September 26, 1960: The First Kennedy-Nixon Debate

Sixty-one years ago in the historical rear view mirror, the four Kennedy-Nixon debates were the first presidential debates and set the precedent for presidential debates, although the next would not occur until 1976 between Ford and Carter.  In the first debate Kennedy, who secretly suffered from numerous ailments, radiated health and vigor.  Nixon looked terrible in comparison, having been  hospitalized for two weeks in August over an infected knee and having not regained the weight he lost during his recovery.  Nixon insisted on campaigning until the time of the debate and refused to wear television makeup.  Nixon’s mother called him after the debate and asked him if he was ill. After the debate, polls indicated that Kennedy went from a slight deficit to a slight lead. (more…)

Published in: on September 26, 2021 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on September 26, 1960: The First Kennedy-Nixon Debate  
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