Rev. Jesse Jackson has been involved in politics since the dawn of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, so it was no surprise when he announced that he was running for president of the United States on Nov. 3, 1983. Exactly 37 years ago today.
The long-time activist became the second African-American in American history to run for president in a major party. Although many of his naysayers deduced Jackson as a “fringe” candidate, he shocked the nation when he took third place in the Democratic Party after Sen. Gary Hart and former Vice President Walter Mondale.
Although Mondale won the nomination, Jackson put up a good fight winning 3,282,431 primary votes and won three to five primaries and caucuses, including Louisiana, the District of Columbia, South Carolina, and one of two separate contests in Mississippi.
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He would try his luck again in 1988, vying for the coveted Democratic Party presidential nomination. The second time around he captured 6.9 million votes and won 11 contests; seven primaries, and four caucuses, but was not elected.
See a summary on Jackson's historic run in the video below: