With the final stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign upon us, we look at the end of the historic campaign of the last president elected from Massachusetts. Senator John F. Kennedy was elected president on Nov. 8, 1960 in one of the closest elections in US history as the country’s youngest president. It was astonishing to see the huge number of people attending the campaign rallies all across the country-very different from what we see today.
-Leanne Burden Seidel and Lisa Tuite
More from the archives.
Oct. 5, 1960: Presidential nominee Senator John F. Kennedy walked gingerly over the tops of automobiles when the press of people at Carbondale, Ill., prevented his motorcade from getting close to the speakers' stand.
Oct. 27, 1960: A crowd estimated at between 200,000 and 250,000 between 34th and 42d street along New York's 7th Avenue gave Senator John F. Kennedy (circled at right) the biggest rally of his 1960 campaign. Kennedy repeatedly told his cheering audiences “Whether I am the candidate for the presidency, or president, or stay in the Senate, I regard our obligation not to please you but to serve you, and in my judgment, in 1960, a candidate for the presidency should be willing to give the truth to the people and the truth is that what we are now doing is not good enough.”
Nov. 1, 1960: Senator John F. Kennedy was deluged with confetti and paper streamers as his auto moved slowly up Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. It took more than an hour to drive 20 blocks. The Democratic presidential nominee got a frenzied welcome as he began a final quest for California's 32 electoral votes, with one woman throwing herself on the back of his car, scrambling over the trunk, and pressing her hand to his check.
Nov. 6, 1960: Presidential candidate John F. Kennedy and his driver kept a sharp eye on a dog that broke through police lines to dash past the wheels of their moving car as the motorcade traveled through Waterbury, Conn. Traveling through four states in one day, Kennedy arrived in Waterbury at 3 a.m. where he spoke from the balcony of the Roger Smith Hotel to a crowd of 25,000 wildly responsive fans who had waited since midnight to greet him.
Bob Dean/ Globe Staff
Nov. 7, 1960: Presidential candidate John F. Kennedy sat alone in a room off the main auditorium at Faneuil Hall before making the final campaign speech as the television technician from CBS set up the camera. He was introduced by the candidate for vice president, Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, and began his speech at 11 p.m. He ended his remarks by saying, "We are here tonight because in other great periods of crisis we have chosen to go forward. And I am confident tomorrow in 1960, November 8, this country will once again choose progress, this country will once again choose to go forward, this country will once again choose to go to work to build a strong society here and to build a peaceful and productive world."
Edmund Kelley/Globe Staff
Nov. 7, 1960: Senator John F. Kennedy wound up his presidential campaign at a huge rally in Boston Garden. After a whirlwind tour through New England on the final day of campaigning JFK returned to address a crowd of over 22,000 enthusiastic supporters. He reminded the supporters of his Boston roots. "I come here to Boston to this Garden which is located in the 11th Congressional District of the State of Massachusetts, which my grandfather represented 60 years ago, and which I had the honor of representing 14 years ago when I was first elected to the House of Representatives. I have therefore proudly come back to this spot and ask your help tonight to be elected president of the United States."
Jack O'Connell/Globe Staff
Nov. 8, 1960: After voting at 8:45 a.m. at the West End branch of the Boston Public Library at Cambridge and Lynde streets, Senator Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, left for the airport to fly to Hyannis. After she voted, Jackie said a bit nervously, "I hope that thing worked."
Nov. 9, 1960: President-elect John F. Kennedy gave his daughter Caroline, almost 3, a piggy-back ride during a walk in Hyannis Port as he waited for word that Richard Nixon has conceded the election. He made his acceptance speech at 1:50 p.m. at the National Guard Armory In Hyannis just 65 minutes after Nixon conceded and less than an hour and a half after finally receiving the votes need to put him over the top. It was not until 12:30 p.m. that Minnesota gave him the needed 269 electoral votes.
Harry Holbrook/Globe Staff
Nov. 11, 1960: Cape Cod hands were extended for a farewell grasp by President-elect Kennedy at Barnstable Airport as he left his Cape Cod home for a working vacation at Palm Beach, Fla. Two days before at his acceptance speech, Kennedy told his Hyannis Port neighbors, "The election may have been a close one, but I think the general agreement by all of our citizens is that a supreme national effort will be needed in the years ahead to move this country safely through the 1960s."