PLATFORMS: Something to Live With

Room 115 of the Sheraton-Blackstone Hotel was air-conditioned, but the occupants were not: they were the 16 members of the Democratic Platform Committee's drafting subcommittee. Early in the morning, after more than four hours of wrangling, softened and moderated by Massachusetts' John W. McCormack, the Democrats' civil-rights plank was nailed down. The subcommittee had handled the blazing Supreme Court issue in the spirit of unity, compromise, and remarkable consideration for each others' regional problems.

"Recent decisions of the Supreme Court relating to segregation," read the crucial paragraph, "have brought consequences of vast importance...

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