Skip to main content
Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Kennedy, Nixon, and the Debate of the Century

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Tuesday, January 11, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0143
Select Your Tickets
$20 - Member
$25 - Non-Member
Reserving your tickets...

“It was that first moment in our history when we saw that television can transform a political candidate … into a celebrity, and it changed the whole contours of our politics.” That is how one historian described the debate that helped John F. Kennedy become president in 1960.

Historian Allen Pietrobon takes us back to the Eisenhower era, a time before the “celebrity president.” He examines the lives and backgrounds of John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon and reveals how Kennedy’s domination of the medium during the first-ever televised debate was key in his winning the presidency. The debate left Nixon so diminished, it would be 16 years before presidential candidates agreed to debate live on TV again.

Pietrobon uses the 1960 presidential election as a lens to explore American politics and culture in this pivotal era in history.

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.