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Tomorrow Club


We, the Young Democrats of America, in order to stimulate in young people an active interest in governmental affairs and promote their involvement in the political process, to promote the acquisition of political power by young people, to promote the policies and practices which are consistent with the highest principles to increase the efficiency of popular government and to provide the highest degree of justice and social welfare for the citizens of our country, do associate ourselves together and establish this charter.

- Preamble, The Charter of the Young Democrats of America

Although several state organizations preceded the national organization, the Young Democrats of North Carolina, led by Tyre Taylor, can probably claim to be the founding fathers of the Young Democrats of America. In the spring of 1931, Tyre obtained names of Young Democrats in other states and sent letters asking them to discuss the idea of a national Young Democratic organization. Chairman Shouse of the Democratic National Committee also wrote to party leaders in different states suggesting the encouragement of activity on the part of the younger members of the party.

On March 4 - 5, 1932, the first national organizational meeting was held in Washington D.C., with delegates from 27 states and the District of Columbia present, and with five additional states represented by proxy. One of the first articles of agreement stipulated there should be no distinction in membership and privileges between men and women. Tyre Taylor was chosen as the first President of the Young Democratic Clubs of America, John Stedman, the North Carolina State Treasurer, as temporary Treasurer, and a temporary headquarters was established.

The YDCA was formally organized, but fewer than 70 people had witnessed its birth. A real national meeting of the Young Democrats was needed, and the Democratic National Convention in Chicago seemed to present the proper occasion. From a small office in Raleigh, three members of the Young Democrats of North Carolina began in May, 1932, to arrange by telephone a dinner over a thousand miles away. Although few reservations were confirmed, and some guest speakers were indefinite, over 600 people attended. Robert Maynard Hutchins, Admiral Byrd and Will Rogers were some of the notables who appeared on the program. Those Young Democrats heard Franklin D. Roosevelt launch the "New Deal" in his stirring acceptance of the nomination as the Democratic candidate for President.

Shortly thereafter, the Democratic National Committee, upon the recommendation of Chairman James A. Farley, adopted the Young Democratic Clubs of America as the official youth organization of the Democratic Party. Young Democratic groups had existed in various states for many years prior to the founding of the national organization, but now there was a bona fide national organization to coordinate and stimulate the work of state clubs. The first convention of the Young Democratic Clubs of America was held in Kansas City in September, 1933.

The climate that led to the establishment of the Young Democratic Clubs of America was described in the program book for the YDCA's Silver Anniversary Convention, held in Reno, Nevada, in November, 1957:

"It was a direct result of the serious problems facing the youth of the nation after twelve years of Republican inaction, complacency, and drift that our movement was born. The almost helpless economic outlook, the lack of jobs, opportunity and education were not things that should be accepted, but things the young men and women, if properly organized, could do something about. Hence, the Young Democratic Clubs of America came into existence, determined to organize young people, to make them politically aware, to educate them, and to do something about the future of their lives. They were determined to help the Democratic Party, which was the only party receptive to change and new ideas, to be an instrument in the preservation of liberal, humanitarian democracy by keeping it fresh in ideas, humane in approach, and experimental in attitude. In the years that followed the faith of the founders was more than justified."

Now simply known as the Young Democrats of America, the goals of our organization have remained the same for some seventy years: to encourage young people to become active members of the Democratic Party, to support the ideals of the Democratic Party at all levels of government, to elect Democratic candidates, to stimulate in young people the values for which the Democratic Party stands, and to provide young people with the skills and experiences they will need to lead our nation into the future.



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Last updated: August 19, 2005



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