On This Day: First Kennedy-Nixon Debate

On September 26, 1960, then-Senator John F. Kennedy and then-Vice President Richard Nixon faced off in the first televised presidential debate. Prior to the debate, the young Kennedy was relatively unknown to the American public. However, Kennedy impressed Americans with his energy and ease on camera. Nixon, who refused to wear makeup and was recently out of the hospital following a knee injury, appeared pale and sweaty by comparison. Some say that this debate and the three other ones that followed it helped Kennedy win the 1960 election. View this video collection to see archival video of the debate and learn about its impact on candidates and campaigns.

Kennedy-Nixon Debate

John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon discuss education during the first presidential debate in 1960.