The First Presidential TV Debate

Today In History: On Sept. 26, 1960, the first U.S. televised debate was broadcasted between major party presidential candidates. Sen. John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon battled head to head in Chicago, Ill., resulting in Kennedy winning the debate and soon after, the presidency.


Presidential nominee Richard Nixon and Sen. John F. Kennedy shake hands, Sept. 26, 1960 in Chicago, as they hired television studio to take part in their debate. (AP Photo)


Jacqueline Kennedy tunes in the television in her home in Hyannis Port, Mass., Sept. 26, 1960, just before her husband John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon were to enter into a nationally telecast debate. Mrs. Kennedy was also host to a group of Democratic officials and friends at a TV watching party. (AP Photo)


Jacqueline Kennedy, left center, sits in her living room with a group of Democrats watching her husband, John F. Kennedy, presidential candidate, on television debating domestic affairs with Vice President Richard Nixon, at her Hyannis Port, Mass., home, Sept. 26, 1960. (AP Photo)


Vice President Richard Nixon and Maurice Hutcheson, right, President of the Carpenters and Joiners union, engage in conversation just before the Republican Presidential nominee spoke at a meeting of the union in Chicago, Sept. 26, 1960. Sen. John Kennedy, Democratic presidential nominee, will speak before the union group later in the day. (AP Photo/Henry Griffin)


Sen. John F. Kennedy goes over his notes and Vice President Richard Nixon stands in rear of a television studio in Chicago on Sept. 26, 1960 before they debated campaign issues. (AP Photo)


Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy, watches her husband debate with Vice President Richard Nixon on a nation-wide television program, at her Hyannis Port, Mass. home on Sept. 26, 1960. Harvard professer Archibald Cox sits beside Mrs. Kennedy who was host to a group of Democratic party officials and members of the press. (AP Photo/Bill Chaplis)


Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon leaves the lectern at left during his televised debate with his Democratic opponent Sen. John Kennedy, who is seated at left at Chicago on Sept. 26, 1960. Moderator Howard K. Smith is partially hidden behind Kennedy?s lectern. Two of the panelists are seated at right. (AP Photo)


Sen. John Kennedy, Democratic presidential candidate, slaps hands together, Sept. 26, 1960 in Chicago as he spoke in his debate tonight with Vice President Richard Nixon at a Chicago television studio. (AP Photo)


Republican presidential candidate Vice President Richard M. Nixon wipes his face with a handkerchief during the nationally televised with Democratic nominee Sen. John F. Kennedy, in Chicago, Ill., Sept. 26, 1960. In presidential politics, everybody’s searching for “the moment.” The campaigns don’t know when or how it will come, but they watch for something _ awkward words or an embarrassing image _ that can break through and become the defining symbol of the other guy’s flaws. Now all eyes are on the series of three presidential debates that starts Wednesday. (AP Photo)


Moderator Howard K. Smith sits between, Sen. John Kennedy, left, and Vice President Richard Nixon as they appear on television studio monitor set during their debate in Chicago. The Kennedy image, the “mystique” that attracts tourists and historians alike, did not begin with his presidency and is in no danger of ending 50 years after his death. The multimedia story began in childhood with newsreels and newspaper coverage of the smiling Kennedy brood, and it continued with books, photographs, movies and finally television, notably the telegenic JFK’s presidential debates with Nixon. (AP Photo)


 

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Lead Image Caption: Vice President Richard Nixon is shown on the monitor screen at the television station as he debated with John Kennedy, Sept. 26, 1960 in Chicago. (AP Photo)

 

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Published by AP Images Team

AP Images is the world’s largest collection of historical andcontemporary photos. AP Images provides instant access to AP's iconic photos and adds new content every minute of every day from every corner of the world, making it an essential source of photos and graphics for professional imagebuyers and commercial customers. Whether your needs are for editorial, commercial, or personal use, AP Images has the content and the expert sales team to fulfill your image requirements. Visit apimages.com to learn more.

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