Friday, September 18, 2020

60 years ago, the first televised Presidential debate

As President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden prepare for their first debate in a few days, let's turn back the clock to 1960, and the first debate between VP Richard Nixon and Senator John F. Kennedy. Howard K. Smith (then with CBS) is the moderator. Forgive the video quality. 

Uploaded by the JFK Library YouTube channel:

I don't think you're going to get this same kind of dialogue this year.


Mike Doran said...

In 1960, Howard K. Smith was still at CBS; he was their "events" man, covering conventions and such, alongside Eric Sevareid and Charles Collingwood.
The first debate was produced at WBBM-TV, CBS's Chicago affiliate (Channel 2).
Oh, and if you're wondering where Walter Cronkite is, in '60 he was still a field correspondent for CBS; he didn't get to the anchor chair until '62.

hobbyfan said...

I will correct the original post in re.: Smith. Cronkite must've auditioned for the anchor chair via the original "You Are There" a few years earlier. I say original because I remember the revival as a Saturday afternoon series in 1971.

So he was an anchor for nearly 20 years (1962-81) before being succeeded by Dan Rather.