On May 10, 1960, the eyes of an anxious nation watched as the voters in West Virginia went to the polls. In the weeks leading up to the West Virginia Primary in 1960, John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey, the two Democratic presidential candidates who had entered the primary, along with their families, friends and supporters, logged hundreds of miles as they visited nearly every county in West Virginia in an effort to gather any and every vote. When the dust settled from the election, West Virginia had changed the political landscape and altered conventional political wisdom.
Battleground West Virginia: Electing the President in 1960 is an exhibit by West Virginia Archives and History that provides a look at what West Virginians were viewing during the state’s primary election campaign as well as during the general election campaign in the fall. The exhibit that follows includes stories from the state’s newspapers, television and film footage, photographs, documents, campaign literature and more.
Persons who have a memory of the 1960 campaign they wish to record on the Reminiscences page should send an e-mail to Joe Geiger. Anyone wishing to donate campaign documents or photographs to the West Virginia State Archives may also contact Geiger.
Assistance on this project was provided by James Adkins and Jada Taylor, students in Dr. Billy Joe Peyton's history class at West Virginia State University. Dr. Peyton's class compiled an An Annotated Timeline of Campaign Stops.
Campaign Summary |
| Visits by Date | Visits by County |
| Advertisements and Cartoons |
| Newspapers | Oral Histories | Photographs | Reminiscences | Speeches |