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Kennedy vs. Nixon: TV and Politics

In this lesson, developed by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum and Library, students will answer the essential question: In what ways are voters persuaded to support a particular candidate?

Students will examine the September 26, 1960, debate between Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard M. Nixon to:

  • analyze primary sources
  • consider what makes a candidate a “winner” or “loser” in a debate
  • determine what issues are important to them in an upcoming election
  • select a candidate they think most aligns with their views of the issues
  • watch a debate and evaluate the performance of the candidates
  • write a memo to their chosen candidate giving him or her advice on how to improve his or her performance for a future debate.

Visit the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum and Library website to access the lesson and accompanying materials.