From the archives: Nixon, Kennedy agree to speak on campus
Posted October 2, 2012 at 5:34 pm in News
Original Date of Publication: Oct. 4, 1960
The eagerness with which political candidates gather youthful votes will reach nationwide status with the individual appearances of Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy on the USC campus.
This was the opinion voiced by Dr. Carl Q. Christol, political science department head, who noted that both presidential hopefuls have chosen ‚Äúthe leading private university in California‚ÄĚ as their vote-getting battleground.
‚ÄúThe acceptance by Vice President Nixon and Sen. Kennedy of the invitation to appear individually on this campus indicates two things,‚ÄĚ he felt.
First, they recognize that California is an extremely important state in terms of electoral votes. Their being here is a result of the belief of each that to win they must carry California, the department head said.
‚ÄúIt also indicates the joint recognition of each candidate that many of the new voters of college age are undecided at this moment as to how their vote will be cast,‚ÄĚ Dr. Christol continued.
He added that ‚Äúit is equally important to note that Los Angeles is the center of the communications industry. Therefore, their appearance will receive complete radio, television and press coverage.‚ÄĚ
Dr. Joseph L. Nyomarkay also a USC political science professor, explored a different side of the personal appearance by discussing the obligation which well-informed voters have to their candidate and their nation.
‚ÄúToday it is important to make up your mind on the basis of what the candidates have to say while also considering what action they have taken in the past,‚ÄĚ he said.
‚ÄúOne should first know the candidate‚Äôs record, consider what he is doing now and add both together to determine what he will do in the future, ‚ÄúDr. Nyomarkay advised.
‚ÄúIn view of these facts, these personal appearances are of most value to those who are aware of the basic political issues. With this awareness, they will be able to discriminate and evaluate the candidates rationally,‚ÄĚ he said.
Profiles of Candidates Show Career Variety
Kennedy‚Äôs Career Began in Congress
Democratic Sen. John F. Kennedy began his legislative career of 13 years in the U.S. Congress.
While a Representative from Massachusetts from 1946 to 1952 he was an active supporter of the labor movement.
Switching to the Senate in 1952 in a surprise victory over Republican candidate Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., Kennedy continued his support of labor, although he became increasingly aware of corrupt activities in the labor movement.
In 1956, Senator Kennedy was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his best-selling book, ‚ÄúProfiles in Courage.‚ÄĚ Before and immediately following WW II, he was a correspondent for the Chicago Herald American and International News Service, covering the Potsdam Conference, the United Nations Conference and the British elections of 1945.
Kennedy graduated with honors from Harvard University in 1940 and did graduate work at Stanford. He has been awarded honorary Doctor of Law degrees by eighteen colleges and universities, including Harvard, Syracuse, Notre Dame and Brandeis.
Law Started Nixon on Public Career
Republican Presidential Candidate Richard M. Nixon began his career of public service as a member of the legal staff of the Office of Price Administration in Washington, D.C., in 1942.
He served as a Combat Air Transport Commander in the South Pacific during World War II, leaving active duty in 1946 with the rank of Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy.
In 1946, Nixon was voted into his first elective office, a Representative in the U.S. Congress. He was re-elected to the House in 1948 and in 1950 was sent to the U.S. Senate with a plurality of 700,000 votes.
In 1952, the then Senator Nixon was elected vice president of the United States as Dwight Eisenhower‚Äôs running mate. He was re-elected in 1956.
As vice president, Nixon presided over several of the President‚Äôs committees and assumed additional responsibilities during the President‚Äôs three illnesses.
Nixon has been described by President Eisenhower as being better prepared for the Presidency than any man in the history of America.