The 1928 Democratic Party's presidential nominee, New York Governor Alfred E. Smith, was one of America's most colorful political figures. Born in 1873 and growing up in New York's Lower East Side, he rose from humble beginnings to winning four terms as his state's governor. Capturing his Party's presidential nomination in 1928, he made history as America's first Catholic major party nominee.
Addressing his fellow Democrats at their national Jefferson Day Dinner in Washington, D.C. on April 13, 1932, he identified a divisive problem in America that persists to this day. When I read this, it made me wish we had more Al Smiths in politics today:
I will take off my coat and fight to the end any candidate who persists in any demagogic appeal to the masses of working people of the country to destroy themselves by setting class against class and rich against poor."