Un-conventional moments: A look back at GOP National Conventions

There’s simply no more dramatic, tense or humorous time to watch the strange, imperfect mechanism of representative democracy at work than during a national convention. The photos here, however, remind us that, pretty or not, that process can make for wonderful, memorable imagery. See more great images in the full slideshow at Life.com.

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    Scene at the 1968 Republican National Convention, Miami Beach, Florida.
    Ralph CraneTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images
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    Ronald Reagan at the 1964 Republican National Convention in San Francisco.
    Ralph CraneTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images
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    Republicans hold an informal conference in a kitchen during the 1952 GOP National Convention in Chicago.
    Cornell CapaTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images
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    Scene during the 1960 Republican National Convention in Chicago.
    Michael RougierTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images
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    Pennsylvania delegates to the 1944 Republican National Convention in Chicago pull cold beers from a tub of ice after a caucus meeting.
    Thomas McAvoyTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images
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    Scene during the 1960 Republican National Convention in Chicago.
    Michael RougierTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images
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    A young Republican rests on a sofa in the Hotel Adelphi during the 1940 GOP National Convention in Philadelphia. ("Van" is Sen. Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan, long considered a front-runner for the GOP nomination; instead, the Republicans nominated Indiana's Wendell Willkie, who lost the election to the Democratic incumbent, FDR.)
    David E. SchermanTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images
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