1960 was my awakening into politics. Although I was aware of President Eisenhower and knew my general American history, it wasn’t until 1960 that I was able to watch and understand how the process worked.
I became enamored by the campaign. I watched and read what I could. I watched as much of each convention as my mother would let me but being summer I don’t think she enforced a bedtime and I think she was amused by my intense interest. Conventions in those days were raucous and unscripted and a lot more fun that the TV shows we see today. And the three networks devoted hours to showing them and assigned their best journalists to cover the action…from a booth above the floor and down on the floor amongst the delegates. Quite an amazing thing for a youngster.
I know I saw at least one of the televised debates although I don’t remember much about it. At the time I didn’t understand the significance…nor that these were the first televised debates in American presidential history.
But JFK was my guy…so his win was a personal milestone for me and the high point of my 1960. I wish that I still had my Kennedy/Johnson pin.
And I have maintained that interest in politics ever since…except for this year when the divisiveness and stress (and the isolation of the pandemic) made it hard to concentrate. I only watched a few hours of the Democratic National Convention and nothing of the other.
btw: my second high point in 1960 was my first and only bet on an athletic contest when I put down a dime on the Pittsburgh Pirates to defeat the hated New York Yankees in that year’s World Series. And I have maintained an affection for the Pirates ever since…
Wow, what a long time ago.