On This Day, Jan. 2, 1960 – John F. Kennedy Throws His Hat in the Ring


1960 – Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Kennedy captured the Democratic nomination despite his youth, a seeming lack of experience in foreign affairs, and his Catholic faith. On May 10, he won a solid victory in the Democratic primary in overwhelmingly Protestant West Virginia. His success there launched him toward a first ballot victory at the national convention in Los Angeles — although he did not reach the 761 votes required for the nomination until the final state in the roll call, Wyoming.

After choosing Texas Senator Lyndon Johnson as his running mate, Kennedy told the convention delegates that he would get the nation moving again. He declared that the United States would have the will and the strength to resist communism around the world.

On November 8, 1960, . Kennedy was elected president in one of the closest elections in U.S. history. In the popular vote, his margin over Republican Richard Nixon was 118,550 out of a total of nearly 69 million votes cast. His success in many urban and industrial states gave him a clear majority of 303 to 219 in the electoral vote. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the youngest man ever elected president, the only Catholic, and the first president born in the twentieth century.

1492 – The leader of the last Arab stronghold in Spain surrendered to Spanish forces loyal to King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I.

1788 – Georgia became the 4th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

1842 – In Fairmount, PA, the first wire suspension bridge was opened to traffic.

1872 – Brigham Young, the 71-year-old leader of the Mormon Church, was arrested on a charge of bigamy. He had 25 wives.

1879 – Thomas Edison began construction on his first generator.

1890 – Alice Sanger became the first female White House staffer.

1893 – The first commemorative postage stamps were issued.

1900U.S. Secretary of State John Hay announced the Open Door Policy to prompt trade with China.

1910 – The first junior high school in the United States opened. McKinley School in Berkeley, CA, housed seventh and eighth grade students. In a separate building students were housed who attended grades 9-12.

1921 – The first religious broadcast on radio was heard on KDKA Radio in Pittsburgh, PA, as Dr. E.J. Van Etten of Calvary Episcopal Church preached.

1929 – The United States and Canada reached an agreement on joint action to preserve Niagara Falls.

1935 – Bruno Richard Hauptmann went on trial for the kidnap-murder of Charles Lindbergh’s baby. Hauptmann was found guilt and executed.

1941 – The Andrews Sisters recorded “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”

1942 – The Philippine capital of Manila was captured by Japanese forces during World War II.

1959 – CBS Radio ended four soap operas. “Our Gal Sunday“, “This is Nora Drake“, “Backstage Wife” and “Road of Life” all aired for the last time.

1965 – “Broadway” Joe Namath signed the richest rookie contract ($400,000) in the history of pro football.

1968 – Fidel Castro announced petroleum and sugar rationing in Cuba.

1971 – In the U.S., a federally imposed ban on television cigarette advertisements went into effect.

1974President Richard M. Nixon signed a bill requiring all states to lower the maximum speed limit to 55 MPH. The law was intended to conserve gasoline supplies during an embargo imposed by Arab oil-producing countries. Federal speed limits were abolished in 1995.a

1983 – The final edition of Garry Trudeau’s comic strip, “Doonesbury“, appeared in 726 newspapers. “Doonesbury” began running again in September 1984.


Source: On-This-Day.com; jfklibrary.org