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JFK on Broadway

November 2, 1960


“Has there ever been a more important election?” The same question you hear today, they were asking a half-century ago, when one of the narrowest victories in history favored Senator John F. Kennedy over Republican Veep Richard M. Nixon. On a last push to win voters, Kennedy visited San Diego on November 2, six days before he was elected the 35th President of the United States. In front of the US Grant Hotel and across from Horton Plaza, he is sitting to the left of the podium, preparing notes.

Notice the storefront sign touting “public telephones.” Count how many men are wearing hats (and not ball caps). Check out the guy in a striped shirt clinging to a streetlamp. But look closest at the man seated to the left of the podium, studying the papers balanced on his knees. That man, remember, would be dead three years and 20 days later.

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