News Details

October 20, 2015

Historic Presidential Debate Viewing and Commentary to be Held Oct. 27

On Tuesday, October 27 at 7 p.m., the West Virginia Humanities Council will host a special event at West Virginia Wesleyan College’s Culpepper Auditorium in the Virginia Thomas Law Center for the Performing Arts.  The event will showcase the first showing of the 1960 West Virginia presidential primary between John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey.  This was only the second time in American history that a debate involving presidential politics was televised.


The debate was part of a three-week campaign that Kennedy waged in West Virginia during the spring of 1960.  He acknowledged that the primary victory secured his presidential nomination, and many historians agree, citing this debate as one of the most important presidential primaries in history.


The debate tape was stored in Kennedy’s library, but it was not in good condition.  Dr. Robert Rupp, professor of history and political science, secured a grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council and additional funding to restore the historic tape.  Dr. Rupp will also give commentary on the importance of this debate and what viewers should look for in the debates that will occupy the exciting race for the 2016 nominations.


This event is free and open to the public.


For additional information, please contact Dr. Robert Rupp at




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