Bill

HISTORY TIP OF THE DAY

History Tip of the Day – December 3rd

William Jennings Bryan gives “Cross of Gold” speech, July 9, 1896

Bryan was a thirty-six-year-old former congressman from Nebraska when he gave an address at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago advocating the use of silver coinage to increase American prosperity. Bryan’s oration was so powerful—“You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns; you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold”—that the audience screamed in agreement, waving hats and canes. Some audience members threw their coats in the air. The speech was so effective that Bryan won the nomination. He lost the general election to William McKinley.