Today in History: The 1960 Presidential Campaign

Nixon's Campaign visits Syracuse, May 1960.

Nixon’s Campaign visits Syracuse, May 1960.

Today in 1960, the first ever debate between major party presidential candidates (Vice President Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy) is shown on television. Kennedy was a bit more at ease in front of the camera. However, Nixon, who refused to wear makeup, appeared nervous and was sweating throughout the debate.

Before the debate, in May of 1960, one of Nixon’s campaign stops was Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport (photograph, left). Nixon would go on to lose the election in one of the closest elections in U.S history.