Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)




In Chicago on July 28th, 1960, Richard M. Nixon, vice-president of the United States was nominated as Republican candidate for president. This took place two weeks after the Democrats in Los Angeles chose John F. Kennedy, United States senator from Massachusetts as their candidate. The nominations of these two men marked the beginning of an historic race for office - the 1960 presidential campaign. Beginning with Mr. Kennedy’s nomination in July and continuing until election day, the campaign lasted for over sixteen weeks.

This was a campaign of firsts. It was the first time two men so young had run for president. The election of either would have put America’s youngest elected president into office. It was the first time either candidate had visited fifty states in the union during a campaign. In the field of communication, this campaign marked the beginning of an era. For the first time in history, the two presidential candidates faced each other in nationwide television debate.

On November 8th, the voters of America went to the polls and elected John F. Kennedy, the Democratic candidate, president of the United States. The New York Times in an article which showed the popular vote margin to be 112,801 states that “it was the closest Presidential race in 76 years”. The electoral college gave Mr. Kennedy a lead of 81 electoral votes over Mr. Nixon.

Speech-making played a vital role in the campaign from the beginning to the end. This study is directed specifically toward the speeches of the Republican candidate, Richard M. Nixon.





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