American Heritage has an interesting piece up that recounts the Democratic National Convention of 1964, set at a pre-gambling, post-heyday Atlantic City. The author, Joshua Zeitz, makes a strong case that the donkey party's presidential woes start from that spectacle, not the outta control '68 debacle that came four years later. A snippet:
[Due to disagreements over civil rights,] white Southerners…bolted the Democratic party after the 1964 convention, and they?ve hardly looked back since. And though the Democratic party ultimately wooed back the dissidents of 1968, it did so at a steep price. By embracing such controversial ideas as environmentalism, reproductive rights, gay rights, opposition to the Vietnam War, and gun control, the Democrats opened themselves to criticism that their party was aggressively secular and culturally extreme?a charge that still bedevils them.
Whole thing here.