In honor of election season, here’s a photo of John F. Kennedy visiting downtown Champaign on the presidential campaign trail in October 1960. The man beside him is Democratic Governor-to-be of Illinois Otto Kerner Jr., also campaigning that fall.
This was not Senator Kennedy’s first visit to C-U. He was invited to speak at Senior Convocation on January 27, 1957, and gave an address entitled “Politics: Our Most Neglected Profession”. Among other topics, he briefly (and humorously) touched upon his candidacy for the Vice-Presidential nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago the year before:
I will not comment, on this wholly non-partisan occasion, on that race…except to note what must be a record of some sort. When I got into the race, almost everyone favored my getting in; and when I got out, almost everyone favored my getting out — and all this in about four hours.1
1. “Politics: Our Most Neglected Profession”, John F. Kennedy, January 27, 1957, Record Series 39/1/5, University of Illinois Archives.