April 27

This Day in History

Vietnam War

Apr 27, 1968:

Humphrey announces his candidacy

Vice President Hubert Humphrey announces his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. In an interview, he said he supported the current U.S. policy of sending troops "where required by our own national security."

On March 31, 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson, frustrated with his inability to reach a solution in Vietnam, announced that he would neither seek nor accept the nomination of his party for re-election. This set up a contest for the Democratic nomination. Humphrey's main competition was Senator Eugene McCarthy (D-Minnesota), who had come within a few hundred votes of beating Lyndon Johnson in the New Hampshire primary. Robert Kennedy had entered the race and won most of the Democratic primaries until he was assassinated in June. When the Democratic National Convention opened in Chicago in August, a conflict immediately erupted over the party's Vietnam platform. While demonstrations against the war took place in the streets outside the convention hall, Humphrey won the party nomination. He was ultimately defeated in the general election by Republican Richard Nixon, who criticized the Johnson's handling of the war and ran on a platform of achieving "peace with honor" in Vietnam.

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