Duke's policies.