Monday-Friday, July 11-15, 1960: Democratic National Convention

* July 5: Lyndon Baines Johnson, the Senate majority leader from Texas, announces he will seek the Democratic nomination for president. Johnson had not campaigned during the primaries; he had hoped to prevail at the convention as a compromise candidate. Also waiting in the wings are Sen. Stuart Symington of Missouri as well as Adlai Stevenson, the party's nominee in 1952 and 1956. The reason for all the maneuvering: While Sen. John F. Kennedy heads into the convention as the front-runner, he has just 600 of the 761 delegates needed to secure the nomination.
-- More about Johnson's candidacy: @

* July 10: To a mixture of cheers and boos, Kennedy speaks at an NAACP rally before the convention; also speaking is the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The two men had met for the first time the month before, discussing civil rights, which would be a key element of the Democratic platform.
-- King's account of first meeting: @

* July 11: Convention opens at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
-- Preview from NBC (July 9): @

* July 12: Party platform approved.
-- Significance and summary: @
-- Text: @

* July 13: Kennedy wins the nomination on the first ballot, collecting 806 delgates to Johnson's 409. Symington and Stevenson fall far short. The next day's Boston Globe would carry the headline "JACK, IN WALK".
-- Account from Time magazine on the jockeying for delegates: @
-- Account from Life magazine: @
-- Excerpt from book "The First Modern Campaign: Kennedy, Nixon, and the Election of 1960": @
-- New York Times story: @
-- Telegram from Harpo Marx congratulating Kennedy: @
(Thanks to Larry Harnisch of the Los Angeles Times for the front-page image. Click here for The Daily Mirror, the Times' blog on L.A. history.)

* July 14: Kennedy asks Johnson to join the ticket as the vice presidential nominee. Johnson accepts. The circumstances surrounding the somewhat surprising offer are debated to this day.
-- Short summary from PBS: @
-- Account from Kennedy aide Kenneth O'Donnell: @
-- Account from Philip Graham, confidant of both Kennedy and Johnson: @
-- New York Times story: @

* July 15: In front of 80,000 people at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Kennedy formally accepts the nomination (also known as the "New Frontier" speech).
-- Text, audio and video: @

* Videos of convention highlights: @ and @
* Panoramic photo of scene inside convention hall: @
* The convention was the basis for Norman Mailer's "Superman Comes to the Supermarket," which would be published in the November issue of Esquire magazine: @

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