In honor of election season, here’s a photo of John F. Kennedy visiting downtown Springfield, IL 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 central Illinois. He was invited to speak at the University of Illinois Senior Convocation in Urbana on January 27, 1957, and gave an address entitled “Politics: Our Most Neglected Profession”. Among other topics, he humorously touched upon his brief 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.
EDIT (6-21-2013): The original post erroneously identified the location of the photo as Champaign, IL.