This Day in the Law
November 8

Kennedy is President of "Firsts" (1960)

On November 8, 1960, John F. Kennedy became the 35th President of the United States. His win encompassed a couple of "firsts" for the American Presidency.

At the youthful age of forty-three, Kennedy was the youngest man ever to be elected as President of the United States. He was also the first Catholic president. (It is important to note that Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest president ever to assume office as President. He was forty-two years old when he was sworn in after President McKinley was assassinated.) Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon, a man who was four years older than Kennedy, and a man who would win the presidential race in the 1968 election.

The race to the presidency in 1960 was also the first time in history that the candidates for President of the United States participated in televised presidential debates. Although he was labeled by his opponent as too inexperienced and too young to stomach the challenges that existed in the realm of foreign policy, Kennedy kept his poise and lured the American people onto his team right from their living rooms.

Although he won by a very narrow margin, John F. Kennedy was elected as the 35th President of the United States on November 8, 1960.