Nixon vs. Kennedy: The 50th Anniversary

No, not the Mad Men episode (though that one, of course, is one of the series’ gems). No, today is the 50th anniversary of the game-changing Richard Nixon/John F. Kennedy televised debate, the first time a presidential debate had been televised.

The September 26, 1960 debate between then-Vice President Nixon and then-Senator Kennedy has also come to be known as the event that helped Kennedy eventually win the election, as Nixon not only appeared tired and nervous (he’d just spent time in the hospital for a knee injury) vs. Kennedy’s cool, rested, tan appearance, but Nixon also seemed reluctant to actually debate at certain points.

Ted Sorenson, who was an adviser to Kennedy, wrote a piece in today’s New York Times that takes on some of the big myths that persist about the “Great Debate” … it’s a great read, especially as a companion to actually watching some of the footage from the debate (thanks, YouTube).

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