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Jim on History remembers the first time in U.S. history when a debate between major party presidential candidates is shown on television.

The presidential hopefuls, John F. Kennedy, a Democratic senator of Massachusetts, and Richard M. Nixon, the vice president of the United States, met in a Chicago studio to discuss U.S. domestic matters.

Kennedy emerged the winner from this first of four televised debates, partly owing to his greater ease before the camera than Nixon, who, unlike Kennedy, seemed nervous and declined to wear makeup.

However, most Americans who listened on radio were inclined to believe Nixon had won the debate on substance.

Less than three weeks later, on November 8, Kennedy won 49.7 percent of the popular vote in one of the closest presidential elections in U.S. history, surpassing by a fraction the 49.6 percent received by his Republican opponent.

 

WATCH: Jim on History – First TV Presidential Debate

 

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