Politics

Photos: The first televised debates

Updated 10:21 AM ET, Wed October 3, 2012
Share
1 of 6
The 1960 campaign for the White House is often called the first "modern" presidential election. It's been more than 50 years since the first televised presidential debates in American history, but the four TV showdowns between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon in the fall of 1960 still hold a prominent — and well-deserved — place in United States political lore. Time and Life Pictures/Getty Images
Jacqueline Kennedy watches from the wings as her husband debates Richard Nixon. Time and Life Pictures/Getty Images
Kennedy and Nixon debate at their lecterns. Time and Life Pictures/Getty Images
A closeup shows Kennedy's hand during the debates. Time and Life Pictures/Getty Images
The two candidates talk before the first 1960 debate. Time and Life Pictures/Getty Images
Nixon's performance in the first debate against Kennedy was infamously marred by his ashen appearance against his more telegenic rival, who went on to win the election by a narrow margin. See more photos from the Kennedy-Nixon debates at Life.com. Time and Life Pictures/Getty Images