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How the Kennedy-Nixon Debates Changed Politics

50 years later, television still dominates presidential campaigns

The game was high-stakes politics. A then-record audience estimated as high as 80 million gathered around TV sets 50 years ago — Sept. 26, 1960 — to watch a presidential debate between Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy. According to the Arbitron ratings, two-thirds of households with sets tuned in to watch the Republican vice president and the Democratic U.S. senator from Massachusetts have at it, the first such encounter ever televised. … Back to Article

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