Jefferson–Jackson Day is the annual fundraising celebration (dinner) held by Democratic Party organizations in the United States. It is named for Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson; the Party says they are its founders. During presidential election campaigns, key dinners are important venues for candidates to attend.
It is usually held in February or March around the same time as the Republican Party's equivalent Lincoln Day, Reagan Day, or Lincoln–Reagan Day dinners. The Iowa dinner is held in November so as to precede the state's caucuses for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Into the 1960s, state and local Democratic parties across the country depended on well-attended Jefferson–Jackson Day dinners to provide their annual funding.
Many state Democratic Parties have used the day to highlight local party leaders. For example:
- the Democratic Party of Mississippi also honors civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer, with a Jefferson–Jackson–Hamer celebration,
- the Democratic State Central Committee of Connecticut holds "Jefferson–Jackson–Bailey Day" in honor of state Democratic boss and Democratic National Committee Chairman John Moran Bailey.
- Florida Democratic Party renamed their key dinner event "Leadership Blue"
- Wisconsin Democrats renamed their dinner the "Founders' Day Gala." Minnesota Democrats renamed theirs the "DFL Founders Day Dinner."
The candidates are forbidden to use notes or teleprompters in their speeches.
Due to modern controversies over Jefferson's slave holding and Jackson's policy toward Native Americans while in office, some Democratic Party organizations have been removing Jefferson and Jackson from the title of party fundraisers.
- Obama sets sights on November battle
- Kari A. Frederickson (2001). The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932-1968. U of North Carolina Press. p. 80.
- Top presidential contenders may show up in Mississippi this month
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