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50 Years Since the Kennedy-Nixon Debate and It’s Still News

panelist photos
panelists photos

The Museum of Broadcast Communications sponsors some interesting events, whether you are a viewer, a student, or a part of modern media. Mark you calendar for Sunday, Sept. 26th when Bill Kurtis, Ald. Ed Burke in his capacity as a Chicago historian, Newton Minow, who helped arrange the debate, and newsman Sander Vanocur, who covered the original debate, come out for an evening full of media, politics and insights to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy-Nixon debate.

The day will mark 50 years since the first televised presidential debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, which took place at Chicago’s WBBM-Television.

The panel will take place on at 3 p.m. at the Union League Club of Chicago, 65 West Jackson Blvd. There is a charge, and you can get tickets and more information at The Museum of Broadcast Communications site.

There is no question that American political and broadcasting history was made in Chicago 50 years ago. This was the moment when politics and television met and forever changed the face of political campaigns. When a relatively unknown Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kennedy met Vice President Richard Nixon on TV for the first time, live and in real time, campaigning for office and television as a dominant mass media intersected, fused and transformed our mediasphere. The debate became the turning point in the historic 1960 campaign. There will be rare, behind-the-scenes footage of the debate and first-person reflections from both Kennedy and Nixon about the debate, as well as the fascinating viewpoints of insiders to this moment in American political and media history.

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