Showing posts with label nixon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nixon. Show all posts


Tuesday, November 6, 1962: U.S. elections

Richard Nixon's defeat in California would get most of the headlines, but the elections would also see victories by several politicians who would rise to national prominence in the coming years -- George Wallace, Ted Kennedy and George McGovern among them.
* "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 6, 1962" (U.S. Goverment Printing Office): @
* Miami News, November 7: @
* Life magazine, November 16: @

* Nixon -- Two years after narrowly losing the presidency to John F. Kennedy, Nixon is defeated by incumbent Democrat Pat Brown in the race for California's governorship. In conceding the race on November 7, Nixon holds what he calls his "last press conference," telling the media that "you don't have Nixon to kick around anymore."
* Audio of press conference (from @
* Video of closing words: @
* "Media Bias in Presidential Election Coverage, 1948-2008" (David W. D'Alessio, 2012; see Chapter 1): @
* Entry on exact wording (from Language Log, blog at University of Pennsylvania): @

* See earlier posts by clicking on "Nixon" label below. 

(Photo from November 7 press conference; from Corbis Images)

* Wallace -- In his second bid for the Alabama governorship, the former circuit judge was assured of victory when he won the Democratic runoff in May; the Republican Party did not field a candidate for the general election.
* Entry from Encyclopedia of Alabama: @
* Entry from Alabama Department of Archives and History: @
* Timeline of Wallace's Life (from @
* "George Wallace: American Populist" (Stephen Lesher, 1995): @
* Earlier entry on Wallace comic book: @

(Campaign poster from

* Kennedy -- The younger brother of President Kennedy wins a U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts. JFK, who had been re-elected to the Senate in 1958, had resigned the seat in 1960 after he won the presidency. The seat was filled by Benjamin Smith until the special election in 1962.
* @
* Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate: @
* Photo gallery of Senate campaign from @

(Photo taken after the September Democratic primary; from Corbis Images)

* McGovern -- The former director of the Food for Peace program was elected senator from South Dakota; he would be the Democratic nominee for president in 1972.
* Entry from Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: @
* Food for Peace website: @

(1962 photo from John F. Kennedy Presidential Library)

* John Connally -- elected governor of Texas; he would be shot and wounded when President Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963.
* Entry from Texas State Historical Association: @

* George Romney -- elected governor of Michigan; he would seek the Republican nomination for president in 1968.
* "Romney's Way: A Man and an Idea" (T. George Harris, 1967): @


Monday, September 4, 1961: Nixon's hole-in-one

The former vice president, who narrowly lost the 1960 presidential race, hits a hole-in-one on No. 3 (155 yards) at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles. "It's the greatest thrill of my life -- even better than being elected," Nixon says. His playing partners that Labor Day were the actor Randolph Scott, former California Rep. Donald Jackson and longtime friend Bebe Rebozo. (Photo by Corbis Images)

* Excerpt from "First Off The Tee" (book by Don Van Natta Jr.): @
* Hole-in-one facts (from @


Tuesday, November 8, 1960: John F. Kennedy elected president

Democrat John F. Kennedy is elected president of the United States, defeating Republican Richard Nixon in the closest race of the 20th century. The New York Times put the narrowness of the race into perspective, writing that Kennedy won "by the astonishing margin of less than two votes per voting district." The outcome was not decided until Wednesday, November 9, when Minnesota came in for Kennedy, and Nixon finally conceded.

The final numbers:
-- Kennedy: 34.2 million votes (49.7%), 303 electoral votes (269 needed for victory).
-- Nixon: 34.1 million votes (49.5%), 219 electoral votes.

Among the states that Kennedy barely won:
-- Illinois (27 electoral votes): Kennedy 2,377,846; Nixon 2,368,988
-- Texas (24): Kennedy 1,167,567; Nixon 1,121,310
-- New Jersey (16): Kennedy 1,385,415; Nixon 1,363,324
-- Missouri (13): Kennedy 972,201; Nixon 962,221
-- Minnesota (11): Kennedy 779,933; Nixon 757,915

Just over 40,000 votes -- the combined margins of Illinois, New Jersey and Missouri -- denied Nixon the presidency. (Use the link below to calculate other scenarios that would have given Nixon the victory.)

Computers made their election-night debut on TV, introducing the concept of "projections" to viewers. Time magazine wrote: "ABC promises a cast of 1,000, not counting Univac, headed by John Daly. CBS counters with the new IBM 7090 and its sidekick RAMAC 305 to tally ballots 'within thousandths of a second,' will also use humans, with Walter Cronkite as anchor man. NBC boasts an RCA 501 and a similar 1,000-man task force, commanded by Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, needless to say."

* Election night footage from NBC:
-- Part 1: @
-- Part 2: @
-- Part 3: @
-- Part 4: @
-- Part 5: @
-- Part 6: @
-- Part 7: @
-- Part 8: @
-- Part 9: @
-- Observations about NBC's coverage: @
-- "They'll Tell You How You'll Vote" (Popular Mechanics article on computers, 1964): @

Other links:
-- State-by-state results: @ and @
-- Calculate different scenarios: @
-- 2000 Washington Post story on vote totals and Nixon's decision not to ask for a recount: @
-- Los Angeles Times front pages (November 8-9): @
-- Boston Globe front page (November 9): @
-- New York Times front page (November 9 - page @ and story @)
-- New York Times front page (November 10): @
-- Kennedy speeches, November 7: @ (transcript, Faneuil Hall) and @ (video, Boston Garden)
-- Nixon appearance, early November 9: @
-- Kennedy acceptance speech, November 9: @
-- Newsreel: @


Friday, October 28, 1960: 'Nixonland'

In a speech in Oakland, California, former President Harry Truman mocks Republican presidential nominee Richard Nixon. Here is most of the speech (pieced together from various sources):

"I do not feel bitterness tonight toward Richard Nixon. I feel concern and a touch of pity. I have been wondering what he could do after the election returns are in ... He is too young to retire and he will have to have some kind of a job ...

"I think I have discovered what Mr. Nixon can do. He has considerable gifts of showmanship, and the ability to create all kinds of illusions. He should go into this amusement park business and open one of his own, which we could call Nixonland ...

"Nixonland would be an interesting place. It would become in time a national shrine for Republicans, although Democrats would have to pass a loyalty examination before they could be admitted.

"Nixon would be in charge of Nixonland personally, and he would be the guide for all the Nixonland rides, which he could do very well by the way, as he has been taking the American people for a ride for a good many years already.

"One of the rules of Nixonland would be 'no cuss words' because of the children there. Of course, in Nixonland there would be nothing to cuss about, because there our prestige would always be at an all-time high -- and we would all be morally, spiritually, economically and militarily stronger than anybody else anywhere.

"Nixonland would also be very neat. In fact, it would be as clean as a hound's tooth.

"The first thing to do in Nixonland would be to take a ride on the Nixon train. This would go -- rather quickly -- through fifty-odd countries ... The end of this ride would be quite exciting, with howling Communist mobs, and all the passengers would have to be rescued by United States Marines ...

"Then there would be the Nixon trip up the Congo River, through Communistland. And you would see stuffed Communists popping up from behind every bush. And Nixon would stand in the bow of the boat, and shoot them dead -- with blanks.

"Another popular attraction would be the great Nixon submarine ride to the offshore islands. This submarine would go to Quemoy and Matsu, but not to Cuba. In fact, there would be a rule in Nixonland against mentioning Cuba. Anybody mentioning Cuba would have to get off the submarine and swim home.

"There would be lots to see in Nixonland, and fun for all -- but nothing would be real.

"And that, my friends, is the danger we face. Nixonland is not the real world, it is a world of dreams concocted to get your votes.

"Let us leave Nixonland behind us, and face the real world and its problems. Let us take the necessary action to meet these problems instead of pretending they don't exist. Let us build for the future of America and for a secure and peaceful world with Jack Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson."

Not that Truman had been a strong supporter of Democratic candidate John F. Kennedy early on; in fact, Truman had resigned in July as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, calling it "a prearranged affair" and saying Kennedy was too young, too inexperienced to be president. But the prospect of a Nixon presidency was enough for Truman to campaign for Kennedy.

* Truman's July 2 remarks: @
* Kennedy's July 4 response: @


September-October: Presidential debates

Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Richard M. Nixon meet in a series of four debates, the first to be televised. An estimated 60 to 70 million people watch -- a third of the entire U.S. population. Another 15 million listen on radio. Policy differences aside, Kennedy appears youthful and vigorous, especially in the first debate, while Nixon (who had recently been hospitalized for two weeks for a staph infection) seems pale and drawn. (It's been said that most people who listened to the debate on the radio thought Nixon won, while TV viewers tended to side with Kennedy; I've included links to both.)

* Monday, September 26: Held in Chicago, it dealt primarily with domestic issues.
-- TV telecast: @
-- Radio broadcast: @
-- Transcript: @
-- "The Great Debate" from Museum of Broadcast Communications: @
-- New York Times article (September 27): @
-- Los Angeles Times pages: @
-- Remembrances from key figures: @

* Friday, October 7: The second debate, held in Washington, went straight to questions on any subject, with no opening statements by either candidate. Among the topics: meeting the Communist challenge, and the state of the United States' economy.
-- Transcript: @
-- Video: @
-- Audio: @
-- Observations from Eleanor Roosevelt: @

* Thursday, October 13: The candidates were in different cities for their third debate: Kennedy in New York and Nixon in Los Angeles. Much of the debate focuses on what the U.S. would do should the Asian islands of Quemoy and Matsu be attacked by China.
-- Transcript: @
-- Video: @
-- Audio: @
-- More about Quemoy and Matsu: @ and @ and @

* Friday, October 21: The fourth and final debate, from New York. It centers on foreign policy. America's stature and image in the world bring the best exchange:

Nixon: America gained by continuing the dignity, the decency that has characterized us and it's that that keeps the prestige of America up -- not running down America the way Senator Kennedy has been running her down.
Moderator: Comment, Senator Kennedy?
Kennedy: I really don't need Mr. Nixon to tell me about what my responsibilities are as a citizen.

-- Transcript: @
-- Video: @
-- Audio: @

Other resources:
* Highlights of the debates (from @ 
* From Archive of American Television: @
* From the book "Television and Politics" (Kurt Lang, Gladys Engel Lang, 2002): @
* Article from Smithsonian magazine: @
* Nixon writes about the debates (from the book "Six Crises"): @
* Highest-rated TV debates, 1960 to 2008: @


Thursday, August 25, 1960: Nixon and Jack Paar

Republican presidential nominee Richard M. Nixon appears on "The Jack Paar Tonight Show." (Democrat John F. Kennedy had appeared earlier; see entry of June 16.) Nixon's wife, Pat, joins him on stage later in the show. Paar's first question -- about Nixon's performance as vice president -- refers to a statement made the previous day by President Eisenhower at a news conference. Eisenhower was asked if he could provide an example of any "major idea" by Nixon that had been adopted by the administration. Eisenhower's memorable reply: "If you give me a week, I might think of one. I don't remember." (The remark would resurface as part of a Kennedy campaign ad, and also during the first Kennedy-Nixon debate on September 26.)

* Transcript of "Jack Paar Show": @
* Kennedy campaign ad: @
* Transcript of Eisenhower news conference: @


Monday-Thursday, July 25-28, 1960: Republican National Convention

Vice President Richard Nixon is the all-but-certain nominee as the Republicans gather in Chicago, though Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater and (presumably) New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller remain in the running. Attention turns toward the platform, the direction of the party and a running mate. Meanwhile, the accomplishments and popularity of outgoing President Dwight D. Eisenhower are a running theme of the convention.

* Platform and direction of party: Largely the work of Rockefeller, the so-called "Compact of Fifth Avenue" was hammered out during a meeting between the Nixon and Rockefeller camps at the governor's Fifth Avenue apartment on July 22-23. Nixon signed off on the platform to ensure Rockefeller's support and to placate the more liberal factions of the party. His actions outraged the GOP's more conservative elements, particularly Goldwater, whose "Conscience of a Conservative" (published that March) had brought him to prominence, as it forcefully stated the direction in which he wanted to move the party. The Chicago Tribune thundered in an editorial, "Grant Surrenders to Lee."
-- Platform summary and significance: @ and @. Text: @
-- Text of "Conscience of a Conservative": @

* July 25: Convention gets under way at the International Amphitheatre. A civil rights rally, 5,000 strong and led in part by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., takes place outside the building. (As the Democrats had done two weeks prior, the GOP would address civil rights at length in its platform.)
-- Transcript of NBC interview with King: @

* July 26: Eisenhower addresses the convention. Rockefeller officially withdraws his candidacy, releasing his pledged delegates and urging their support of Nixon.
-- Text of Eisenhower speech: @

* July 27: Party platform is approved. Nixon's and Goldwater's names are placed in nomination. Goldwater withdraws his candidacy, saying in his speech, "Let's grow up, conservatives ... let's -- if we want to take this party back and I think we can someday -- let's get to work." Nixon claims the nomination, with 1,321 delegates to 10 for Goldwater. (The photo above is Nixon's reaction to his first-ballot victory.)

* July 28: Nixon selects Henry Cabot Lodge, the United States' ambassador to the United Nations, for the vice presidential slot. (Rockefeller had turned down Nixon's offer.) Nixon addresses the convention.

* Convention summary from Chicago Historical Society: @
* Videos of convention highlights: @ and @
* Videos of speeches (includes Goldwater, Lodge and former President Herbert Hoover): @ (Audio and text of Nixon's acceptance speech: @)
* Telegram from NBC to Nixon and Kennedy (and their replies) regarding prime-time debates: @


Thursday, June 16, 1960: JFK and Jack Paar

Sen. John F. Kennedy, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, is a guest on "The Jack Paar Tonight Show," at the time a rare instance of a politician appearing on an entertainment show. Kennedy's appearance followed that of his brother, Robert F. Kennedy, who the year before had been on the show and talked about his work as chief counsel on the Senate committee investigating ties between labor unions and organized crime.

On Paar's show, JFK discusses current events, answers audience questions and banters with Paar:

Paar: May I ask you, so that I don't look too naive, a tough question right off the bat?
JFK: Whether I'm a Democrat or a Republican?
Paar: Would it be rude of me if called you John?
JFK: That would be fine.
Paar: Because if you make it, it would be nice for my daughter to know that we have this arrangement, you know.

Republican candidate Richard M. Nixon would follow suit and appear on Paar's show on Aug. 25.

* Jack Parr biography and obituary: @ and @
* New York Times article on politicians and talk shows: @


Thursday, March 17, 1960: U.S. vs. Castro

President Eisenhower authorizes the CIA to begin working with and training Cuban exiles as part of a covert effort to undermine and overthrow the government of Fidel Castro, whose guerrilla forces had seized power on New Year's Day, 1959. (The Soviet Union and Cuba had forged closer ties since Castro's takeover.) At left is Castro with Vice President Nixon during Castro's visit to Washington in April 1959.

* Text of "A Program of Covert Action Against the Castro Regime": @
* Map of the Cuban Revolution: @


Saturday, January 9, 1960: Richard Nixon begins bid for White House

With Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower leaving office, the two-term vice president officially becomes a candidate. It's Nixon's 47th birthday and concludes a week in which he was grand marshal of the Tournament of Roses parade, helped negotiate an end to the U.S. steel strike and flew aboard a plane that set a record for fastest commercial coast-to-coast flight (3 hours and 39 minutes).

* Front page of January 4 Los Angeles Times: @
* More on the steel strike of 1959: @

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