All Weekend, Every Weekend. On C-SPAN3.

The Contenders: George McGovern

Mitchell, South Dakota
Sunday, October 21, 2012

George McGovern died Sunday, October 21st, 2012, at the age of 90. In 1972, he ran for president as the Democratic Party nominee on an anti-Vietnam war platform and lost in a historic landslide to President Richard Nixon, garnering only 37.5% of the popular vote and even dropping his home-state of South Dakota.

“I opened the doors of the Democratic Party – and twenty million people walked out” said McGovern. However, the reforms he made to the Democratic Party process for nominating presidential candidates kept those doors open to an influx of women, minorities, young voters, and activists which have grown over time and have become part of the demographics of what many have called McGovern’s “New Politics,” – which are still playing themselves out today.

Updated: Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 11:34am (ET)

Related Events

The Contenders: George Wallace
Sunday, August 19, 2012     

American History TV continues to reair C-SPAN's history series “The Contenders,” which features profiles of key figures who ran for president and lost, but changed political history. This week, we focus on the life and career of George Wallace.

The Contenders: Hubert Humphrey
Sunday, August 12, 2012     

American History TV continues to reair C-SPAN's history series “The Contenders,” which features profiles of key figures who ran for president and lost, but changed political history. This week, we focus on the life and career of Hubert H. Humphrey.

The Contenders: Barry Goldwater
Sunday, August 5, 2012     

American History TV continues to reair C-SPAN's history series “The Contenders,” which features profiles of key figures who ran for president and lost, but changed political history. This week, we focus on the life and career of Barry Goldwater. If history had been different, the Republican Senator from Arizona might have faced off with President John F. Kennedy in the 1964 campaign. Although ambivalent about running for president after JFK’s assassination, Goldwater was eventually persuaded by conservative activists to take up his party’s mantle. Goldwater lost in a landslide to President Lyndon B. Johnson, but he managed to change political history along the way.

The Contenders: Adlai Stevenson
Sunday, July 29, 2012     

American History TV continues to reair C-SPAN's history series “The Contenders,” which features profiles of key figures who ran for president and lost, but changed political history. This week, we focus on the life and career of Adlai Stevenson. He came from a long line of political figures. His grandfather, Adlai Stevenson I was Vice President during President Grover Cleveland’s second term, his maternal great-grandfather was Abraham Lincoln’s Campaign Manager and his father was Secretary of State of Illinois. After serving one term as Governor of Illinois, Stevenson tried to do what no one in his family had attempted--to become President. He tried twice, in 1952 and 1956, but lost both times to Dwight Eisenhower.

The Contenders: Thomas E. Dewey
Sunday, July 22, 2012     

American History TV continues to reair C-SPAN's history series “The Contenders,” which features profiles of key figures who ran for president and lost, but changed political history. This week, we focus on the life and career of  Thomas E. Dewey. Remembered by many for his close loss in the 1948 election to Harry Truman, Dewey was also the GOP nominee in 1944, losing to FDR. "The Contenders" focuses on these two elections as well as Dewey’s career as a three-term New York governor, and before that as one of the most famous prosecuting attorneys in the country where he was known for his gang busting work in New York during the 1930s.

The Contenders: Wendell Willkie
Sunday, July 15, 2012     

American History TV continues to reair C-SPAN's history series “The Contenders,” which features profiles of key figures who ran for president and lost, but changed political history. This week, we focus on the life and career of Wendell Willkie. Prior to receiving the Republican presidential nomination in 1940, Willkie had never before run for public office. While he did not win the national election, he served as  President Roosevelt’s representative to Britain, the Middle East, the Soviet Union and China.  He went on to write "One World," a best-selling book recounting his life adventures.

The Contenders: Al Smith
Sunday, July 8, 2012     

American History TV continues to reair C-SPAN's history series “The Contenders,” which features profiles of key figures who ran for president and lost, but changed political history. This week, we focus on the life and career of 1928 Democratic presidential nominee Al Smith. Nicknamed the "Happy Warrior," Al Smith never went to high school or college, yet was speaker of the New York State Assembly and four-term governor.

The Contenders: Charles Evans Hughes
Sunday, July 1, 2012     

American History TV continues to reair C-SPAN's history series “The Contenders,” which features profiles of key figures who ran for president and lost, but changed political history. This week, we focus on the election of 1916 and explore the life, legacy, and relevance today of Charles Evans Hughes, the Republican Party nominee in 1916, who served two terms on the Supreme Court, the second time as Chief Justice, two terms as Republican Governor of New York, and Secretary of State in the Harding and Coolidge administrations.

The Contenders: Eugene Debs
Sunday, June 24, 2012     

American History TV continues to reair C-SPAN's history series “The Contenders,” which features profiles of key figures who ran for president and lost, but changed political history.

The Contenders: William Jennings Bryan
Sunday, June 17, 2012     

American History TV continues to reair C-SPAN's history series “The Contenders,” which features profiles of key figures who ran for president and lost, but changed political history.

The Contenders: James G. Blaine
Sunday, June 10, 2012     

American History TV continues to reair C-SPAN's history series “The Contenders,” which features profiles of key figures who ran for president and lost, but changed political history.

The Contenders: Henry Clay
Sunday, June 3, 2012     

Historians discuss the role of Henry Clay (1777-1852) in American politics. Known as the "Great Compromiser" but also as "The Dictator," he ran five unsuccessful presidential campaigns. Perhaps the most powerful politician of his time, he served as speaker of the House, U.S. senator, and secretary of state. This is the first of our 14-week series called "The Contenders: They Ran & Lost but Changed Political History."

Share This Event Via Social Media

Photo Gallery

Washington Journal (late 2012)