University of Massachusetts Amherst

Through The Photographer's Eyes: The Diana Mara Henry Collection (20th Century Photographer)

McGovern Campaign and the Democratic National Convention

In early 1972, Henry, who had experience photographing illustrations for the "Get Clean for Gene" campaign for the Harvard Crimson during Eugene McCarthy’s bid for president in 1968,  called the McGovern campaign and introduced herself as a freelance photographer working "on spec". The introduction got her on the press bus for McGovern’s primary campaigns in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and the photographs she took were later used for national and state campaign brochures and on t-shirts.

At the approach of the Democratic National Convention, Henry embarked for Miami Beach, bringing her darkroom on the plane and setting it up in her hotel room. She met up with volunteer reporters for Reliable Source, the alternative newspaper run by Dick Tuck, a Democratic prankster. All were without credentials until the last night of the convention when one of those reporters picked up a bunch of floor passes from a desk. With pass and camera in hand, Henry used her elbows to approach the podium for the acceptance speeches. Doing the 360 degree turnaround to scan the action she photographed a young man with his mouth open, in thrall to the inspiration of George McGovern, who later to become President: Bill Clinton. Henry captured, too, McGovern at the podium with Senator Thomas Eagleton, Hubert Humphrey, and Edmund Muskie. On the floor, she photographed delegates including Congressman Father Robert F. Drinan and welfare rights delegate Margaret Opie.

After Senator Thomas Eagleton was forced out as McGovern's running mate, a "mini-convention" was held in Washington D.C., where Henry photographed his new vice-presidential running mate, Sargent Shriver, and, among the delegates, Reverend Jesse Jackson with C. Delores Tucker, the first black female Secretary of State for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, where she instituted the first Commission on the Status of Women. Diana Mara Henry continued to photograph the campaign, including rallies in Bedford Stuyvesant with Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, and on election day she drove people to vote and was a poll watcher in the Bronx where she took notes on irregularities in the voting.