During the year, he would spar with critics and challengers attempting to derail his bid to win the Democratic nomination. In early March 1959, his Catholic faith surfaced in the media after Look magazine ran an interview that quoted him at length on the issue. That brought both pro- and anti-Catholic voices into the fray. Kennedy’s Catholicism, in fact, would dog him until election day – no matter how many times he would seek to explain his firm belief in separation of church and state, that his sole allegiance would be to his oath as president, that he would not be “controlled by the Pope,” etc., etc.But throughout 1959, Kennedy traveled the length and breadth of the land, with a full schedule of speeches and public appearances. In August, for example, Kennedy was the main attraction at a gathering in Omaha, Nebraska at the home of Bernard Boyle, a Democratic national committeeman.
At the event, known locally as “Bernie’s Barbecue,” Kennedy gave a brief speech and signed some copies of his book Profiles in Courage.
He also told the 400 or so people and press assembled there that the May 10th,1960 Nebraska primary would be key to his election plan.
Photographer Jacques Lowe had traveled with Kennedy to the Omaha event, and he snapped one of his iconic photos of Kennedy, displayed in the first photo above, with JFK projecting a relaxed, confident demeanor as press and visitors gathered around him.
Kennedy’s travels in 1959 took him to a variety of venues – from the International Rice Festival in Crowley, Louisiana where, among other things, he crowned that year’s Rice Queen, to Duluth, Minnesota where he appeared in a live broadcast on a local TV show. Kennedy also visited the Midwest in 1959, including Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin.
He also toured California and Oregon; met with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley at a World Series baseball game at Comiskey Park; and at one stop in Wisconsin, spotted a St. Louis Cardinals baseball team bus and sought out the famous star, Stan Musial, to campaign for him.
There were also stops at a U.S. Steel Co. coal cleaning plant in West Virginia; a talk before a lady garment workers conference in Miami Beach; Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner speeches in various cities; and appearances before some state legislatures, including those in Tennessee and Montana. And as he had done for Democrats in the new state of Alaska in 1958, campaigning for state candidates as Alaska held its first elections, Kennedy visited Hawaii in July 1959 to stump for Democratic candidates there as Hawaii held its first elections later that month. But during his political travels of 1959, Kennedy had some difficult moments too, especially when he faced meager turnouts, as he was still unknown in many locations. “In Oregon,” recalled photographer Jacques Lowe who traveled with JFK for part of 1959, “Kennedy walked into a union hall to find eleven men waiting to hear him.” Undeterred, according to Lowe, JFK didn’t miss a step. “Without hesitation, he launched into his speech.”In presidential polling that year, Kennedy wasn’t always the top choice of voters, or even considered at the top of the ticket. One Gallup poll of July 22, 1959 had JFK running as Adlai Stevenson’s V.P., with that ticket beating a Nixon- Rockefeller slate by 53%-to- 42%, with 5% undecided. Other polls could and did vary widely, depending on who was making them and the audience being polled. In August 1959, a Congressional Quarterly survey of Democrats in Congress had Senator Lyndon Johnson (D-TX) as the top choice with 32 percent, followed by Sen. Stuart Symington (D-MO) and Adlai Stevenson (D-IL), each with 18 percent. JFK was fourth in that poll with 17 percent. But a Gallup Poll of August 14, 1959 had Kennedy and Stevenson tied for the lead, each at 26 percent, with others far behind. The Chicago Sun Times, a paper with Republican leanings, offered an editorial on the two August polls, stating the Democrats were “a party in search of a candidate.” During 1959, Kennedy was also still forming his campaign team. On September 1, 1959, Pierre Salinger joined JFK’s campaign staff. Already working for Kennedy in Washington and elsewhere was a core group of insiders including Ted Sorensen, Larry O’Brien, Kenny O’Donnell, Lou Harris, and others. JFK’s younger brother, Bobby, who had formally resigned his Senate Committee position, joined the campaign full-time in September 1959 and would become campaign manager.
Stephen Smith, JFK’s brother-in-law, married to Jean Kennedy, had opened up a Kennedy campaign headquarters in January 1959 at the Esso building in Washington, DC. Smith and other members of Kennedy’s staff and family would also travel with JFK in various combinations as he toured the country in 1959. But Jackie Kennedy, in particular, traveled with him frequently that year, and was with him on some of his loneliest and most difficult campaign stops — including those where JFK was still an unknown quantity, playing second fiddle to local politicians or given “less-than-spotlight” positions in farm shows, high school assemblies, and union hall meetings.
By September 1959, Kennedy and his team began using their own private plane for campaign travel — a Convair 240 series — which helped smooth some of the logistics and hassles of campaigning. The 1948 airplane was purchased by JFK’s father, Joseph P. Kennedy, retrofitted for campaign use, and leased to the campaign though a Kennedy company. The plane, named The Caroline after JFK’s daughter, was a twin-engine craft with Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engines. As the campaigning intensified through the following year, The Caroline would provide great travel range and flexibility, and thereby, some advantage to Kennedy over his competitors.
Back in the Senate, meanwhile, JFK kept up with his responsibilities there, attending hearings and working on range of issues, including labor reform legislation, which did not emerge to Kennedy’s liking or labor’s, but did manage to make some improvements. In his Senate capacity, Kennedy was also involved in national defense issues, civil rights matters, aid to cities, foreign affairs issues, and education, among others. He also continued to write articles that would occasionally appear in the popular press, publishing, for example, a TV Guide article on November 14, 1959 on the role of television in politics, billed on the cover as, “How TV Revolutionized Politics by Sen. John F. Kennedy.”Other Democratic candidates also began entering the presidential sweepstakes in 1959, either directly or through surrogates. On July 14, 1959 Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy and Governor Orville Freeman announced that Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey, would be a candidate for president. In October 1959, U.S. Rep. Sam Rayburn (D-TX), then Speaker of the House, announced the creation of a Johnson-for-President Committee signaling the candidacy of Senator Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas, Senate Majority leader. And in late December, Senator Wayne Morse entered the Oregon primary as a favorite son. On December 30th, 1959, Senator Humphrey made his candidacy official. A few days earlier on the Republican side, presidential candidate, New York Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, withdrew from his party’s race. Vice President Richard Nixon now had clear sailing to the Republican nomination.
Senator Kennedy and his team, meanwhile, in late October 1959, began preparing for the official presidential race the following year, 1960 – a tough year ahead with Democratic Primary battles in the spring leading up to the National Democratic Convention in July.…At the meeting, JFK shone forth as his own brilliant strategist, giving a three-hour presentation that was essentially a detailed political survey of the entire country, with- out notes… On October 28, 1959, a core group of a dozen or more key advisors and staff assembled with Kennedy and his brother Bobby at Hyannis Port, MA. This group had come together to plan political and election-year strategy, primarily for entering and winning a selection of Democratic primaries and winning the 1960 Democratic presidential nomination. At the meeting, JFK shone forth as his own brilliant strategist, giving a three-hour presentation that was essentially a detailed political survey of the entire country, without notes, amazing all those assembled. “What I remember,” said Lawrence O’Brien, recounting JFK’s performance to journalist Theodore White, “was his remarkable knowledge of every state, not just the Party leaders, not just the Senators in Washington, but he knew all the factions and key people in all the factions.” Ted Sorensen added that JFK was not only the best candidate, but “the best campaign manager too,” a guy who had an incredible capacity for names, dates and places, and a solid grasp of where he was liked and not liked and why.Toward the end of 1959, Senator Kennedy began picking up larger crowds in his campaigning. Still, after three years on the road, the grind of it all no doubt took its toll. Yet those who watched Kennedy up close during this time had mostly good reviews, especially in how JFK treated his audience, as photographer Jacques Lowe later observed:
“If there was anything truly impressive about the Kennedy of the 1959 ‘undercover’ campaign it was this: He never talked down to an audience. If he was addressing a farm group, he didn’t play the cornball or insert small-talk in his speech. He spoke about man’s higher aspirations – simply and never too distantly. His listeners went away occasionally uplifted, occasionally unimpressed, but never patronized.”
What follows below is an abbreviated listing of some of JFK’s travel and speaking itinerary for the year 1959, highlighted with photographs and a few magazine covers from that year. A number of his speeches from 1959 are also listed below in “Sources, Links & Additional Information” at the bottom of this article. See also at this website additional stories on JFK’s “road to the White House,” including separate stories on his campaigning in 1957 and 1958, as well as other stories such as, “The Jack Pack, 1958-1960.” Thanks for visiting – and if you like what you find here, please make a donation to help support this website. Thank you. – Jack Doyle
JFK’s 1959 Campaigning
Speeches, Dinners, Media, Democratic Party Activity, Etc.,.
Jan 15: Charlotte, NC, Chamber of Com
Jan 31: Phila., PA, Roosevelt Day Dinner
Feb 2: Boston, Harvard /Neiman Fellows
Feb 11: Wash., DC, Rural Electric Co-ops
Feb 15: CBS-TV, Face the Nation
Feb 24: Oak Ridge, TN, Rotary Club Speech
Feb 24: Oak Ridge National Labs Tour
Feb 24: Nashville, TN, Democratic Dinner
Feb 25: Nashville, Tennessee Legislature
Mar 2: Wash., D.C., AFL-CIO Speech
Mar 3: Look magazine, JFK interview
Mar 6: Medford, OR, Roosevelt Day Dinner
Mar 6: Salt Lake City, UT, Roosevelt Dinner
Mar 7: Boise, ID, Jefferson-Jackson Dinner
Mar 8: Butte, MT, Jeff-Jackson Dinner
Mar 8: Helena, MT, Montana Legislature
Mar 17: Providence, RI, St. Patrick’s Dinner
Mar 21: Wash., DC, No. Carolina Dem Club
Mar 25: Wash., DC, Nat’l Grain Co-ops
Apr 1: Palm Beach, FL, Strategy Mtg.
Apr 4: Akron, OH, Sheraton-Mayflower
Apr 4: Akron, Beacon-Journal interview
Apr 4: Akron, Jefferson-Jackson Dinner
Apr 5: Canton, OH
Apr 5: Cleveland, OH
Apr 5: Newark , NJ
Apr 5: NY City, Lunch, Brook Club
Apr 5: NY City, Adolph Toigo
Apr 9: Milwaukee, WI, Gridiron Dinner
Apr 10: Beloit, WI, Beloit College
Apr 10: Janesville, WI, Union Hall
Apr 12: Indianapolis, Negro College Fund
Apr 13: Indianapolis, Nat’l Library Week
Apr 13: Lafayette, Indiana
Apr 15: Wash., DC, Methodist Bishops
Apr 16: Wash., DC, Civil Liberties Conf
Apr 16: Cleveland, OH, Cleveland Press
Apr 27: College Pk., Univ. of Maryland
Apr 30: NY, NY, Women in Radio & TV
May 1: Sacramento, CA, State Legislature
May 1: Los Angeles, Press Club of L.A.
May 4: Wash., DC, Int’l Conf. India/U.S.
May 8: Boston, MA, LBJ & Truman Dinner
May 9: Gary, WV, US Steel Cleaning Plant
May 9: Welch, WV, Fundraising /Coal Spch
May 15: Miami Bch, Lady Garment Workers
May 19: Portland, OR, Dinner
May 21: Buffalo, NY, Grv. Cleveland Dinner
May 23: Detroit, MI, Jeff-Jack Dinner
May 24: Chicago, Daily News Youth Awards
June 1: Cover story, Newsweek magazine
June 3: NY City, Cap & Millinery Workers
June 6: Garden City, NY, Dem. Dinner
June 8: Boston, MA, J.F. Chapman
June 11: Harvard Commencement
June 15: Bethesda, MD, Chevy Chase H.S.
June 16: Ocean City, Leag. of Municipalities
June 19: Seattle, WA, Press Conference
June 19: Seattle, KIRO Radio (Jackie)
June 19: Seattle, JFK- KING TV taping
June 19: Seattle, WA, Post-Intelligencer
June 19: Seattle, Jackie – Dem. Women
June 20: Seattle, Jackie – Women’s Clubs
June 20: Seattle, Eagles Convention
June 20: Seattle, Seattle Times visit
June 20: Seattle, KIRO-TV panel
June 20: Seattle, KIRO-Radio
June 20: Seattle, Jeff-Jack Day Dinner
June 20: Seattle, Democrats /Olympic Hotel
June 21: Seattle, Morning Mass
June 21: Tacoma, WA, Breakfast meeting
June 21: Yakima, WA, Press Conference
June 21: Yakima, Democratic Dinner
June 22: Flight to Chicago-Washington, DC
June 27: Columbus, OH, Press Conference
June 27: Bellaire, OH, Jeff-Jack Day Dinner
June 28: NY, NY, Society of African Culture
July 2: Dallas, TX, State Junior Bar
July 3-4-5: Hawaii Tour & Dem. Candidates
July 13: Spring Lake, NJ, Gov’s Day Picnic
July 30: Milwaukee, TV Taping, WTTI
July 30: Milwaukee, WTNJ, Open Qs
July 30-31: Milwaukee, D.A.’s Convention
Aug 1: Portland, OR, Press Conference
Aug 1: Portland, Broiler Restaurant Mtg.
Aug 1: Portland, Portland Journal
Aug 1: Portland, Portland Oregonian
Aug 1: Portland, Dave Epps Mem. Dinner
Aug 2: Portland, Church/Mass
Aug 2: Portland, Young Dems Coffee Hour
Aug 2: Portland, Conference
Aug 2: Portland, TV/Bob Holmes/KOIN
Aug 2: Portland, TV/Viewpoint/McCall
Aug 2: Portland, Edith Green Reception
Aug 3: Seaside, OR, AFL-CIO Speech/TV
Aug 3: Seaside, OR, Dinner/G. Brown
Aug 3: Portland, TV/Fennel Program
Aug 9: Omaha, NE, Picnic & Press Conf.
Aug 29: Jackie Kennedy, Life cover story
Sep 1: Pierre Salinger joins JFK
Sep 11: San Francisco, AFL-CIO
Sep 15: Columbus, OH, Arrival
Sep 16: Columbus, OH, Bankers Assoc.
Sep 16: Columbus, Ohio Academy G.P.
Sep 17: Oxford, OH, Miami University
Sep 17: Cincinnati, Campaign Hdqtrs
Sep 17: Cincinnati, Dem. Luncheon
Sep 17: Cincinnati, TV/Radio Press Conf
Sep 17: Cincinnati, High School Editors
Sep 17: Dayton, OH, Press Conference
Sep 17: Dayton, OH, County Bar Assn.
Sep 18: Akron, OH, Press Conference
Sep 18: Akron, League of Municipalities
Sep 18: Athens, OH, Ohio University
Sep 18: Athens, Ohio University Rally
Sep 19: Bowling Green Univ. Reception
Sep 19: Toledo, OH, Dem. Luncheon
Sep 19: Toledo, Press Conf, Perry Hotel
Sep 19: Toledo, Lucas Co. Dem. Picnic
Sep 19: Youngstown, OH, Dem. Dinner
Sep 20: Newport News, VA
Sep 20: Pt. Comfort, Va. Municipalities
Sep 20: Washington, D.C.
Sep 24: Madison, WI, Labor Leaders
Sep 24: Madison, Press /Park Hotel
Sep 24: Madison, Capital Times
Sep 24: Darlington, WI, Luncheon spch
Sep 24: Flatteville, WI, State College spch
Sep 24: Lancaster, WI, Court House spch
Sep 24: Prairie du Chein, WI, private mtgs
Sep 24: Prairie du Chein, Dinner w/Dems
Sep 24: Prairie du…, Checkerboard Aud.
Sep 25: Richland Cntr, WI, Highland Cntr.
Sep 25: Virogua, WI, Griole Café lunch
Sep 25: Sparta, WI, City Aud/Reception
Sep 25: LaCrosse, WI, State College speech
Sep 25: LaCrosse, TV appearance/taping
Sep 25: LaCrosse, Sawyer Aud. speech
Sep 26: Eau Claire, WI
Sep 26: Rice Lake, WI, Land of Lakes Hotel
Sep 26: Rhinelander, WI, A-port Press Conf
Sep 26: Rhinelander, Eagle Hall Temple
Sep 26: Duluth, MN, KDAL-TV, Live
Sep 26: Superior, MN, Central High School
Sep 27: Cleveland, OH, Dem Leaders Lunch
Sep 27: Cleveland, Euclid Beach Pk /Roast
Oct 1: Rochester, NY, Temple B’rith Kodesh
Oct 2: Indianapolis, Mayor Boswell Dinner
Oct 4: Omaha, NE, evening arrival
Oct 5: Fremont, NE, Farm Policy
Oct 5: Columbus, NE, Farm Policy
Oct 5: Norfolk, NE, Farm Policy
Oct 5: Hastings, NE, Farm Policy & Dinner
Oct 9: Fayette City, PA, County Dem Dinner
Oct 10: Wheeling, WV, Airport Press Conf.
Oct 10: Wellsburg, WV w/ Sen. J. Randolph
Oct 10: Charleston, WV, w/Sen. J. Randolph
Oct 11: Westchester, NY, Dem Picnic
Oct 11: Westchester Country Club
Oct 11: New Haven, CT, Negro Reception
Oct 11: New Haven, Cocktail Party
Oct 11: New Haven, Democratic Women
Oct 12: Atlantic City, NJ, UAW Convention
Oct 12: Atlantic City, Small World taping
Oct 12: Washington, DC, Arrive Home
Oct 13: Lincoln, NE, Brkfst, Gov’s Mansion
Oct 13: Lincoln, Press Conference
Oct 13: Lincoln, Nebraskan Wesleyan Univ.
Oct 13: Lincoln, Service Clubs of Lincoln
Oct 13: Lincoln, Mtg w/ Nebraska Friends
Oct 13: Lincoln, Dem Recep / KETV Tape
Oct 13: Lincoln, NE, AFL-CIO St. Convnt’n
Oct 14: Kearney, NE, Teachers College
Oct 14: Kearney, Press Conference
Oct 14: Kearney, Reception
Oct 14: Grand Island, NE, Chamber of Com
Oct 14: North Platte, NE, Dem Reception
Oct 14: Scotts Bluff, NE, Dem Dinner
Oct 15: Baton Rouge, LA, Capitol Hse Hotel
Oct 15: New Orleans, Press Conference
Oct 15: New Orleans, Radio/TV News group
Oct 15: New Orleans, Candidates Reception
Oct 16: New Orleans, Negro Dem Leaders
Oct 16: Lafayette, LA, E. Reggie Reception
Oct 16: Lafayette, LA, Old Bourne C. Club
Oct 16: Crowley, LA, Int’l Rice Festival
Oct 16: Lake Charles, LA
Oct 17: Milwaukee, WI. Airport Press Conf.
Oct 17: Milwaukee, Pulaski Day / Poland
Oct 17: Waukesha, WI, Luncheon
Oct 17: Milwaukee, WISN-TV
Oct 17: Milwaukee, Schroeder Hotel Recep
Oct 18: San Francisco, CA, Press Conf
Oct 18: San Francisco, League of Calif Cities
Oct 18: San Francisco, Dem. Reception
Oct 18: Salem, OR, Arrival
Oct 20: Salem, Committee at Berg Home
Oct 20: Salem, Willamette University
Oct 20: Portland, OR, Municipalities Lunch
Oct 20: Portland, Coffee, YMCA
Oct 20: Portland, Clakamas County Dinner
Oct 21, Portland, Democratic Roundtable
Oct 21: Portland, Portland Realty Board
Oct 21: Portland, Portland State College
Oct 22: New York, NY, Al Smith Dinner
Oct 24: Bloomington, IL, Dem. Reception
Oct 24: Springfield, IL, Press Luncheon
Oct 24: Springfield, Midwest Farm Conf.
Oct 24: Joliet, IL, Local Dems
Oct 24: Joliet, IL, Democratic Dinner
Oct 24: Joliet, IL, American Legion Hall
Oct 25: Rockford, IL, Dem Breakfast
Oct 25: Rockford, IL, Tebala Shrine Temple
Oct 25: DeKalb, IL, County Chairmen
Oct 25: DeKalb, IL, Elk’s Club Luncheon
Oct 25: DeKalb, IL, Egyptian Theater
Oct 25: Rock Island/Moline, IL
Oct 25: Rock Island, IL, Dem Reception
Oct 25: Moline, IL, Le Claire Theatre Rally
Oct 26: Quincy, IL, TV Press Conference
Oct 26: Quincy, IL, Dem Reception
Oct 26: Quincy, IL, Quincy College
Oct 26: Peoria, IL, Democratic Luncheon
Oct 26: Peoria, IL, Press Conference
Oct 26: Decatur, IL, Reception
Oct 26: Decatur, Masonic Temple, Press
Oct 26: Decatur, Masonic Temple Dinner
Oct 26: Decatur, Masonic Temple TV Spch
Oct 28: Hyannis Port, MA, Strategy Mtg
Oct 30: Oakland, CA, Mills College speech
Oct 31: Bakersfield, CA, Press Conference
Oct 31: Santa Monica, CA, Airport Recep.
Oct 31: Lompoc, CA, La Purisma Inn Lunch
Oct 31: Lompoc High School
Oct 31: San Diego, CA, Press Conference
Oct 31: San Diego, John A. Vietor Reception
Oct 31: San Diego County Dems Dinner
Nov 1: San Diego, CA
Nov 1: Burbank, CA, Lockheed Terminal
Nov 1: Hollywood, CBS-Taping, Inquiry
Nov 1: Riverside, CA, Press Conf
Nov 1: Riverside, Arnold Heights School
Nov 1: Anaheim, CA, Disneyland by Rail
Nov 1: Anaheim, Orange Co. Democrats
Nov 1: Los Angeles, CA, Reception
Nov 1: Los Angeles, Ambassador of Ceylon
Nov 2: Los Angeles, Press Conference
Nov 2: Los Angeles, UCLA Reception
Nov 2: Los Angeles, UCLA /Royce Hall
Nov 2: Los Angeles, U of So. Cal Reception
Nov 2: U of So. Cal, Address Student Rally
Nov 2: Los Angeles, Jeff-Jack Day Dinner
Nov 5: Klamath Falls, OR
Nov 6: Klamath Falls, OR, Democrats
Nov 6: Coos Bay, OR, Lions Club Luncheon
Nov 6: Coos Bay, Barge Trip of Harbor
Nov 6: Coos Bay, Democratic Dinner
Nov 7: Bend, OR, Jr. Chamber Luncheon
Nov 7: North Bend, OR, No. Bend H. S.
Nov 7: Pendleton, OR, Press Conference
Nov 7: Umatilla Co Dem Party Dinner
Nov 8: Milton-Freewater, OR, Reception
Nov 8: Walla Walla, Reception
Nov 8: Baker, OR, Democratic Dinner
Nov 8: Baker, OR, KBKR Radio
Nov 9: La Grande, Luncheon
Nov 9: La Grande, E. Oregon College
Nov 9: Portland, OR, Mtg. w/ Labor
Nov 12: Minneapolis, A-port Press Conf.
Nov 12: River Falls, WI, RF State College
Nov 12: Eau Claire, Elks Club Luncheon
Nov 12: Eau Claire, WI, EC State College
Nov 12: Eau Claire, WEAU-TV
Nov 12: Marshfield, WI, Hotel Charles
Nov 13: Portage, WI, Portage High School
Nov 13: Watertown, WI, Dem. Luncheon
Nov 13: Milwaukee, Marquette University
Nov 13: Kenosha, WI, Labor Leaders
Nov 13: Kenosha, WI, Dem State Convntn
Nov 13: Kenosha, Hotel Wisconsin Recep.
Nov 14: TV Guide, JFK on TV & Politics
Nov 14: Oklahoma City, OK, Press Conf
Nov 14: Norman, OK, OU-v-Army game
Nov 14: Oklahoma City, Jeff-Jack Dinner
Nov 15: Hyannis Port, MA
Nov 15: Augusta, ME, Gov. Clauson
Nov 15: Augusta, Dem. Party Dinner
Nov 16: Wash., DC, Nat’l Milk Producers
Nov 17: Wilmington, DE, DuPont/Hercules
Nov 17: Wilmington, Bldg. Trades Union
Nov 17: Wilmington, Press Conference
Nov 17: Wilm., DE, Brandywine 100 Dinner
Nov 19: Kansas City, MO, Arrival
Nov 19: Independence, MO, Harry Truman
Nov 19: Kansas City, Nat’l Guard Armory
Nov 19: Kansas City, Dem Luncheon
Nov 19: Kansas City, Local Labor Leaders
Nov 19: Wichita, KS, Labor Meeting
Nov 19: Wichita, Hotel Allis, Press Conf
Nov 19: Wichita, Democratic Reception
Nov 19: Wichita, Democratic Dinner
Nov 20: Wichita, Cerebral Palsy Home
Nov 20: Wichita, Wichita University
Nov 20: Dodge City, KS, Dem Reception
Nov 20: Hays, KS, Press Conference
Nov 20: Hays, KS, Democratic Dinner
Nov 21: Iowa City, IA, State Committee
Nov 21: Iowa City, Iowa Memorial Union
Nov 21: Iowa City, Speak at Reception
Nov 21: Iowa City, Univ. Club Luncheon
Nov 21: Iowa City, Iowa vs. Notre Dame
Nov 21: Des Moines, IA
Nov 21: Carroll, IA
Nov 28: Denver, CO, Democratic Dinner
Nov 28: Boulder, CO, Dem. Reception
Nov 29: Pueblo, CO, Democratic Dinner
Nov 30: Grand Junction, CO, Dem. Dinner
Nov 30: Denver, American Municipal Assn.
Dec 2: Durham, NC, Duke University
Dec 7: NY City: Pres. Truman Reception
Dec 7: NY City, Eleanor Roosevelt Tribute
Dec 8: NY City
Dec 9: Nebraskans for Kennedy opens
Dec 10: Pittsburgh, PA, Bishop Wright
Dec 10: Pittsburgh, PA, Press Conf.
Dec 10: Pittsburgh, Univ of Pittsburgh
Dec 10: Pittsburgh, Dem. Luncheon
Dec 10: Pittsburgh, KDKA, “Sound Off”
Dec 10: Pittsburgh, WIIC-TV
Dec 10: Pittsburgh, Allegheny Bar Assn.
Dec 11: Gary, IN, Hotel Gary Reception
Dec 11: Gary, IN, Benefit Banquet
Dec 17: Washington Post: JFK to Announce
Note: This listing provides a rough overview of JFK’s 1959 travel itinerary, speeches, and other activities at the listed locations. Some dates and events are “best approximations” given uncertain and/or conflicting sourcing information. More detailed information on JFK’s activities at some of the these locations is available at the JFK Presidential Library in Boston. The full titles of a number of his major speeches in 1959 are included below, in the second half of “Sources.” More photos also follow below.
Date Posted: 10 September 2013
Last Update: 15 November 2015
Comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jack Doyle, “JFK’s Early Campaign: 1959,”
PopHistoryDig.com, September 10, 2013.
Sources, Links & Additional Information
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, JFKlibrary.org, Boston, MA
Kenneth P. O’Donnell and David F. Powers with Joe McCarthy, Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye, Boston: Little Brown & Co., 1970.
Jacques Lowe, Portrait: The Emergence of John F. Kennedy, New York: Bramhall House / McGraw-Hill, 1961.
The New York Times, with photographs by Jacques Lowe, The Kennedy Years, New York: Viking Press, 1964.
The John F. Kennedy 1960 Campaign, Part II: Speeches, Press Conferences, and Debates ( Speech Files, 1953-1960). A Collection From the Holdings of The John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, MA, Edited by Paul L. Kesaris; Associate Editor, Robert E. Lester; Guide compiled by Douglas D. Newman (a microfilm project of University Publications of America, Inc., Frederick, MD, 1986).
“1960 Election Chronology,” David Pietrus-za.com.
Theodore H. White, The Making of the President 1960, New York: Atheneum Publishers, 1962.
David Pietrusza, 1960–LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon: The Epic Campaign That Forged Three Presidencies, New York: Union Square Press, 2008.
Daily JFK; The Life and Times of John F. Kennedy.
(Phila., PA, Jan. 31), “Kennedy Assails U. S. Leadership; Contrasts ‘Timid’ Policies With Roosevelt’s ‘Tireless Energies’,” New York Times, February 1, 1959.
Austin C. Wehrwein (Milwaukee, April 9), “Kennedy Regards Religion as Issue; He Calls It Proper Political Topic — Opens 6-Speech Swing in Wisconsin,”New York Times, April 10, 1959.
Austin C. Wehrwein, “Kennedy Favors a New Approach; Touring Wisconsin, He Asks Democrats for Policies to Meet Current Challenges,”New York Times, April 11, 1959
Austin C. Wehrwein (Appleton, Wis., April 11), “Kennedy Appeals for Farmer Vote; Calls for More Cooperatives in Wisconsin Talk — Denies Softness on McCarthyism,” New York Times, April 12, 1959.
Austin C. Wehrwein (Indianapolis, April 12), “Kennedy Visions Wide Negro Role; Bids Race Here Train to Aid World Areas Having Vast Colored Populations,”New York Times, April 13, 1959.
Austin C. Wehrwein (Lafayette, Ind., April 13 ),”Kennedy Widens Atomic Lexicon; Coins Word ‘Fall-In’ to Put Stress on Hazards From Peaceful Nuclear Use”New York Times April 14, 1959
“2 Republican Senators Acclaim Kennedy Labor Bill as Big Gain,” New York Times, April 15, 1959.
“Methodist Bishops Talk with Kennedy,” New York Times, April 16, 1959.
Austin C. Wehrwein, “Democrats Head West in ’60 Race; Humphrey Opens 5-State Swing to Offset Gains of Kennedy in the Area,”New York Times, April 19, 1959.
Associated Press, “Editors View ’60: Nixon, Stevenson; Poll Gives Vice President Wide Edge but Foresees Tight Democratic Race” [Kennedy rated third among Democrats], New York Times, April 19, 1959.
James Reston, “Nixon Plans for 1960; He Will Start Presidential Bid in Fall And May Enter Some Primary Tests,”New York Times, April 24, 1959.
Gladwin Hill, “2 Senators Find Coast Cool on ’60; Humphrey, Kennedy Run Into Regional Sentiment Loyal to Stevenson,” New York Times, May 3, 1959.
Associated Press, “Kennedy Advocates Investment in India,” New York Times, May 3, 1959.
Stanley Levey, “Kennedy’s Views Praised by Meany; Labor Chief Tells Senator He Does Not Link Him to Revised Reform Bill,” New York Times, June 4, 1959.
“Program for U. S. Given by Kennedy; Senator Bids Nation Keep Pace With Change — He Talks at Nassau Fete,” New York Times, June 7, 1959.
Leo Egan, “Humphrey Urges a Fair Labor Bill; Suggests Kennedy Measure May Need Modification in Talk at Liberals’ Fete,” New York Times, June 11, 1959.
“Kennedy Seeking Maryland Votes; Senator and Tawes Confer on ’60 Delegates — Test in Primary Weighed,” New York Times, June 18, 1959.
Robert C. Albright, “Humphrey Permits Self To Be Entered in ’60 Race,” Washington Post / Times Herald, July 15, 1959, p. A-2.
Marquis Childs (Madison, WI), “Wisconsin Bracing For Bloody Battle,” Washington Post/Times Herald, July 21, 1959, p. A-14.
Edward T. Folliard, “Brown Unwilling To Take No. 2 Spot; Would Turn It Down; Qualifies Prediction,”Washington Post / Times Herald, July 31, 1959, p. B-8.
UPI (Milwaukee, July 31), “Warning by Kennedy; Peril Seen From Racketeers Posing as Businessmen,” New York Times, August 1, 1959.
Associated Press, (Portland, Ore, Aug. 1), “Kennedy Chides U. S. on Nuclear Policy,” New York Times, August 2, 1959.
W. H. Lawrence, “Kennedy Backers Press Governors; Seeking Delegate Support at Conference — Ribicoff Chides Favorite Sons,” New York Times, August 3, 1959.
“Nixon and Kennedy Top Wisconsin Poll,” New York Times, August 6, 1959.
Editorial, “In Search of A Candidate,” Chicago Sun-Times, August 15, 1959.
“Kennedy Going to Ohio” [in mid-September], New York Times, August 25, 1959.
“Kennedy Slates Riverside Talk on Western Trip,” Desert Sun (Palm Springs, Calif.), Ocotber 16, 1959.
“Sen. John Kennedy Will Visit Riverside on Nov. 1,” Daily News (Indio,Calif), October 19, 1959.
Robert Blanchard, “Slow Corrosion of Luxury Softens U. S., Kennedy Says; Spartanism Held Need in America,” Los Angles Times, November 3, 1959, p. 2.
Bill Becker (Los Angeles, November 2), “Kennedy Favors Atomic Test Ban; Backs Extended Suspension if Soviet Union Complies — Outlines 4-Point Plan,” New York Times, November 3, 1959.
Bill Becker (Los Angeles, Nov. 7), “Politicians Test Appeal on Coast; Kennedy, Rockefeller, et al., Pitch Eastern Charm at Aloof Westerners,” New York Times, November 8, 1959.
“Kennedy to See Truman” New York Times, November 8, 1959
(Denver, Nov. 30) “Kennedy Says Aid to Cities Is Vital; Senator Sees Top ’60 Issue as U.S. Help by Abating of Taxes or by Grants,” New York Times, December 1, 1959.
“TV Quiz Investigator Quits to Join Kennedy” [i.e., Richard Goodwin], Washington Post /Times Herald, December 10, 1959, p. A-2.
Earl Mazo, “Democrats Cautioned By Kennedy,” Washington Post / Times Herald, December 16, 1959, p. A-10.
Raymond Lahr, “Kennedy to Announce Plans Jan. 2,” Washington Post / Times Herald, December 18, 1959, p. A-21.
Thomas Winship, “Kennedy Building Own ‘Braintrust’ Of University, Industrial Leaders,” Washington Post / Times Herald, December 26, 1959, p. A-2.
“Morse Says Kennedy Wooed Dixie on Labor,” Washington Post /Times Herald, December 30, 1959, p. B-1.
Frank Munger’s Atomic City Underground, “JFK’s 1959 Visit to ORNL,” KnoxNews .com, June 2, 2012.
“Photo Galleries Showcase John Kennedy’s Visits to Utah,” DeseretNews.com, Nov. 26, 2008.
David DeWitt, “Athens Lawyer Recalls John F. and Ted Kennedy’s Visit to Athens,” Athens News.com (Athens, Ohio), Monday, August 31,2009.
“JFK Visits Crowley Rice Festival, 1959,” EdmundReggie.com.
“JFK at Rice Festival, October 1959,” ReggieFamilyArchives.com.
“Video Vault: Looking Back at JFK Visits to Cleveland; Senator/President Made Many Visits to NE Ohio,” NewsNet5.com (Cleveland, Ohio), September 4, 2012.
Rodrique Ngowi, “John F. Kennedy Memorabilia Draws Hundreds To Massachusetts,” HuffingtonPost.com, Feb. 14, 2013.
“John F. Kennedy, Notable Visitors, 1950s,” University of Wisconsin-River Falls, River Falls, Wisconsin.
“Campaign Stops of Yesteryear,” The Observer, La Grande, OR, April 12, 2008.
Richard M. Rovere, illustrated by Robert Weaver, “Kennedy’s Last Chance To Be President; Competing Against a Mob of Candidates, Jack Must Go For Broke in 1960,” Esquire, April 1959.
Alden Whitman, “Robert Francis Kennedy: Attorney General, Senator and Heir of the New Frontier” (obituary), New York Times, June 6, 1968.
Gene Barnes, “Senator John F. Kennedy, 1959,” I, Witness.
Maryalys Urey, “JFK’s Visit to Baker,” Baker City Herald, February 19, 2007.
Omaha Steve, “Kennedy Memories Haven’t Dimmed (JFK’s Nebraska-Born Speech- writer),” Democratic Underground .com, June 22, 2008.
Liesl Schillinger, “JFK in Springfield, Illinois, 1959 & 1960 (thoughts on JFK on 50th anniversary of his election),” Tumbler .com, November 8, 2010.
“1959 Photo: Then-Senator John F. Kennedy Speaks at Royce Hall,” UCLA Faculty Association, November 23, 2012.
JFK Speeches & Remarks: 1959
Address of Senator Kennedy, Chamber of Commerce Dinner, Charlotte, North Carolina, “Labor Racketeering,” January 15, 1959, 43pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Roosevelt Day Dinner, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, “Liberalism,” January 31,1959, 34pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, National Rural Electrification Cooperative Association, Washington, D.C., “Power Policy,” February 11, 1959, 6pp.
Remarks in the United States Senate by Senator Kennedy, “The Economic Gap,” February 19, 1959, 5pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Tennessee Rotary Club, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, “Nuclear Weapons,” February 24, 1959, 8pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Democratic Dinner, Nashville, Tennessee, “The Democratic Party,” February 24, 1959, 35pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Joint Session of the Tennessee Legislature, Nashville, Tennessee, “Leadership,” February 25, 1959, 13pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, AFL-CIO Building & Construction Trades Dept., National Legislative Conference, Wash., D.C., “Labor Legislation,” March 2, 1959, 27pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Roosevelt Day Dinner, Medford, Oregon, “Water Resource Development,” March 6, 1959, 2pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Roosevelt Day Dinner, Salt Lake City, Utah, “The Democratic Party,” March 6, 1959, 23pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner, Boise, Idaho, “Water Resource Development; The Democratic Party,” March 7, 1959, 27pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner, Butte, Montana, “Unemployment Compensation,” March 8, 1959, 4pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Montana Legislature, Helena, Montana, “Leadership,” March 8, 1959, 19pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Friendly Sons of St. Patrick’s Dinner, Providence, Rhode Island, “Irish History,” March 17, 1959, 23pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, North Carolina Democratic Club Annual Dinner, Washington, D.C., “National Security,” March 21, 1959, 32pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, National Federation of Grain Cooperatives Annual Spring Conference, Washington, D.C., “Federal Farm Policy,” March 25, 1959, 22pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Milwaukee Gridiron Dinner, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, “Free Press,” April 9, 1959, 18pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, United Negro College Fund Convocation, Indianapolis, Indiana, “American Education,” April 12, 1959, 20pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Meeting Opening National Library Week, Indianapolis, Indiana, “The Public Library,” April 13, 1959, 4pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, National Civil Liberties Clearing House Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., “Civil Liberties,” April 16, 1959, 19pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Cleveland Press Book and Author Luncheon, Cleveland, Ohio, “The Public Library,” April 16, 1959, 25pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy before the American Women in Radio and TV, New York, New York, “Women in Professions; Labor Racketeering,” April 30, 1959, 51pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy before the California Legislature, Sacramento, CA, “Leadership,” May 1, 1959, 13pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Press Club of Greater Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, “Labor Racketeering,” May 1,1959, 29pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Committee for International Economic Growth Conference on India and the United States, Washington, D.C., “The Bases of U.S. Interest in India-Its New Dimensions,” May 4, 1959, 43pp.
Introduction by Senator Kennedy of Lyndon B. Johnson, Truman Dinner, Boston, Massachusetts. May 8, 1959, 8pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Fund-Raising Dinner, Welch, West Virginia, “Depressed Areas Legislation; Coal,” May 9, 1959, 25pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, International Ladies Garment Workers Union Annual Convention, Miami Beach, Florida, “Labor Racketeering,” May 15,1959, 39pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Grover Cleveland Dinner, Buffalo, New York. “Labor Racketeering; The Democratic Party,” May 21, 1959, 14pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner, Detroit, Michigan, “Ten Revolutions of Our Time,” May 23,1959, 33pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Chicago Daily News Youth Achievement Awards Program, Chicago, Illinois, “Careers in Politics,” May 24, 1959, 9pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, United Hatters, Cap and Millinery Workers Convention, New York, New York, “Labor Racketeering; Immigration,” June 3, 1959, 41 pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Democratic Dinner, Garden City, New York, “The Democratic Party,” June 6, 1959, 27pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Chevy Chase High School, Bethesda, Maryland, “Careers in Politics,” June 15, 1959, 17pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy Before the League of Municipalities, Ocean City, Maryland, “Urban Problems,” June 16, 1959, 25pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Fraternal Order of Eagles Convention, Seattle, WA, “Unemployment Compensation; Social Security,” June 20, 1959, 16pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Democratic Dinner, Seattle, Washington, “The Democratic Party,” June 20, 1959, 28pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Democratic Dinner, Yakima, Washington, “The Democratic Party; Water Resource Development,” June 21, 1959, 29pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner, Bellaire, Ohio, “The Democratic Party,” June 27,1959, 26pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, American Society of African Culture Annual Conference, New York, New York, “Africa,” June 28, 1959, 44pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Hawaii Tour, Hawaii, “The U.S. and Hawaii and Our Future in Asia; The Democratic Party,” July 3-July 5, 1959, 39pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Essex County Democratic Governor’s Day Annual Picnic, Spring Lake, New Jersey, “Urban Overpopulation,” July 13, 1959, 8pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, District Attorneys’ Convention, Milwaukee, WI, “Labor and Business Racketeering,” July 31, 1959, 9pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Dave Epps Memorial Dinner, Portland, Oregon, “Geneva Conference on Atomic Testing and Surprise Attack,” August 1, 1959, 21 pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, AFL-CIO Convention, Seaside, OR, “Labor Racketeer-ing; Unemployment Compensation; Care of the Aged,” August 3,1959, 11 pp.
Remarks in the United States Senate by Senator Kennedy, “The Power of Labor for the Good of America,” September 10,1959, 5pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, AFL-CIO Convention of Building Trades, San Francisco, California, “Labor Legislation,” September 11, 1959, 111pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Montgomery County Bar Association Dinner, Dayton, Ohio, “Labor Racketeering; The Steel Strike and the Taft-Hartley Law,” September 17,1959, 27pp.
Speech Introductions by Senator Kennedy, Democratic Dinner, Athens, Ohio; Lucas County Democratic Picnic, Toledo, Ohio, September 18, 1959-September 19, 1959, 3pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Temple B’rith Kodesh Temple Club, Rochester, New York, “Israel–A Land of Paradoxes,” October 1, 1959, 9pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Mayor Charles Boswell Dinner, Indianapolis, Indiana. “National Security,” October 2, 1959, 6pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Washington County Democratic Dinner, Fayette City, Pennsylvania, “The Steel Strike and the Taft-Hartley Law,” October 9, 1959, 6pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, UAW Convention, Atlantic City, New Jersey, “Economic Development,” October 12, 1959, 5pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, AFL-CIO State Convention, Lincoln, Nebraska, “Labor Racketeering,” October 13, 1959, 16pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy before the Radio and Television News Directors Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, The Role of the Media,” October 15, 1959, 7pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Pulaski Day, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, “U.S. Policy Toward Poland and Other Captive Nations,” October 17, 1959, 11 pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Portland Realty Board Luncheon, Portland, Oregon, “The Future of Housing and Real Estate,” October 21, 1959, 8pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, AI Smith Dinner, New York, New York, “A Tribute to AI Smith,” October 22, 1959, 16pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Midwest Farm Conference, Springfield, Illinois, “Federal Farm Policy,” October 24, 1959, 7pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Mills College, Oakland, California, “Mills College and the Loyalty Oath,” October 30, 1959, 5pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, UCLA Student Convocation, Los Angeles, California, “The Control of Nuclear Weapons,” November 2, 1959, 5pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, “The Future of America; Depletion Tax Allowances,” November 14,1959, 11pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Annual Convention, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “U.S.-Soviet Competition,” November 14, 1959, 10pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Maine Democratic Party Issues Conference Banquet, Augusta, Maine. “Electrical Energy in Maine,” November 15, 1959, 4pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy before the National Milk Producers Federation, Washington, D.C., “Federal Farm Policy; The Dairy Farmer: The Challenge Ahead,” November 16,1959, 27pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Democratic Luncheon, Kansas City, Kansas, “U.S.-Soviet Competition,” November 19, 1959, 27pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Democratic Dinner, Wichita, Kansas, “The 1960 Election-and 1968,” November 19, 1959, 5pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Democratic Reception, Dodge City, Kansas, “Federal Farm Policy,” November 20, 1959, 7pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Democratic Dinner, Denver, Colorado. “U.S.-Soviet Competition; Water and Power Development Memorandum,” November 28, 1959, 13pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Democratic Reception, Boulder, Colorado, “Loyalty Oath,” November 28, 1959, 5pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Democratic Reception, Pueblo, Colorado, “Labor Legislation,” November 29, 1959, 16pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy, Democratic Dinner, Grand Junction, Colorado, “Water Resource Development,” November 30, 1959, 23pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy before the American Municipal Association, Denver, Colorado, “Urban Problems,” November 30, 1959, 6pp.
Address of Senator Kennedy before the Allegheny County Bar Association, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, “Administrative Justice and Delay,” December 10, 1959, 9pp.