Nashua, New Hampshire (JFK+50) Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts began his presidential campaign here in Nashua* fifty-five years ago today, January 25, 1960.
After attending a reception at the Nashua City Hotel, the candidate spoke on the steps of City Hall.
While we do not know why the Kennedy campaign selected Nashua as his first campaign stop, Michael Brindly of NHPR tells us that the city is located only 35 miles from Brookline, Massachusetts where JFK was born on May 29, 1917.
The Senator, speaking during a snowstorm, said...
"I do not know any time in the life of this country when a comparable responsibility has been placed upon the people of the United States. And, therefore, what we start here in New Hampshire today, I believe must succeed next summer and next November."
According to the Nashua Telegraph, Mr. Kennedy received a "warm and enthusiastic New England welcome" by hundreds of the city's residents and "shook hands with nearly all present."
The Telegraph describes Senator Kennedy as "wearing a dark blue pinstripe suit, navy blue polka dot tie, pin stripe shirt and the friendly Kennedy grin..."
On the spot in front of City Hall where JFK spoke a memorial statue was erected in 1965.
The words on the memorial read...
President John F. Kennedy
On January 25, 1960
this City Hall Plaza
was John F. Kennedy's
first campaign stop
in the Nation for
the Presidency of
the United States
Nashua City Hall
"1960: Kennedy's opening drive," May 3, 2011, www.unionleader.com/
"50 years ago Nashua greeted JFK," by Stacy Mibouer, January 25, 2010, www.nashuatelegraph.com/
"In Nashua, Remembering The Day JFK Launched His Campaign," by Michael Brindly, November 22, 2013, www.nhpr.org/
"JFK in Nashua, New Hampshire," by Heather Wilkinson Rojo, November 22, 2013, www.nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/