Memorable Moments From Republican National Conventions

The Republican National Conventions have provided history with many memorable moments. Here, we take a look at the best.

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President Ronald Reagan shares a laugh with singer Ray Charles at the conclusion of the Republican National Convention in Dallas on Thursday, August 23, 1984. Charles sang "America the Beautiful" in the finale.
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AP
2008: At the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin compared her mayoral experience in Wasilla, Alaska to the experience of Democratic nominee Barack Obama. Palin said, "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities."
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2008: John McCain ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000 but lost a heated primary season contest to George W. Bush. He secured the nomination in 2008 but lost to Democratic candidate Barack Obama.
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AFP/Getty Images
2004: Democratic Georgia Senator Zell Miller crossed party lines and backed Republican President George W. Bush over Democratic nominee John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election. He also delivered a major speech at the convention that year.
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2004: President Bush and Laura Bush wave with Vice President Dick Cheney and Lynne Cheney in Madison Square Garden following the President's acceptance speech during the final night of the 2004 Republican National Convention.
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AP
2004: At the 2004 Republican National Convention, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger gave a speech explaining how he became a Republican. After hearing a moving speech by Richard Nixon he told friends, "Now I am a Republican."
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2000: Sen. John McCain shakes hands with Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. "Compassionate conservatism" was a popular slogan at the 2000 convention. "Big government is not the answer," Bush argued, "but the alternative to bureaucracy is not indifference."
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AP
1992: Although he didn't secure the Republican presidential nomination in 1992, Pat Buchanan gave the keynote address at the Houston convention. His "culture wars" speech outlined the socially conservative agenda still used today.
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1992: Also in '92, Barbara Bush became the first wife of a candidate to speak on behalf of her husband since Eleanor Roosevelt.
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AP
1988: After securing the nomination, George H. Bush ended his acceptance speech with a perfect one-liner; "Read my lips: no new taxes." Once he became President, however, Bush raised taxes as a way to reduce the national budget deficit. Dan Quayle served as the 44th Vice President of the United States.
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1984: President Ronald Reagan shares a laugh with singer Ray Charles at the conclusion of the Republican National Convention in Dallas. Charles sang "America the Beautiful" in the finale.
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AP
1980: Candidate Ronald Reagan stands before a cheering Republican National Convention in Detroit. Reagan said, "More than anything else, I want my candidacy to unify our country; to renew the American spirit and sense of purpose."
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AP
1984: Gerald R. Ford and his wife Betty wave to the Republican National Convention just before the former President spoke in 1984. In 1976, Ford narrowly defeated Ronald Reagan for the Republican nomination, but lost the presidential election to Democrat Jimmy Carter.
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1968: Richard Nixon condemned then-president Lyndon B. Johnson during his acceptance speech: "When the strongest nation in the world can be tied down for four years in Vietnam with no end in sight, then it's time for new leadership for the United States of America."
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1964: Michigan Gov. George Romney's wife and two sons, Mitt and Scott, concentrate on his words as he addresses the platform committee of the Republican convention in San Francisco in 1964.
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1964: Although the Republican nomination ultimately went to Barry Goldwater, this convention marked the first time a major party considered a female candidate, Sen. Margaret Chase Smith of Maine.
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CBS / Getty Images
1952: Republicans nominated the popular war general Dwight D. Eisenhower. Along with running mate Richard Nixon, he pledged to end the unpopular Korean War, fire all "the loafers, incompetents, and unnecessary employees" at the State Department, and bring an end to the "Communist Subversion" in the U.S.
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1952: Gen. Douglas MacArthur gave the 1952 keynote speech as a supporter of Senator Robert Taft of Ohio. The speech was not well received and Taft lost the nomination to Eisenhower.
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AP
1944: Thomas E. Dewey, governor of New York, was nominated as Republican presidential candidate on the first ballot at the Chicago convention. Like F.D.R. before him at the Democratic convention, Dewey became the first Republican to accept the nomination in person.
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1936: Alf Landon, the Republican candidate for president in 1936, acknowledges the ovation given him when he was introduced to the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach in 1972.
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1924: When the Republicans nominated Calvin Coolidge in 1924, it was the first time a political convention was broadcast over the radio.
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1912: William H. Taft won the Republican nomination after a back-and-forth battle with former President Teddy Roosevelt.
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Getty Images Archive
1860: Former U.S. Representative Abraham Lincoln of Illinois won the 1860 nomination for president. This primary was notable, for every candidate who ran for the party nomination eventually became a member of Lincoln's cabinet.
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