(An adapted version of this post was published on our previous blog on 12/22/2015.)
By Nicola Mantzaris, Former Archivist for Photographic and Textual Digitization
During midterm election time–and as we approach the 63rd anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s announcement to run for the U.S. presidency (January 2023)–the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Historypin invite you to answer the question: “Did John F. Kennedy visit your town during his 1960 presidential campaign?”
The Kennedy Library teamed up with Historypin to create a map-based interface called “Mapping JFK’s 1960 Campaign,” giving users a new way to engage with archival materials from Senator John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign.
“Mapping JFK’s 1960 Campaign” is an interactive project designed to encourage visitors not only to follow John F. Kennedy on the campaign trail, but also to make their own connections to the 1960 election year by contributing or “pinning” memories to the Historypin map. It’s free and easy to join the conversation. Simply create a Historypin account and start sharing photographs, videos, and other materials directly from your computer; or, add a link to an image on the Web. Each pin requires minimal information: title, date, and location (e.g., town, region, or street address). Add a personal story or some keyword tags to describe what your pin is about; but always remember to consider copyright and ownership before pinning something to the “Mapping JFK’s 1960 Campaign” collection.
Historypin geocodes digitized content by converting location data into geographic coordinates, which are then positioned onto Google Maps. With Google’s Street View technology, Historypin almost magically brings the past to the present in animated form. If you have an exact address for an outdoor photograph, you can pin it with the Street View overlay and watch the image dissolve from past to present, like this photograph of supporters outside the U.S. Post Office in Madison, Illinois:
For more information, and to watch a how-to video on pinning items to the collection, visit the “About the Collection” page.
The Kennedy Library also encourages you to explore what made John F. Kennedy’s 1960 campaign the first modern American political campaign. Connect with the local history of Senator Kennedy’s campaign by browsing the Historypin map. Witness the enthusiasm of supporters in Columbus, Ohio. Read a letter from an administrator at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) who was inspired by Senator John F. Kennedy’s improvised speech proposing the idea of a Peace Corps. Listen to Former Legislative Assistant Myer Feldman discuss the 1960 Wisconsin and West Virginia primaries in an oral history recorded in Washington, D.C. Or, see a schedule of events from the Senator’s visit to Los Angeles, days before he won the Democratic nomination and delivered one of his most famous speeches, asking Americans to meet the challenges of a New Frontier with invention, innovation, and imagination.
Like Historypin, many organizations within the archives and library communities are using geocoding tools to provide innovative ways in which their users may visualize and contextualize complex digital collections. “Mapping JFK’s 1960 campaign” comprises only a small subset of digitized content from the Library’s textual, audiovisual, and oral history holdings. By sharing this content with Historypin, the Kennedy Library hopes to reach new audiences and to deliver to its users a different type of experience.
With your help, we can build a national picture of John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign and produce a new research tool for evaluating the timeline and geography of this historic campaign. We hope that you will contribute to the history of your town and share your stories with us!
JFK did a campaign stop at Granby HS here in Norfolk, VA in early November 1960 just before election.
Were you a student at the time of Senator John F. Kennedy’s visit? We hope you’ll consider sharing more of this story on the Historypin website. Your contribution will help to expand the historical record of Senator Kennedy’s presidential campaign in Virginia! FYI: Historypin provides the option to create a ‘text pin,’ if you don’t have an accompanying photo or video.
I was a schoolgirl 9 years old. JFK had his motorcade going up Broadway in Manhattan I believe it was Oct.1960. I attended a Catholic school Notre Dame Academy and the nuns were very keen on JFK. So in a heavy rain we waited for his motorcade to come to 79th and Broadway. We stood for an hour getting soaked. Finally the limo stopped it seems JFK saw the nuns and got out to greet them and schoolgirls. he spent about 10 minutes speaking with the nuns and laughing in a kind way at us girls.
When JFK campaigned in CT in 1960, he flew out of the Bridgeport Municipal airport, which is in Stratford. I recall a family friend was there, taking “home movies”, and had great footage of the plane lifting off. Because I (13) was NOT allowed to stay up later, or go to the airport in the early am, I always felt as though I’d missed out on something. When my own daughter, at 17, had the chance to see Bill Clinton at a stop in CT, I was more than happy to let her go.
Thank you for your comment, and for valuing civic engagement! We hope you’ll consider sharing more of this story on the Historypin website. Your contribution will help to expand the historical record of Senator John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign in Connecticut. FYI: Historypin provides the option to create a ‘text pin,’ if you don’t have an accompanying photo or video.
President Kennedy ended his Michigan campaign on a rainy, snowy, sleety evening at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in October. I happened to learn that his plane was leaving from the American Airline Hangar rather than the main terminal so a small group of us made our way to the hangar. We were allowed fairly close to his airplane and as he approached with his entourage, I happened to be nearest the plane so he greeted me with “thank you for coming out on such a bad night”. I was ecstatic. He asked my name. I answered Ingrid. He then asked if I had a last name to which I said “yes, but I didn’t think you’d care”. I also confessed that I was not quite 21 and
could not vote. He quickly responded with “but you have family and friends who probably can.
I happened to work for a small, weekly, very conservative newspaper at the time, the publisher of which, had asked if I would remove the Kennedy sticker from my car or park on the street rather than in the paper parking lot., I agreed to park on the street, but that week was my meeting with President Kennedy and pictures of me and the small group with John Kennedy appeared on the front page of the Detroit Free Press, (perhaps the largest daily in the state), the following morning. The Publisher called me in to his office, laughed, and said I didn”t think you would retaliate this way and showed me that wonderful picture……which I cherish to this day.
This is a fantastic story! We hope you’ll consider sharing this (and maybe the Detroit Free Press photo) on the Historypin website. Your contribution will help to expand the historical record of Senator John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign in Michigan. FYI: Historypin provides the option to create a ‘text pin,’ if you don’t have an accompanying photo or video.
He stopped in Greenville, North Carolina.
When in 1960 did Senator John F. Kennedy visit Greenville? We hope you’ll consider sharing more of this story on the Historypin website. Your contribution will help to expand the historical record of Senator Kennedy’s presidential campaign in North Carolina. FYI: Historypin provides the option to create a ‘text pin,’ if you don’t have an accompanying photo or video.
Not only did JFK do a campaign stop here two days before Election day in Nov 1960, but my grandfather filmed it in color 8mm. It’s a little shaky because of the raucous crowd around him but he’s visible especially driving by in a motorcade as he was leaving. He landed it down to me many years ago.
Where did your grandfather film Senator John F. Kennedy? Home movies play such an important role in documenting history. We hope you’ll consider sharing more of this story on the Historypin website. Your contribution will help to expand the historical record of Senator Kennedy’s presidential campaign. FYI: Historypin provides the option to create a ‘text pin,’ if you don’t have an accompanying photo or video.
In 1960, Mr. John F. Kennedy arrived in Rome N. Y. He was in a convertible, as he drove up to the Court House. gave a speech, Shook some hands, and went to his next stop. Very impressive. to the crowd.
When in 1960 did Senator John F. Kennedy visit Rome? We hope you’ll consider sharing more of this story on the Historypin website. Your contribution will help to expand the historical record of Senator Kennedy’s presidential campaign in New York. FYI: Historypin provides the option to create a ‘text pin,’ if you don’t have an accompanying photo or video.
He visited on September 29, 1960. I am working on obtaining digital materials on the visit to contribute as part of a self-guided walking tour of downtown Rome with the theme Americana. I will share what I find with this site, too.
Thank you for your reply. Good luck with the walking tour project – what a terrific way to engage the public with local (and national) history! We look forward to any materials you decide to share on the Historypin site.
I shook JFK’s hand on Oct 17, 1960 in Columbus, Ohio when I was eight years old. He came through the main street in an open motorcade and you could go right up to the car. I got on my father’s shoulders and shook his hand.
Does there exist a list of campaign stops in 1960? I saw JFK at the Plainview Shopping Center (Syosset, NY) in 1960, I believe on the same occasion he flew into Roosevelt Field, but can’t find any evidence, except my mind.
We do know that John F. Kennedy made a campaign trip to Long Island on Oct. 12, 1960, where he visited the Long Island Fair at the Roosevelt Raceway in Mineola (not Plainview). Could that be it? Here is the campaign schedule from that trip, as well as the speech he delivered that day. Hope this helps!