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The Candidates:
• George W. Bush
• John Kerry
• Ralph Nader
• Third Parties
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The Conventions:

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DAY 1 - Monday August 30, 2004

With the opening-night theme "A Nation of Courage," two of the Republican Party's most respected figures -- Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani -- took center stage to showcase President Bush's leadership abilities. "We need George Bush more than ever," Giuliani told a captivated crowd in a speech that also characterized Democratic nominee John Kerry as an inconsistent and ineffective politician. McCain said Bush's determination has made the world safer since September 11, and that the Iraq invasion was "necessary, achievable and noble."
Full story | Blog, Day 1

NOTE: All Times Eastern and subject to change

10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
• The Republican National Convention kicked off with its only morning session of the week. Ed Gillespie, chairman of the Republican National Committee, made the official call to order.
• New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg welcomed the delgates to the convention in a speech that showcased the city's triumph in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks. "We've showed the world that New York can never be defeated."
• The delegates carried out official party business during their morning session, including the formal submission of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney as candidates for the GOP nomination and voting on the party platform.

GOP convention aims at moderates
Carlos Watson: Will Bush sustain momentum?
Republicans look to diversify 10 questions for Bloomberg
Gallery: Republican kick off
Video: The convention's opening
Video: Delegate Diary: Day 1
Video: Crossfire Web edition

7:45 p.m.
• Ohio Rep. Deborah Pryce officially gaveled the opening night session of the Republican National Convention to order.
• Introduced by a "Saturday Night Live"-like video, Gillespie took the floor next to introduce more delegates for the continued roll call of the states for their nominations for president.

Delegates mock Kerry
Gallery: GOP hat party
Video: RNC delegates take Manhattan
Video: Modern conventions

8:30 p.m.
• Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert suspended the roll call of nominations until Tuesday. He also spoke of Bush's leadership qualities and Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's lack of commitment to America. "This is no time to pick a leader who is weak on war and wrong on taxes," he said of Kerry.
• Although not in attendance, former President Gerald Ford sent a letter in which he described Bush's capabilities as commander in chief: "George Bush has led Americans through perilous times with calm, consistent courage and has the vision, decisiveness and compassion to build an America that is safer, healthier, and richer in opportunity for all its people."
• Introduced by a video showing scenes from his time in office, former President George H.W. Bush -- along with his wife Barbara -- made his way onto the convention floor to thunderous applause.

Video: Bush Sr. on politics today
Video: 'War on terror' legacy

9:15 p.m.
Keeping with the theme of the convention's opening night, Bernard Kerik, former New York City police commissioner, recalled the courage of the nation when under attack. "In the attacks of September 11, we witnessed the worst and the best in humanity," he told the crowd. "We witnessed heroics by our first responders that were unparalleled. We witnessed strong and decisive leadership on that day and those that followed ... in Mayor Giuliani, Gov. Pataki and most importantly, our commander in chief, President Bush."

GOP convention colored by 9/11
Homeland security offers Bush chance to tout strength
Video: Bush's war on terror

10 p.m.
In a bid to attract undecided voters to the GOP cause, McCain told delegates that the winner of this year's presidential election would lead the world in the war on terror, which he called "the test of our generation." Although he did not criticize Kerry -- a Senate colleague -- McCain did endorse Bush as the stronger candidate, especially in the war on terror. "He has not wavered. He has not flinched from the hard choices. He will not yield. And neither will we."

McCain praises Bush as 'tested'
Read McCain's speech in full
McCain takes jab at Moore
Video: McCain's speech | Part 1 | Part 2
Video: McCain's popularity
Video: Bush, McCain's fence-mending

10:30 p.m.
Giuliani used his speech to explain why the 9/11 attacks meant Bush was needed in the White House for four more years. "So long as George Bush is our president, is there any doubt [the terrorists] will continue to hear from us?" Giuliani also repeatedly delivered harsh words for the Democratic nominee, saying "Kerry's record of inconsistent positions on combating terrorism gives us no confidence he'll pursue such a determined course."

Giuliani: Bush best leader for war on terrorism
Read Giuliani's speech in full
Video: Giuliani's speech | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
Video: A profile of Rudy Giuliani

11:20 p.m.
A big-screen video presentation of Frank Sinatra belting out "New York, New York" along with a benediction cap the first evening of the 2004 Republican National Convention.

Audio Slide Show: Live in New York!
Gallery: Opening night quotes
Gallery: A day with Kelly Wallace

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