News and photo essays on the Republican and Democratic presidential nominating conventions for 1896 -1996. The first Democratic national nominating convention was held in 1832. "The Republicans' first convention as a national party was held in 1856." Covers conventions such as the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago with its Vietnam War protesters, and the 1924 Democratic convention in which the candidate was not selected until the 103rd ballot, a record. From The New York Times.