Jefferson–Jackson Day

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Not to be confused with Jefferson's Birthday.
President and Mrs. Truman at the Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner

Jefferson–Jackson Day is the annual fundraising celebration (dinner) held by Democratic Party organizations in the United States.[1] 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.[2]

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,[3]
  • Until 2015, the Democratic State Central Committee of Connecticut held "Jefferson–Jackson–Bailey Day" in honor of state Democratic boss and Democratic National Committee Chairman John Moran Bailey. It was renamed the "Connecticut Democratic Progress Dinner."
  • 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."
  • Missouri has changed the name of their State Dinner.[4]
  • Georgia has changed the name of their State Dinner.[4]
  • Iowa in August, 2015 voted to change the name of their Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.[5]

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.[6]

See also[edit]