ALFRED (Al) E. SMITH, 1873-1944
Democrat, New York
1928 Electoral College Result:
Herbert Hoover (W) 444 – Al Smith (L) 87
The man behind the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a go-to for presidential candidates, was the first Catholic to run on a major ticket for president. Known as “the happy warrior”, a name given to him by FDR, he was a four-time Democratic governor of New York -- 1918, (defeated in 1920), 1922, 1924, and 1926. The son of a truck-man and umbrella factory worker, the core of his political base was the immigrant, and ethnic, communities of New York City. He was reputed to be a progressive, and stood against Prohibition in a time when it was not politically fashionable to do so.
Nothing could be so out of line with the spirit of America. Nothing could be so foreign to the teachings of Jefferson. Nothing could be so contradictory of our whole history. Nothing could be so false to the teaching of our Divine Lord Himself. The world knows no greater mockery than the use of the blazing cross, the cross upon which Christ died, as a symbol to install into the hearts of men a hatred of their brethren, while Christ preached and died for the love and brotherhood of man. -Smith
I believe in the worship of God according to the faith and practice of the Roman Catholic Church. I recognize no power in the institutions of my church to interfere with the operations of the Constitution of the United States or the enforcement of the law of the land. I believe in the absolute freedom of conscience for all men and in equality of all churches, all sects and all beliefs before the law as a matter of right and not as a matter of favor. I believe in the absolute separation of Church and State and in the strict enforcement of the provisions of the Constitution that Congress shall make not law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. I believe that no tribunal of any church has any power to make any decree of any force in the law of the land, other than to establish the status of its own communicants within its own church. -Smith