January 25, 1961

On January 25th, 1961 President Kennedy gave a live televised news conference – a first in American politics. Setting the general trend for future presidential press conferences, Kennedy gave prepared remarks and then fielded questions from reporters. The topics covered ranged from relations with Cuba and famine in the Congo to the national concerns of voting rights and food aid. With his calm, intelligent demeanor and smart, considered answers the effect of the conference was overwhelmingly positive. Between this milestone and his participation in the first-ever Presidential debate, it is safe to say that Kennedy created the standard for presidential television appearances for years to come.

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