Due to the efforts of businessman Jesse H. Jones, the Democratic National Committee chose Houston as the site of the 1928 Democratic National Convention. Located on this site, the 20,000-seat Sam Houston Hall was completed in 64 days at a cost of $200,000.
The convention met from June 26 to 29. Major issues addressed included the enforcement of prohibition and the plight of America's farmers. One senator remarked that the 1928 delegates constituted the most disorderly orderly crowd he had ever seen.
On June 28 New York Governor Alfred E. Smith (1873-1944) was nominated for president on the first ballot. An anti-prohibitionist, Smith was the first Roman Catholic to be nominated for the U.S. Presidency by a major political party. Senate Majority Leader Joseph T. Robinson, a Southerner and supporter of prohibition, received the nomination for vice president on June 29. Smith, who did not attend the convention, later read a formal acceptance speech in Albany, New York.
On November 6, Republican candidate Herbert Hoover won the national election by a wide margin. Though Alfred E. Smith had been nominated for the nation's highest office at the Houston convention, he did not carry Texas in the November general election.