This year’s Republican National Convention probably won’t be like the ones we remember in the past – well choreographed, big-party affairs with little to remember beyond glossy, red-white-and-blue images and speech snippets meant to excite the faithful and lure the undecided.
Division within the Republican Party over Trump’s nomination and anxiety over how anti-Trump activists will react means this convention will likely be less packaged, less predictable, more memorable.
But this year’s convention won’t be the only one to have dropped memorable moments on the public. There are others, serious, funny, intense convention moments that are tough to forget. Here are five other Republican National Convention moments, since the 1960s, that have left a long-lasting fingerprints in our political memory banks.
1964 Goldwater "extremism" and journalist arrest
At the 1964 convention is remembered well for a few things -- the presidential acceptance speech by Barry Goldwater, a U.S. senator from Arizona, and the crackdown on journalists that resulted in an NBC correspondent's arrest.
In speaking about the defense of liberty against tyranny abroad, Goldwater uttered the famous line, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also, that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." His quote drew great applause but was exploited by Democrats who relentlessly branded him an "extremist" candidate. Goldwater would go on to win only six states in the presidential election.
The 1964 convention also marked a crackdown, corralling and ejection of journalists covering the convention. Republicans physically removed and arrested NBC correspondent John Chancellor from the convention floor after he refused to go, leading the young television reporter to end his coverage with the words, "This is John Chancellor, somewhere in custody…"
1976 Reagan catapulted to national stage
The 1976 convention marked the last Republican convention at which two candidates came to the event, with neither one yet having the delegates to pull out a clear win. President Gerald Ford was being challenged by California Governor Ronald Reagan. Though Reagan lost to Ford at the 1976 convention, his strong challenge and his stirring and impromptu concession speech on the convention floor is regarded by many to have secured his place as a future president.
He spoke of writing a letter for a time capsule that would be opened 100 years later, about the problems currently facing the nation.
"We live in a world in which the great powers have poised and aimed at each other horrible missiles of destruction, nuclear weapons that can in a matter of minutes arrive at each other's country and destroy, virtually, the civilized world we live in," he said. "And suddenly it dawned on me, those who would read this letter a hundred years from now will know whether those missiles were fired. They will know whether we met our challenge. Whether they have the freedoms that we have known up until now will depend on what we do here."
1988 Bush asks people to lip read
When George H.W. Bush accepted his presidential nomination in 1988, he gave a speech that is best remembered for several key phrases that would forever be linked to him. One referred to America becoming a "kindler, gentler nation." Another referred to the American community, "a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky." The final phrase, regarding his commitment to not raise taxes, not only helped win him the presidency but would later be exploited to deny him a second term in office: "The Congress will push me to raise taxes, and I'll say no, and they'll push, and I'll say no, and they'll push again, and I'll say to them, 'Read my lips: no new taxes.'"
2008 Sarah Palin's introduction to the nation
When Sen. John McCain selected Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential nominee, people knew almost nothing about her. That changed instantaneously after she gave her speech at the Republican convention. Her humor, and folksy speaking style electrified the audience and the nation at large for days, giving McCain's campaign a tremendous initial boost. Though she would later be seen as a burden to the McCain campaign, Palin would never be an obscure name again.
She talked about the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull being "lipstick," and famously derided then Sen. Barack Obama's background as a community organizer, saying, "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities."
2012 Clint Eastwood and the empty chair
Movie star Clint Eastwood was an unannounced speaker in a prime time slot at the 2012 convention that would nominate Mitt Romney for president. In a rambling but attention-grabbing speech, Eastwood engaged in an improvised conversation with an empty chair, supposedly occupied by President Obama. Convention goers thought it was fun, but others lampooned it in skits and on social media.