We stand today on the edge of a New Frontier, the Frontier of the 1960's, a Frontier of unknown opportunities and perils, a frontier of unfilled hopes and threats." — John F. Kennedy, Democratic Acceptance Speech, 1960
About the Exhibit
This ongoing exhibit invites the public to relive one of history’s most exciting and energetic presidential campaigns by accompanying Senator John F. Kennedy as he criss-crosses the country bringing his message of a “New Frontier” directly to the voters during the 1960 run for the presidency.
The Museum recreates the sights and sounds of the 1960 Democratic National Convention and the main streets of America traveled by candidates Kennedy and Nixon as they delivered hundreds of speeches in front of thousands of people of every age. Listen as Senator John F. Kennedy accepts his party’s nomination at the 1960 Democratic National Convention. Walk down Main Street USA taking in footage of Kennedy and Nixon stump speeches, campaign songs, and television coverage
. Feel the energy of the Kennedy campaign as Frank Sinatra sings "High Hopes" and "All the Way!" Step back into a reproduction of the Chicago television studio where the first debate took place and see the actual audio control and television camera used by CBS affiliate WBBM-TV in 1960. Stay up late with Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley, and Chet Huntley as they report election-night returns and reveal how close a race it really was.
In the hard-fought primaries prior to the Democratic nominating convention and in the general election campaign against Vice President Richard Nixon that followed, candidate Kennedy was assisted by his large and enthusiastic family, by a relatively young but seasoned team of aides and political operatives, and by countless volunteers across the country. Together they brought the message of “The New Frontier” to the voting public, making it possible for Senator John F. Kennedy to eventually claim victory in one of the closest presidential contests in American History.
On display is memorabilia from the 1960 Democratic National Convention that took place in Los Angeles on July 10, 1960 including Convention Tickets and Delegate Badges. A recreation of a Kennedy Campaign office is filled with campaign paraphernalia and a display of thousands of buttons, posters, and handouts which were produced during the course of the campaign. Also on display is the original TelePrompter text used by Senator John F. Kennedy while delivering his acceptance speech at the 1960 Democratic National Convention showing reference to a "New Frontier", a term which would become synonymous with the Kennedy campaign and administration