Republicans from many state parties held their first national organizational meeting in Pittsburgh on February 22, 1856. Presiding over this preliminary session was former U.S. Senator Lawrence Brainerd (VT), a resolute anti-slavery activist.
The next day, delegates chose the first Republican National Committee. New York's Republican state Chairman, Edwin Morgan, was then elected the first Chairman of the RNC. He had the immense responsibility of organizing the first Republican National Convention, to be held just four months later in Philadelphia. Morgan would be elected Governor of New York and U.S. Senator.
So, today is the 152nd anniversary of the RNC. Two years ago, it would have been a phenomenal opportunity for the Republican National Committee to celebrate its 150th anniversary, to kick off the mid-term election campaign season on a unifying and positive note. Alas, this magnificent party-building and fundraising and outreach opportunity just slipped away! Nonetheless, today we honor -- or should honor -- the patriots, the heroes, the visionaries who gave us our Grand Old Party.
Republicans today would benefit tremendously from appreciating the true heritage of our Grand Old Party.
Michael Zak is a popular speaker to Republican organizations around the country, showing office- holders, candidates and activists how they would benefit tremendously from appreciating our Party's heritage of civil rights achievement. Back to Basics for the Republican Party is the acclaimed history of the GOP from the Republican point of view. See www.republicanbasics.com for more information.