Kennedy Campaign Stops

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September 3, 1960. Anchorage, Alaska

“I am delighted to come back here again, because I wanted to start my campaign in Alaska. First, because I told the Alaska caucus that if they voted for me I would come up here and campaign, but also because I thought that here in Alaska this State and the people who live in it typified what I was trying to express in my acceptance speech when I talked about the new frontier. I meant that really not in the physical sense. This is, in a great way, a new frontier, and in another way it is the last frontier.”

September 6, 1960. Spokane, Washington

“I don’t criticize present actions merely because I enjoy criticizing. I criticize them only because I think that there is a better way to do it. [Applause.] This is a great country, but I think it can be greater. This is a great State, but I think it can be greater. All of those who are satisfied with things as they are, who feel that the balance of power in the world is moving with us and not with our adversaries should vote for the Republican Party. But all those who retain a sense of adventure, who feel we can do better, who want to start moving again, I hope they join with us.”

November 9, 1960. Hyannis, Massaschusetts

“To all Americans I say that the next four years are going to be difficult and challenging years for all of us. The election may have been a close one, but I think that there is general agreement by all of our citizens that a supreme national effort will be needed in the years ahead to move this country safely through the 1960s. I ask your help in this effort and I can assure you that every degree of mind and spirit that I possess will be devoted to the long-range interests of the United States and to the cause of freedom around the world. So now my wife and I prepare for a new administration and for a new baby. Thank you.”

November 7, 1960. Providence, Rhode Island

“Rhode Island has a great Democratic tradition, and I think the people of this State understand that the United States has to move forward and progress in the 1960’s and the Republican Party does not know what that word means…And I do not believe in the most changing and revolutionary period in the history of the world that the United States is going to select a party whose symbol is the elephant, who has no vision, long memory, yet is going to sit down in the sun when we ought to be moving.”

August 26, 1960. New York, New York

“Peace in the Middle East is not one step nearer reality today than it was 8 years ago – but Russian influence is immeasurably greater. What can a new President do? More weakness and timidity will not do. More stubborn errors redeemed at the last moment by impulsive action – will not do.”

October 14, 1960. Ann Arbor, Michigan

“How many of you who are going to be doctors, are willing to spend your days in Ghana? Technicians or engineers, how many of you are willing to work in the Foreign Service and spend your lives traveling around the world? On your willingness to do that, not merely to serve one year or two years in the service, but on your willingness to contribute part of your life to this country, I think will depend the answer whether a free society can compete. I think it can! And I think Americans are willing to contribute. But the effort must be far greater than we have ever made in the past.”

September 26, 1960. Chicago, Illinois

“If we fail to move ahead, if we fail to develop sufficient military and economic and social strength here in this country, then I think that the tide could begin to run against us, and I don’t want historians 10 years from now to say, these were the years when the tide ran out for the United States. I want them to say, these were the years when the tide came in, these were the years when the United States started to move again. That’s the question before the American people, and only you can decide what you want, what you want this country to be, what you want to do with the future.”

October 5, 1960. Muncie, Indiana

“I believe that we have in Indiana a tough fight, but my judgment is that Indiana, which has not supported the national ticket of the Democratic Party since 1936, has had enough. I cannot believe that this State, which depends upon its farm economy, which depends upon its industrial economy, I cannot believe that the people of Indiana are going to endorse any program which says you never had it so good. I believe we can do better, and I come here to Indiana today and ask your support as a Democrat, as a Democratic candidate for the office of the Presidency.”

September 17, 1960. Greenville, North Carolina

“My chief disagreement with the Republicans in this campaign is that they have had too little faith in the development of this country. I think we can do better. Their campaign motto has been, “You never had it so good.” Well, I think as a citizen of the United States, as well as a Democrat, that it is our obligation to do better, to build the economy of the State of North Carolina, to build the economy of the United States, and in so doing build the strength of the United States as a great and free country.”

November 4, 1960. Roanoke, Virginia

“We will begin a large-scale effort to assist those communities in the United States, communities that are represented by Pat Jennings, by the people of West Virginia, which have been hard hit, chronically – [applause] which have seen men and machines go idle. Here in this rich country of ours we are producing steel at about 55 percent of capacity. We built this year 30 percent less homes than a year ago. By November, the middle of November of this year, we will have more cars unsold than we have ever had in our history. That is the record Mr. Nixon runs on. And I believe we can do much better.”

September 21, 1960. Nashville, Tennessee

“I know enough about the experience of our country to know that if our agriculture is prosperous, we will be prosperous in our cities. If our cities are prosperous, we will be prosperous, we will be prosperous in our country. A rising tide lifts all the boats, and I preach the doctrine of the interdependence of the American economy: A strong America from one shore to the other, north and south, east and west, in which all Americans share their prosperity.”

September 14, 1960. St. Louis, Missouri

“Mr. Nixon and I, the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, have not been collected in amber nor frozen in ice or suddenly emerged on the political scene. Our parties are like two histories, two rivers, which flow back through our history, and you can judge the force, the power, and the direction of those rivers by studying where they rose, where they flow, and the course of those rivers throughout the history of the United States.”

November 3, 1960. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

“I speak of a strong America – strong in economy and resources and the dedication of our citizens – because I am concerned about the future of our country. I am concerned about the future of freedom around the world. I am concerned about our declining prestige, our sensitive alliances, the delicate balance of power. I think you share my concern. I think you recognize the need for leadership in this period that is thoughtful but courageous, prudent but firm, well-informed but imaginative.”

October 18, 1960. Miami Beach, Florida

“Talk is cheap, words are not enough, waving our finger under Khrushchev’s face does not increase the strength of the United States, especially when you say to him [applause] – especially when you say, as you wave your finger, “You may be ahead of us in rockets, but we are ahead of you in color television.” I will take my television black and white.”

September 6, 1960. Pocatello, Idaho

“I recognize that Idaho is regarded as the potato capital of the world. I was in Aroostook County, Maine, which regards itself as the potato capital of the world. I do not know enough about the rival claims or I know too much about them to make a judgment on which really is the potato capital of the world, except I do believe that it is vitally important for us in this campaign, perhaps not to settle that dispute, but to settle the question of where the capital of the free world is, and that should be Washington, D.C., and will be again.”

September 12, 1960. Houston, Texas

“I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish – where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source – where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials – and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.”

September 13, 1960. Dallas, Texas

“I believe a strong America is a growing America, a nation that is developing all of its resources to the fullest possible potential, human, scientific, economic, and natural, and developing these resources under a free enterprise system that looses the energy of our people. The splendor of this city is proof of what can be done. The vitality of this State is proof of what can be done. This country can move ahead, and it is that great object that we are dedicating ourselves to in this campaign.”

September 13, 1960. Fort Worth, Texas

“I saw, over the SAC base, in Omaha, Nebraska, 3 weeks ago, a B-58, built in this city, refueled. It is capable of flying to the opposite ends of the earth in defense of the United States. Those planes, those pilots serve as our shield, Fort Worth and Massachusetts, Boston and Texas. And we are united today because Massachusetts and Texas, Lyndon Johnson and myself, serve as the standard bearers for a great Democratic Party, a party which rose in the South, which grew in the North, which developed in the West, and is strong in the East – the only national party in the United States today.”

September 11, 1960. San Diego, California

“Here in San Diego, which is particularly dependent upon those industries which serve our national defense, you have seen the effect of a governmental policy which I consider to be shortsighted, and that is a policy which takes risks, I believe unnecessarily, with our national security. I think the United States should be second to none. [Applause.] I say it should be second to none both because it provides for our own security and the security of those who look to us for protection, but also it represents the road to peace.”

November 3, 1960. Phoenix, Arizona

“Let me make it clear that the kind of thing, in conclusion, that I think Arizona has to recognize is that we live in the most changing time in the life of our country. In the 1952 campaign, there was no discussion of two issues which have become important in the fifties. One was outer space, and one was the development of fresh water from salt water. This administration has failed in both of those areas, and they may well mean, these two areas, outer space, and the securing of enough water from the ocean to make our lands green, may well mean more blessings to our people than anything done in this century.”

July 15, 1960. Los Angeles, California

“Let me say first that I accept the nomination of the Democratic Party. I accept it without reservation and with only one obligation, the obligation to devote every effort of my mind and spirit to lead our Party back to victory and our Nation to greatness. I am grateful, too — I am grateful, too, that you have provided us with such a strong platform to stand on and to run on.”

September 7, 1960. Salem, Oregon

“The hard, tough question for the next decade, for this or any other group of Americans, regardless of their party, is whether we or the Communist world can best demonstrate the vitality of our system. Which system, the Communist system or the system of freedom is going to be able to convince the watching millions in Latin America and Africa and Asia who stand today on the razor edge of decision and try to make a determination as to which direction the world is moving. I think it should move with us. I think ours is the best system.”

September 3, 1960. Anchorage, Alaska

“I am delighted to come back here again, because I wanted to start my campaign in Alaska. First, because I told the Alaska caucus that if they voted for me I would come up here and campaign, but also because I thought that here in Alaska this State and the people who live in it typified what I was trying to express in my acceptance speech when I talked about the new frontier. I meant that really not in the physical sense. This is, in a great way, a new frontier, and in another way it is the last frontier.”

September 6, 1960. Spokane, Washington

“I don’t criticize present actions merely because I enjoy criticizing. I criticize them only because I think that there is a better way to do it. [Applause.] This is a great country, but I think it can be greater. This is a great State, but I think it can be greater. All of those who are satisfied with things as they are, who feel that the balance of power in the world is moving with us and not with our adversaries should vote for the Republican Party. But all those who retain a sense of adventure, who feel we can do better, who want to start moving again, I hope they join with us.”

November 9, 1960. Hyannis, Massaschusetts

“To all Americans I say that the next four years are going to be difficult and challenging years for all of us. The election may have been a close one, but I think that there is general agreement by all of our citizens that a supreme national effort will be needed in the years ahead to move this country safely through the 1960s. I ask your help in this effort and I can assure you that every degree of mind and spirit that I possess will be devoted to the long-range interests of the United States and to the cause of freedom around the world. So now my wife and I prepare for a new administration and for a new baby. Thank you.”

November 7, 1960. Providence, Rhode Island

“Rhode Island has a great Democratic tradition, and I think the people of this State understand that the United States has to move forward and progress in the 1960’s and the Republican Party does not know what that word means…And I do not believe in the most changing and revolutionary period in the history of the world that the United States is going to select a party whose symbol is the elephant, who has no vision, long memory, yet is going to sit down in the sun when we ought to be moving.”

August 26, 1960. New York, New York

“Peace in the Middle East is not one step nearer reality today than it was 8 years ago – but Russian influence is immeasurably greater. What can a new President do? More weakness and timidity will not do. More stubborn errors redeemed at the last moment by impulsive action – will not do.”

October 14, 1960. Ann Arbor, Michigan

“How many of you who are going to be doctors, are willing to spend your days in Ghana? Technicians or engineers, how many of you are willing to work in the Foreign Service and spend your lives traveling around the world? On your willingness to do that, not merely to serve one year or two years in the service, but on your willingness to contribute part of your life to this country, I think will depend the answer whether a free society can compete. I think it can! And I think Americans are willing to contribute. But the effort must be far greater than we have ever made in the past.”

September 26, 1960. Chicago, Illinois

“If we fail to move ahead, if we fail to develop sufficient military and economic and social strength here in this country, then I think that the tide could begin to run against us, and I don’t want historians 10 years from now to say, these were the years when the tide ran out for the United States. I want them to say, these were the years when the tide came in, these were the years when the United States started to move again. That’s the question before the American people, and only you can decide what you want, what you want this country to be, what you want to do with the future.”

October 5, 1960. Muncie, Indiana

“I believe that we have in Indiana a tough fight, but my judgment is that Indiana, which has not supported the national ticket of the Democratic Party since 1936, has had enough. I cannot believe that this State, which depends upon its farm economy, which depends upon its industrial economy, I cannot believe that the people of Indiana are going to endorse any program which says you never had it so good. I believe we can do better, and I come here to Indiana today and ask your support as a Democrat, as a Democratic candidate for the office of the Presidency.”

September 17, 1960. Greenville, North Carolina

“My chief disagreement with the Republicans in this campaign is that they have had too little faith in the development of this country. I think we can do better. Their campaign motto has been, “You never had it so good.” Well, I think as a citizen of the United States, as well as a Democrat, that it is our obligation to do better, to build the economy of the State of North Carolina, to build the economy of the United States, and in so doing build the strength of the United States as a great and free country.”

November 4, 1960. Roanoke, Virginia

“We will begin a large-scale effort to assist those communities in the United States, communities that are represented by Pat Jennings, by the people of West Virginia, which have been hard hit, chronically – [applause] which have seen men and machines go idle. Here in this rich country of ours we are producing steel at about 55 percent of capacity. We built this year 30 percent less homes than a year ago. By November, the middle of November of this year, we will have more cars unsold than we have ever had in our history. That is the record Mr. Nixon runs on. And I believe we can do much better.”

September 21, 1960. Nashville, Tennessee

“I know enough about the experience of our country to know that if our agriculture is prosperous, we will be prosperous in our cities. If our cities are prosperous, we will be prosperous, we will be prosperous in our country. A rising tide lifts all the boats, and I preach the doctrine of the interdependence of the American economy: A strong America from one shore to the other, north and south, east and west, in which all Americans share their prosperity.”

September 14, 1960. St. Louis, Missouri

“Mr. Nixon and I, the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, have not been collected in amber nor frozen in ice or suddenly emerged on the political scene. Our parties are like two histories, two rivers, which flow back through our history, and you can judge the force, the power, and the direction of those rivers by studying where they rose, where they flow, and the course of those rivers throughout the history of the United States.”

November 3, 1960. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

“I speak of a strong America – strong in economy and resources and the dedication of our citizens – because I am concerned about the future of our country. I am concerned about the future of freedom around the world. I am concerned about our declining prestige, our sensitive alliances, the delicate balance of power. I think you share my concern. I think you recognize the need for leadership in this period that is thoughtful but courageous, prudent but firm, well-informed but imaginative.”

October 18, 1960. Miami Beach, Florida

“Talk is cheap, words are not enough, waving our finger under Khrushchev’s face does not increase the strength of the United States, especially when you say to him [applause] – especially when you say, as you wave your finger, “You may be ahead of us in rockets, but we are ahead of you in color television.” I will take my television black and white.”

September 6, 1960. Pocatello, Idaho

“I recognize that Idaho is regarded as the potato capital of the world. I was in Aroostook County, Maine, which regards itself as the potato capital of the world. I do not know enough about the rival claims or I know too much about them to make a judgment on which really is the potato capital of the world, except I do believe that it is vitally important for us in this campaign, perhaps not to settle that dispute, but to settle the question of where the capital of the free world is, and that should be Washington, D.C., and will be again.”

September 12, 1960. Houston, Texas

“I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish – where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source – where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials – and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.”

September 13, 1960. Dallas, Texas

“I believe a strong America is a growing America, a nation that is developing all of its resources to the fullest possible potential, human, scientific, economic, and natural, and developing these resources under a free enterprise system that looses the energy of our people. The splendor of this city is proof of what can be done. The vitality of this State is proof of what can be done. This country can move ahead, and it is that great object that we are dedicating ourselves to in this campaign.”

September 13, 1960. Fort Worth, Texas

“I saw, over the SAC base, in Omaha, Nebraska, 3 weeks ago, a B-58, built in this city, refueled. It is capable of flying to the opposite ends of the earth in defense of the United States. Those planes, those pilots serve as our shield, Fort Worth and Massachusetts, Boston and Texas. And we are united today because Massachusetts and Texas, Lyndon Johnson and myself, serve as the standard bearers for a great Democratic Party, a party which rose in the South, which grew in the North, which developed in the West, and is strong in the East – the only national party in the United States today.”

September 11, 1960. San Diego, California

“Here in San Diego, which is particularly dependent upon those industries which serve our national defense, you have seen the effect of a governmental policy which I consider to be shortsighted, and that is a policy which takes risks, I believe unnecessarily, with our national security. I think the United States should be second to none. [Applause.] I say it should be second to none both because it provides for our own security and the security of those who look to us for protection, but also it represents the road to peace.”

November 3, 1960. Phoenix, Arizona

“Let me make it clear that the kind of thing, in conclusion, that I think Arizona has to recognize is that we live in the most changing time in the life of our country. In the 1952 campaign, there was no discussion of two issues which have become important in the fifties. One was outer space, and one was the development of fresh water from salt water. This administration has failed in both of those areas, and they may well mean, these two areas, outer space, and the securing of enough water from the ocean to make our lands green, may well mean more blessings to our people than anything done in this century.”

July 15, 1960. Los Angeles, California

“Let me say first that I accept the nomination of the Democratic Party. I accept it without reservation and with only one obligation, the obligation to devote every effort of my mind and spirit to lead our Party back to victory and our Nation to greatness. I am grateful, too — I am grateful, too, that you have provided us with such a strong platform to stand on and to run on.”

September 7, 1960. Salem, Oregon

“The hard, tough question for the next decade, for this or any other group of Americans, regardless of their party, is whether we or the Communist world can best demonstrate the vitality of our system. Which system, the Communist system or the system of freedom is going to be able to convince the watching millions in Latin America and Africa and Asia who stand today on the razor edge of decision and try to make a determination as to which direction the world is moving. I think it should move with us. I think ours is the best system.”

Candidates

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John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) came from one of the wealthiest families in the United States. A World War II hero and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, he was groomed for political office by his father, Joseph Kennedy, former U. S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom. He served in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

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Richard M. Nixon

Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994), the son of a poor grocery store owner in California, practiced law before serving in the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II. In 1946, he won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was selected as Gen. Dwight Eisenhower’s running mate in the 1952 presidential election and served two terms as Vice President.

Education & Programming

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1960 Campaign Wives

Gallery Talk

October 14 | 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm

 

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News & Blogs

August 31, 2016

The Educator’s Guide to Back to School at the Museum

by Ani Simmons, Education Program Coordinator, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza Teachers! Congrats on surviving the first week back to school with students! As a former teacher, I know this is always a great week of meeting new…

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    Image credits

    The Dallas Morning News Collection/The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

    Donated by The Dallas Morning News in the interest of preserving history

    National Archives and Records Administration. John F. Kennedy Library and Museum

    John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

     

    Alaska State Library, John F. Kennedy Collection, P565-14

    Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

    John Corn/The Tennessean