July 13, 1960: Kennedy receives a presidential nomination
Do you know how John F. Kennedy was nominated for the presidency? In 1960, America was ready for a fresh-faced, young candidate to change things for the better. Although he only served for three years, Kennedy will always be remembered as one of the nation’s greatest leaders. Find out what happened on the day that Kennedy received a presidential nomination.
A close election
On July 13, 1960, Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy was selected as a presidential candidate in Los Angeles, California. Elected by the Democratic Party Convention, Kennedy narrowly defeated his opponent, Texas Senator Lyndon B. Johnson. In an ironic twist of fate, Johnson was actually chosen as JFK’s vice president on the following day by the Democratic Party Convention. Luckily, Kennedy won the presidential election against running mate Richard M. Nixon. In fact, the election was so tight that Kennedy only beat Nixon by 100,000 votes!
At the beginning of 1961, John F. Kennedy was officially elected at the nation’s 35th president. Not only was Kennedy the first Catholic head of state, but he was also the most youthful candidate to become president of all time. On his inauguration day, Kennedy expressed gratitude for his election, saying “the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans.” Then, JFK uttered his famous line: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
Together, JFK and first lady Jackie Kennedy changed the White House forever. During his term, Kennedy battled against communism throughout the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Bay of Pigs Invasion. The president had just introduced a legendary civil rights bill to Congress when he was viciously assassinated. Tragically, Kennedy was shot in November 1963 while cruising in a convertible with Jackie in Texas.