Kennedy-Nixon First Presidential Debate, 1960 (1960-2012)


On September 26, 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon stood before an audience of 70 million Americans—two-thirds of the nation’s adult population—in the first nationally televised Presidential debate. This first of four debates held before the end of October gave a vast national audience the opportunity to see and compare the two candidates, and ushered in a new age of Presidential politics

Film footage © John F. Kennedy Library Foundation

For more archival videos from the 1960 Presidential Campaign, go to

For more information on the 1960 Presidential Campaign, go to….


2 responses to “Kennedy-Nixon First Presidential Debate, 1960 (1960-2012)

  1. well, that was fascinating.. At 22, American politics didn’t interest me and I missed this debate then. Wonderful to watch it now, with all the hindsight of history, and knowing the tragedy of both presidents.


    • That’s why our generation has the opportunity to look over the shoulder to the mistakes done in the past, and correct course, instead of moving in the unknown like conquistadors: we may not be as lucky as Columbus!


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