Election of John F. Kennedy

Time Period
11/8/1960
Description
In 1960, John F. Kennedy became the first Catholic elected President. His religion played a prominent role during the campaign. Unlike Al Smith, an earlier Catholic candidate, Kennedy was able to overcome suspicions that his faith would impede his ability to successfully govern. Some were concerned that Kennedy would answer to the Pope rather than to the American public and that he would serve as a Catholic first and an American second. Kennedy worked to allay these fears by arguing that while he was a faithful Catholic, his religious identity would not affect his policy positions, that a politician’s faith should not bar him or her from office, and that the religious question was of far less importance than other pressing concerns, namely the threat of Communism and growing poverty. He gave voice to these views most prominently during a September 12, 1960, speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Prominent Religious Events and People in American History
Catholic Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Groups
Catholicism (Western Liturgical Family): Other Timeline Event Entries
Catholicism (Western Liturgical Family): Other Timeline Biography Entries

Catholicism (Western Liturgical Family): Other ARDA Links

Photographs

Kennedy inaugural address- US Army photo

John F Kennedy campaigning in Florida- Wikimedia Commons

John F Kennedy portrait- National Archives and Records Administration

Kennedy-Nixon Debate- Wikimedia Commons

Kennedy signing Cuba Quarantine Proclamation- National Archives and Records Administration
Web Source
http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/ALL6YEBJMEKYGMCntnSCvg.aspx
Video and transcript of John F. Kennedy's September 12, 1960, address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association.
Web Page Contributor
William S. Cossen
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University

Bookmark and Share