Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, 1972

In 1972, it was Miami Beach’s turn to host, not only the Democratic but also the Republican convention, which had also been held here in 1968 — thanks to Key Biscayne part-time resident Richard M. Nixon. Nixon was running for reelection, along with his vice president, Spiro Agnew.  By then the protesters’ numbers had nearly doubled since the Democratic convention a month prior, and they were angrier. On the night before the Republican Convention began, protesters surrounded Mike Thompson’s new Lincoln Continental as he drove five other orange-jacketed Florida delegates by the Fontainebleau Hotel. The following night, hundreds of Vietnam veterans marched on the convention center in the rain, chanting, “Bring our brothers home.” A night later, when delegates formally nominated Nixon, the protesters turned the heat up a notch, shattering windows and denting cars outside the convention hall. The Republican delegates felt terrorized. But all of them made it into the hall, and the convention went off as planned.


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