Power Players

Will this year’s convention make history…like this?

Power Players

Spinners and Winners

This week, Spinners and Winners looks at historic moments of the Republican and Democratic conventions. When television cameras were first put in convention halls in 1940, naysayers complained the cameras turned the conventions into a circus. Journalist Edward R. Murrow pushed back, saying "The circus was always there; TV just proved not all the performers were well trained."

Television proved the perfect medium to witness and broadcast that circus, and to bear witness to both chaos -- as was the case during the 1968 riots at the Democratic Convention -- and triumph.

Over the years, some of the most memorable speeches at the conventions came from the losers. Barry Goldwater would go on to be trounced by Lyndon Johnson, but his 1964 speech became a conservative rallying cry for a generation -- maybe more.

"I would remind you that 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," said Goldwater.

Ronald Reagan lost a hard-fought primary to Gerald Ford, but when Ford came on stage to accept the nomination, he invited Reagan to join -- an unscripted moment, and Reagan stole the show.

Four years later, Ted Kennedy --  who tried, but failed to defeat Jimmy Carter -- stole the show at the Democratic convention in New York.

"For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die," he said at the 1980 Democratic convention.

What other key moments stand out in convention history? And whose stars were launched from the convention platform? Check out this week's Spinners and Winners to find out.

ABC News' Sarah Burke contributed to this report.

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