JFK+50: Volume 5, No. 1768JFK ELECTED PRESIDENT 55 YEARS AGO TODAY
Boston, Massachusetts (JFK+50) Fifty-five years ago today, November 8, 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts was elected 35th President of the United States.
JFK was to be inaugurated on January 20, 1961 the youngest elected President in history as well as the first of the Roman Catholic faith. The Election of 1960 was the closest presidential contest in the 20th century. Vice-President Richard M. Nixon won 26 states with 219 electoral votes while Senator Kennedy carried 22 states with 303 electoral votes
Vice-Presidential nominees were Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. for the Republicans and Lyndon B. Johnson for the Democrats. The KENNEDY-JOHNSON ticket received 34,220,984 or 49.72% of the popular vote while the NIXON-LODGE ticket won 34,108,157 or 49.55%.
Harry F. Byrd, segregationist Senator of Virginia, running with Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, won 15 electoral votes.
The Vice-President watched returns from his suite at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Senator Kennedy, meanwhile, was at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
JFK built an early lead with returns coming from urban centers, but RMN came from behind as later returns came in from rural areas and the West. Although Mr. Nixon spoke to his supporters at 3 a.m., he did not concede the election at that time.
Senator Kennedy went to bed after Nixon's appearance without knowing the final result. When Dave Powers asked him how he could do that, JFK said..."Because it's too late to change any votes."
Mr. Kennedy learned of his victory the next morning when his 6 year old daughter Caroline came running in to his bedroom with the good news.
The President-elect's first public appearance came on November 9, 1960 when he spoke briefly at the Hyannis Port Armory accompanied by his wife, Jacqueline, his father and mother, Mr. & Mrs. Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and other family members.