SENATOR JOHN F. KENNEDY
AS SEEN ON:
'Saturday Night Live'
AS PLAYED BY:
The United States presidential election of 1960 was the 44th American presidential election, held on November 8, 1960, for the term beginning January 20, 1961, and ending January 20, 1965. The incumbent president, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, was not eligible to run again. The Republican Party nominated Richard M. Nixon, Eisenhower's Vice-President, while the Democrats nominated John F. Kennedy, the junior Senator from Massachusetts. Eventually, Kennedy was elected with a lead of 112,827 votes, or 0.1% of the popular vote, giving him a victory of 303 to 219 in the Electoral College, the closest since 1916.
There has been controversy among some historians as to whether vote theft in selected states aided Kennedy's victory.
This election saw Southern anger at the pro-civil rights stances of Kennedy and Nixon. Mississippi and Alabama sent uncommitted electors to the Electoral College: eventually, these voted for Harry F. Byrd, segregationist Democrat Senator from Virginia, for President, and Strom Thurmond, segregationist Democratic Senator from South Carolina, for Vice-President. A faithless elector from Oklahoma voted for Byrd for President and Barry Goldwater, a Republican senator from Arizona, for Vice-President.
This was the first presidential election in which Alaska and Hawaii participated, having been granted statehood, respectively, on January 3 and August 21 of the previous year. It was also the first election in which both candidates for president were born in the 20th century. This is also the most recent election where the candidate who carried Ohio did not win the overall election, and the first ever when a Democrat was elected President without carrying Florida (although this happened again in 1992).
Kennedy was inaugurated in 1961, serving almost three years before he was assassinated in 1963. Nixon went on to return in the 1968 election and served as President from 1969 to 1974, being re-elected in 1972.
SENATOR KENNEDY with VINCENT PRICE
(portrayed by Bill Hader)