Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Kennedy and Nixon at 1960 Al Smith Dinner

Pol Light Moment #151 occurred on October 19, 1960, when the two people running for President of the United States shared the stage to support Catholic charities and disadvantaged children. John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon were joint keynote speakers at the 17th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York in 1960, held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Alfred E. Smith was a former Governor of New York, who was the first Catholic Presidential candidate (Wikipedia Page: Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner).

Both speakers reflected on the election of 1928 when Democrat Al Smith was defeated by Republican Herbert Hoover. You can relive the evening by reading the text of both keynote speakers on the American Presidency Project website. A historical photo of the two speakers was published by the New York Daily Post.

Link to John F. Kennedy's Full Remarks
"When this happens then the bitter memory of 1928 will begin to fade, and all that will remain will be the figure of Al Smith, large against the horizon, true, courageous, and honest, who in the words of the cardinal, served his country well, and having served his country well, nobly served his God. [Applause.]"--John F. Kennedy

"And, so, in conclusion, I would add only this last thought: Many years have passed since the year 1928. Many memories have become less bitter through the years. Three weeks from today either Senator Kennedy or I will be the President-elect of this country, and then we will go our separate courses in the years to come. I've been trying to think how I could best close my remarks and refer to him and refer to me, and I go back to the campaign of 1928. Herbert Hoover was elected. Al Smith lost. But both of them lived many, many years longer, and both of them, the longer they lived, gained love and affection from the American people - and I would only hope tonight that, however this election turns out, Senator Kennedy and I in the years ahead will be able to conduct ourselves with the dignity, the decency which earned the esteem and the love of the American people for the two men who were engaged in that great campaign of 1928."--Richard Nixon

More information about the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner can be found at For other posts on John F. Kennedy search with the "John F. Kennedy" label at Pol Light. For other posts on Richard Nixon search with the "Richard Nixon" label at Pol Light.

Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.

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