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Posted by R. Berg on February 12, 2002

In Reply to: Planks posted by Beth on February 12, 2002

: In history class we are studying the birth of the populist party and this incorporates the use of the phrase "plank in the party platform." I am curious about the origin of the phrase. Anyone who can shed some light on this is welcome to reply

The Oxford English Dictionary gives this as one (figurative) meaning of "plank":
An item or article of a political or other program. Orig. and chiefly U.S.
[Quotations illustrating this use:] They kin' o' slipt the planks frum out th' ole platform one by one.
Every subject of the platform is spoken of as one of its planks; thus we read of 'the slavery plank', 'the tariff plank'.
Another 'plank' is the restriction of Chinese immigration.

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