Richard Nixon (1913-1994), just before his appearance at the Republican National Convention at Chicago in July 1960, was called over to the Central Park East (Fifth Avenue) 14th floor apartment of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller (1908-1979). Rockefeller listed 14 points (seven on domestic policy and seven on foreign policy) that Nixon would agree to, gaining Rockefeller’s support. According to Congressional Quarterly in 1967:
“It called for expansion and acceleration of the defense program; strong federal action to remove discrimination in voting, housing, education and employment; stimulation of the economy to achieve a minimum 5-percent growth rate; and a medical care plan for the aged.”
Conservatives, such as Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, called it a surrender, but the Republican National Convention accepted Nixon as its presidential candidate. Rocky’s 14 points were dubbed the “Pact of Fifth Avenue” (cited in July 1960) and the “Compact of Fifth Avenue” (cited in September 1960).
Chicago Historical Society
The 1960 Republican National Convention
Two nights before the convention was to open, the party’s platform was a mess. Nixon panicked. He had his men call Rockefeller and held an all-night meeting with party leaders to come up with a coherent policy. What came to be called “The Pact of Fifth Avenue” contained 14 points--seven concerning foreign policy and seven domestic--mostly Rockefeller’s agenda and a promise not to challenge Nixon or raise a fight on the convention floor. Rockefeller announced the plan to the press on the eve of the convention.
Convention leaders were appalled and saw this as a weakness on Nixon’s part. The convention was on the verge of being out of control, which prompted Nixon to fly to Chicago to meet with delegations and smooth things over.
24 July 1960, Washington (DC) Post, ‘Rockefeller Accord: Nixon Displays His ‘Realpolitik’” by Chalmers M. Roberts, pg. A8, cols. 1-3:
Looked at as a political maneuver, the accord reached in Rockefeller’s 14th floor Central Park East apartment in New York City was as astute as Sen. john F. kennedy’s tapping of Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson to be his running mate on the Democratic ticket.
The pact of Fifth Avenue represents a surrender of the conservative right to the liberal left.
8 September 1960, Newsday (Long Island, NY), “Washington Calling” by Marquis W. Childs, pg. 48, col. 3:
When, however, he (Nixon—ed.) signed with Gov. Rockefeller on the eve of the Republican convention the Compact of Fifth Avenue he seemed to change his position.
4 November 1960, Boston (MA) Globe, “New York?: Don’t Blame Rocky Phony Optimism If Nixon Loses By Democrats” by Edwin A, Lahey, pg. 26, col. 6:
NEW YORK—Vice President Nixon crawled 225 miles from Washington to New York last July to get the support of Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller.
Nixon, in effect, “contracted out” New York state to Rockefeller, in the belief that the dynamic young governor could deliver.
The wounds inflicted by Nixon on his right wing at Chicago by the “Pact of Fifth Avenue” with Rockefeller will almost certainly be opened if the expected tragedy takes place in New York.
The Making of the President 1960
By Theodore H. White
New York, NY: Atheneum Publishers
Never had the quadrennial liberal swoop on the regulars been more nakedly dramatized than by this open Compact of Fifth Avenue.
CQ Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report
The agreement came to be known as “The Compact of Fifth Avenue”. It called for expansion and acceleration of the defense program; strong federal action to remove discrimination in voting, housing, education and employment; stimulation of the economy to achieve a minimum 5-percent growth rate; and a medical care plan for the aged.
Public Relations and Presidential Campaigns:
A Crisis in Democracy
By Melvyn H. Bloom
New York, NY: Crowell
The clash was resolved in the famous Nixon-Rockefeller “Pact of Fifth Avenue.” The “Pact” was an agreement reached after Nixon, on the Friday before the Republican convention, flew to New York…
A Lion… A Fox:
The Alternate Presidency of Richard M. Nixon
By Grant Teller
Houston, TX: Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Co.
What came to be called “The Pact of Fifth Avenue” contained 14 points–seven concerning foreign policy and seven domestic–mostly Rockefeller’s agenda and a promise not to challenge Nixon or raise a fight on the convention floor.
What Is Paul Ryan Up To?
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/11/2016 12:17 -0400
In 1960, Gov. Rockefeller refused to challenge Vice President Nixon in the primaries. When Nixon went to Rockefeller’s New York apartment to persuade him to join the ticket, Rocky refused, but demanded concessions in the platform, to which Nixon acceded.
The Chicago convention, a Nixon convention, believed itself betrayed by the “Pact of Fifth Avenue.”
Only the appearance of Sen. Barry Goldwater at the podium to tell conservatives to “grow up. We can take this party back,” halted a suicidal drive to take the nomination away from Nixon.