First Kennedy-Nixon Debate

This is the full text of the first joint radio-television debate between Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice-President Richard M. Nixon.

The debate took place in a CBS studio in Chicago, Illinois. The moderator was Howard K. Smith.

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Full transcript of the first Kennedy-Nixon debate.

Mr. Smith:

Good evening.

The television and radio stations of the United States and their affiliated stations are proud to provide facilities for a discussion of issues in the current political campaign by the two major candidates for the presidency.

The candidates need no introduction. The Republican candidate, Vice President Richard M. Nixon, and the Democratic candidate, Senator John F. Kennedy.

According to rules set by the candidates themselves, each man shall make an opening statement of approximately 8 minutes’ duration and a closing statement of approximately three minutes’ duration.

In between the candidates will answer, or comment upon answers to questions put by a panel of correspondents.

In this, the first discussion in a series of four joint appearances, the subject matter, it has been agreed, will be restricted to internal or domestic American matters. [Read more…]