"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

On November 8, 1960, John F. Kennedy was elected president in one of the closest elections in U.S. history. He was the youngest man ever elected president, the only Catholic, and the first president born in the twentieth century.  Follow the 1960 Campaign from the Democratic National Convention to the election returns in this series of exhibits which include campaign material, film footage of the first debate between JFK and Richard Nixon, and a replica of a campaign office.

The Museum recreates the sights and sounds of the 1960 main streets of America traveled by candidates Kennedy and Nixon. Walk down Main Street USA and feel the energy of the Kennedy campaign as Frank Sinatra sings campaign songs "High Hopes" and "All the Way!"  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. 

Exhibit Highlights

'John Kennedy Our Next President' Campaign Button  

View the Campaign Exhibit Slideshow

John F. Kennedy’s Nomination Acceptance Speech

JFK DNC Acceptance

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Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard M. Nixon- First Joint Radio-Television Broadcast, Monday, September 26, 1960

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