On September 26, 1960, an estimated 70 million people watched Sen. John F. Kennedy spar with Vice President Richard Nixon in the first ever nationally televised debate.
At 60-minutes long, the debate catapulted the handsome, fresh-faced Kennedy from a little-known Massachusetts senator to a full-blown television star. Nixon looked pale, tired and old in comparison.
Even Nixon knew it, later remarking that his campaign had underestimated the power of TV:
By God, I did not understand this enough in ’60. You know, I hated to do television shows.
[Via JFK Library on YouTube]
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