Jackson's claim to GOP history

Nov 4, 2014

This 1910 photo marks the spot in Jackson, Michigan where some 1,500 people met on July 6, 1854 for the first formal convention of the Republican Party.
Credit Flickr / Wystan

On this Election Day, we have a political story that has nothing to do with influencing your vote. Instead, it’s a look back at our history. The city of Jackson claims a unique place in American politics. Jackson hosted what historians say was the very first convention of the brand new Republican Party 160 years ago.

It was July 6, 1854, and about 1,500 people turned out to voice their opposition to the idea of extending slavery into the West.

Current State's Kevin Lavery talks with Michigan State University history professor Roger Rosentreter.