On this day in 1960, John F. Kennedy was nominated for President by the Democratic Party at their national convention in Los Angeles. He went on to a very tight and much debated close victory over Richard Nixon, including widely accepted accusations that his election was fixed in Chicago by Mayor Richard J. Daley!
Kennedy’s impact on the nation was massive, and made greater by the fact that he was assassinated, and even though we learned about his controversial sex life in the White House, and he has faced growing criticism on his policies and actions in office as the years have gone by, it is still a reality that he is adored by vast numbers of the American people, and made out to be an icon!
His brother, Robert Kennedy, was also martyred after a controversial career as Attorney General under his brother, a short Senate career, and his assassination while seeking the Presidency in 1968 to finish the work of his brother.
And then, there was Ted Kennedy, the youngest brother, who was first seen as a lightweight in the Senate, had the scandalous Chappaquiddick incident in which a woman died in his car as it was being driven by a drunk Kennedy, and was totally defeated in his later attempt to take the 1980 Presidential nomination of his party away from President Jimmy Carter.
But Kennedy went on to a distinguished, record setting career of 47 and a half years in the Senate, honored as the “Lion” of the Senate, and regarded as one of the greatest Senate giants in its more than two century history as an institution.
And then there was Joseph Kennedy II, son of Robert Kennedy, who served in the US House of Representatives from Massachusetts for 12 years; Patrick Kennedy, son of Ted, who served in the House from Rhode Island for 16 years; and now Joseph Kennedy III, grandson of Robert Kennedy and son of former Congressman Joe, who serves in the House of Representatives from Massachusetts since the beginning of this year.
And there have been other Kennedys or Kennedy relatives who have been in public office, including Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, daughter of Robert Kennedy, who served as Lieutenant Governor of Maryland; and JFK brother in law Sargant Shriver, who headed the Peace Corps, the War On Poverty, and was Ambassador to France.
So the Kennedy half century of influence is marked today by the JFK nomination for President in 1960, and it continues in politics and in history!