Wednesday, July 15, 2015



Los Angeles, California (JFK+50) Fifty-five years ago tonight, July 15, 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts accepted the nomination of the Democratic Party for President of the United States here in Los Angeles.

The Senator was introduced by Adlai Stevenson of Illinois whose name had been placed in nomination for president at the 1956 convention by JFK.

Senator Kennedy, who gave his acceptance speech at the Los Angeles Coliseum,
thanked the delegates for the platform which was titled "The Rights of Man." JFK described it as "our goal and...our first principle."

JFK was the first Roman Catholic candidate for President since Alfred E. Smith in 1928.  In reference to the religious issue JFK said:

"I hope that no American...will...throw away his vote by voting either for me or against me because of my religious affiliation.  It is not relevant.  My decisions on any public policy will be my own, as an American, as a Democrat, and as a free man."

In reference to his Republican opponent in the general election, Senator Kennedy said...

"Mr. Nixon may feel that it is his turn now, after the New Deal and the Fair Deal, but before he deals, someone's going to cut the cards."*

*Chris Matthews says that Nixon was watching JFK's speech on television, telling those around him that JFK was performing poorly, his speech above people's heads and his delivery too fast.

Senator Kennedy then spoke about the American pioneers who "gave up their safety, their comfort and sometimes their lives to build the new West."  He said that some might believe that all the frontiers have been conquered, but...

"We stand today on the edge of a New Frontier--the frontier of the 1960s, the frontier of unfilled hopes and unfilled threats.

JFK described his New Frontier this way...

"The New Frontier of which I speak is not a set of promises.  It is a set of challenges.   It sums up not what I intend to offer the American people, but what I intend to ask of them."


"Jack Kennedy:  Elusive Hero," by Chris Matthews, Simon and Schuster, New York, 2011.

"John F. Kennedy Democratic National Convention Acceptance Address, The New Frontier," American Rhetoric:  Online Speech Bank,

JFK Accepts Nomination
July 15, 1960
JFK Library Photo