Compiled by Dr. Billy Joe Peyton's History Class at West Virginia State University
Wednesday, June 11, 1958
Sen. John F. Kennedy flies from Boston, Massachusetts to Morgantown, where he attends the Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner. There he meets Robert C. Byrd, Harley Staggers, Hulett Smith, Bill Hart, and Julius Singleton at the Municipal Airport. Demand is so great to hear him speak that an impromptu radio address is made out of it so all of West Virginia can hear his speech broadcast by WAJR in Morgantown.
Saturday, October 4, 1958
Hubert H. Humphrey is in Moundsville, where he visits the American Legion and Reynolds Memorial Hospital. Marshall County Democratic leader Fred McMullen dies of a massive heart attack in front of a gathering of Humphrey supporters in Moundsville.
Saturday, May 9, 1959
Sen. Kennedy flies from Washington to Bluefield, and then drives to McDowell County where he speaks to 600 people gathered at the Welch Elementary School auditorium for the Harry S. Truman birthday dinner. He also meets with local politicians at the County Clerk’s office in Welch and tours U.S. Steel operations at Davy before returning to Bluefield for a private party hosted by Sam Salina. Kennedy spends the night in Charleston where he departs by plane the next day.
Saturday, October 10, 1959
Senator John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline fly into Wheeling and drive to Wellsburg for a meeting with Democratic leaders before attending a luncheon at the Elks Country Home there. JFK is scheduled to talk about “six challenges for the 1960s” but instead addresses a steel strike and Taft-Hartley Act injunction. Following the luncheon the Kennedys travel to Charleston to appear at the state Democratic fund-raising dinner.
Saturday, February 6, 1960
An aide to Hubert H. Humphrey flies to Charleston on behalf of the Minnesota senator to file candidacy papers allowing him to enter the West Virginia Democratic primary election on Tuesday, May 10.
John F. Kennedy flies into Charleston at 12:15 a.m. to personally file candidacy papers allowing him to enter the West Virginia Democratic primary election on Tuesday, May 10. He arrives at Kanawha Airport and is driven to Secretary of State Joe Burdett’s office, which remains open to accommodate the candidate who then departs within the hour by plane.
Wednesday, March 16, 1960
JFK is in Charleston to open his presidential primary campaign headquarters at the Kanawha Hotel, where he holds a press conference.
Tuesday, April 5, 1960
Hubert H. Humphrey is preparing for his campaign in West Virginia. JFK is resting for the weekend, planning to start his campaign on the following Monday. FDR, Jr. is also preparing to hit West Virginia for the first wave of the Kennedy campaign.
Wednesday, April 6, 1960
The primary campaign officially begins. Robert F. Kennedy, along with his younger brother Ted, fly to Charleston around 3:00 p.m. to meet at the Kanawha Hotel with about 70 campaign workers from 28 southern counties, including State Senator Ward Wylie (D-Wyoming Co.). He rallies the Kennedy team with a strategy of door-to-door distribution of literature, rural mailings, a telephone campaign, and receptions. He then flies to Clarksburg to meet with organizers Ben Stout and Vic Gabriel, and to address northern campaign workers at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel in Clarksburg. The Charleston Daily Mail reports that Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr. will be arriving on Friday, April 8 to visit Clarksburg and Harrison County; on Saturday he is scheduled to visit Madison and Logan; on Monday, Wellsburg and Wheeling; on Tuesday, Elkins and Webster Springs. In a Charleston Gazette article, Robert Kennedy is quoted as saying he believes religion is a “minor factor” in the election.
Thursday, April 7, 1960
Hubert H. Humphrey is scheduled to fly to Charleston in the late hours of the night. He is quoted in the Charleston Daily Mail: "My cupboard is bare, my treasury is in the red and the only thing running good will be Hubert H. Humphrey himself. But I like my chances." The paper also reports his tentative schedule for Friday, April 8: 0700: Glass Plant in Kanawha City
0820: McCormick's Coffee Shop, Marmet
0900: Tom's Super Market, Chesapeake
0920: Meeting with Justice of the Peace, Early Holbrook, in Chelyan
0935: Dry Branch Post Office, Cabin Creek
0955: Eskdale, Cabin Creek
1010: Leewood Junction, Cabin Creek
1035: Decota, Cabin Creek
1150: Cedar Grove
1230: Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station, Lunch at West Virginia Tech Café
1400: Gauley Bridge
1440: Fayetteville Court House
1510: Oak Hill
1630: Mount Hope
2000: Beckley Memorial Building
Robert F. Kennedy speaks again in Clarksburg.
Friday, April 8, 1960
Humphrey arrives at Kanawha Airport around 1:00 a.m. At 6:45 a.m. he begins a scheduled 24-stop tour by chartered bus emblazoned with the slogan, “Over the Hump with Humphrey.” His bus starts in Kanawha City and moves up the Kanawha Valley, visiting Marmet, Chesapeake, and Chelyan. After that, he heads up Cabin Creek for a series of stops. At Dry Branch he meets with miners’ wives to discuss unemployment issues, doubles back to Chelyan, crosses to the other side of Kanawha River to visit Cedar Grove, and then delivers a speech to a crowd of 200 at the Greyhound bus station in Montgomery. The road then takes him to lunch at Al’s Sport Center in Smithers and on to Fayetteville, where he speaks from the courthouse steps. He then visits Oak Hill, Mount Hope, and Beckley, where he ends his long day with a rally at the Beckley Memorial Building. Humphrey also made it to a bah-mitzvah in Beckley.
FDR, Jr. arrives in West Virginia to begin campaigning for John F. Kennedy. His flight was originally supposed to land in Clarksburg but wind conditions force him to land in Charleston and take a smaller plane to Clarksburg, where he gives a press conference at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel. He then flies to Morgantown for dinner at an undisclosed location.
Saturday, April 9, 1960
Hubert Humphrey attends a luncheon and speaks to workers at the Maidenform bra factory in Princeton, then goes to Hinton and Athens before ending his day at a dinner sponsored by the Boone County Young Democrats in Madison.
FDR, Jr. dines at the Smokehouse in Logan and addresses a large crowd of Kennedy supporters at the Logan Memorial Field House.
Monday, April 11, 1960
Crowds greet Hubert H. Humphrey and his wife Muriel in Oceana, Bluefield, Welch and other southern West Virginia coal towns. They dine at the Central Café in Welch.
John F. Kennedy arrives in West Virginia for his first campaign swing. He begins his day by meeting with supporters in Parkersburg in the morning and then goes to Charleston in the afternoon, where he speaks at the Federal Building, Kanawha County Courthouse, the State Capitol and Morris Harvey College (now University of Charleston). He stops at the Ona Post Office and Ona Elementary School en route to Huntington and a visit with workers at the Connors Steel plant. He ends his day in Beckley. FDR, Jr. addresses a Brooke County Democratic Party rally in Wellsburg.
Tuesday, April 12, 1960
Speaking in Charleston, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale says he has doubts whether John F. Kennedy, because of his religion, should become president.
Thursday, April 14, 1960
The Fairmont Times states that both Humphrey and Kennedy plan to visit within the week. Humphrey and Kennedy aides visit Fairmont to prepare for personal visits of the two presidential aspirants scheduled for Monday, April 18th.
Friday, April 15, 1960
The Charleston Daily Mail publishes a poll of employed residents of Kanawha County and unemployed coal miners in a depressed area of Fayette County about the Democratic presidential hopefuls. Results of the poll: 90 respondents favored Humphrey, 66 favored Kennedy, and 21 were undecided.
Sunday, April 17, 1960
This evening, Muriel Humphrey arrives in Charleston from Hot Springs, Virginia.
JFK comes to Clarksburg to begin a three-day swing of North Central and Northern Panhandle counties.
Monday, April 18, 1960
Muriel Humphrey gives a press conference at the Daniel Boone Hotel in Charleston at 7:30 a.m., then begins driving to Clarksburg in a station-wagon campaign, stopping at filling stations, garages, country stores, towns, and restaurants from Charleston to Clendenin to Sutton to Buckhannon and then to Clarksburg, where she arrives about 6 p.m. In Clarksburg, she cuts the ribbon of her husband’s West Virginia office located in the Latsetter Building on 224 W. Pike Street. The event is an informal “coffee and donuts” meeting. She also appears at a meeting of the Harrison County Democratic Women’s Club at the Harrison County Courthouse. She spends the night in Clarksburg.
Minnesota’s Lieutenant Governor Karl Rolvaag arrives in Charleston to campaign for Hubert Humphrey.
John F. Kennedy appears in the ballroom of the Stonewall Jackson Hotel in Clarksburg where a crowd of about 1,500 hear him speak. He also tours the Hazel-Atlas plant of the Continental Can Company. After traveling to Fairmont, Kennedy is introduced by former WVU football great and current NFL star linebacker Sam Huff before giving a speech in front of the Virginia Theater. He also holds a press conference at the residence of Sheriff J. Max Gill. Afterwards, Kennedy visits a radio station, has lunch at the Palace Restaurant and walks through the Owens-Illinois plant. Moving on to the Morgantown area, Kennedy addresses a gathering at the Miner’s Memorial Hall in Pursglove, a mining community along Scott’s Run. He also visits the Sterling Faucet Company in Sabraton. That evening, Kennedy gives a brief address to a crowd of 1,500 in the ballroom of the Hotel Morgan and then meets with the people. He is joined in Morgantown by his wife, Jacqueline, who appears with him at the hotel. After this appearance, the Kennedys fly to Wheeling, where JFK holds a press conference at the Wheeling-Ohio County Airport at approximately 11:00 p.m. He and Mrs. Kennedy then spend the night at the McClure Hotel in downtown Wheeling.
Robert Kennedy is in Charleston today. He is taken to the Charleston Civic Center by former professional football player and WVU Mountaineer great, Joe Stydahar, where they visit the West Virginia Sports Writers’ Hall of Fame. Meanwhile, Ted Kennedy visits Point Pleasant, Mason City, Hartford and New Haven.
Tuesday, April 19, 1960
Mrs. Humphrey begins this day with a breakfast meeting with members of the Harrison County Democratic Executive Committee at the Hotel Gore in Clarksburg. She then travels to the Northview section of Clarksburg where she greets residents at the intersection of 16th Street and Hamil Avenue and at the intersection of 20th Street and Hamil Avenue. She travels in her own station wagon, carrying coffee and donuts to share with supporters. Before leaving Clarksburg, she tours the Maidenform plant. Afterwards, she moves on to Bridgeport where she addresses about 300 garden club members at the Bridgeport Civic Center. Next, she is on to Grafton where she campaigns in the streets. Mrs. Humphrey also addresses the Grafton Kiwanis Club members at Cozy Rest on U.S. Highway 50. She tours several factories and holds a news conference at the Hotel Morgan in Morgantown before spending the night in that city.
In Charleston today, Lieutenant Governor Karl Rolvaag said West Virginia “looks very good” for Humphrey’s chances in the upcoming election.
John F. Kennedy spends the day touring the Greater Wheeling area with his wife Jacqueline. He begins at Bethany College, where he makes a speech to the students there. At West Liberty State College he briefly addresses students before moving on to the Sylvania Electric Products and Hazel Atlas plants in Wheeling. He then does a street tour between 6th and 12th streets, talking with people as he goes along. Kennedy finishes his day at the McLure Hotel where he holds a press conference, and then proceeds to a reception being held in his honor. The Beckley Post-Herald reports the Kennedys’ intention to leave Wheeling about 10:30 p.m. and fly to Beckley, where they spend the night at the Beckley Hotel.
Robert F. Kennedy makes a stop in Logan on his way to Williamson. He meets with the Logan County “Kennedy for President” Club, and visits with the manager of the local bus terminal then briefly answers questions at the local radio station. Accompanying Kennedy on the tour is William Battle of Charlottesville, Virginia, who had served in the navy with Sen. John F. Kennedy in World War II. Ted Kennedy spends most of the day in Jackson County in the Ripley and Ravenswood areas before he heads toward Parkersburg in the evening.
Wednesday, April 20, 1960
According to this morning’s Clarksburg Exponent, Muriel Humphrey is expected to have breakfast with 50 Monongalia County and state Democratic Executive Committee members. We have not been able to confirm through newspaper research that this event took place as planned. She toured the Colshire Manufacturing Company and the Morgan Shirt Factory in Sabraton. This evening, Mrs. Humphrey, along with her sons Douglas and Robert, attend the Jefferson Club banquet in the ballroom of the Chancellor Hotel in Parkersburg. Also in attendance is Ted Kennedy, who is in town campaigning for his brother, John F. Kennedy. The Humphreys and Kennedy are seated at opposite ends of the speaker’s table.
Karl Rolvaag is photographed on the streets on Charleston with musician Joe Glazer, who is education director of the United Rubber Workers of America. The photo caption reports that the streets rang with the sounds of “Humphrey is a Sweetheart.” Rolvaag is to embark on a tour of the state today.
John F. Kennedy begins his day in Beckley with breakfast and a tour of the Beckley Manufacturing Plant. He then visits Mount Hope, where he speaks from a car roof. He gives a news conference at WOAY-TV in Oak Hill and visits Collins High School, where cheerleaders lead the crowd in chanting, “Hey, hey, what do you say? We’re for Kennedy all the way!” From here, he proceeds to Fayetteville, where he speaks on the Fayette County Courthouse steps. Later, as Kennedy enters Gauley Bridge High School, the school’s jazz band plays, “There’ll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight.” In Montgomery, JFK goes on a walking tour of Montgomery and speaks at Montgomery High School, where Mayor D. P. Brown estimates a crowd of 1,500 to 1,800. His campaign then drives along Route 60 to Charleston, passing through and making brief stops at Cedar Grove and Cabin Creek Junction, where he speaks at a supermarket and tells about his four years in the Navy during World War II. In Charleston, he tours the Owens-Illinois bottle plant on MacCorkle Avenue in Kanawha City. The bottle plant employs 1,300 workers, both men and women. By evening, Kennedy arrives in Huntington where he speaks briefly at a reception in the ballroom of the Hotel Prichard. After this reception, he departs for Washington, DC.
Ted Kennedy attends the Jefferson Club banquet in the ballroom of the Chancellor Hotel in Parkersburg. Mrs. Muriel Humphrey also attends this event with her son, Douglas and Robert. Kennedy and the Humphreys are seated at opposite ends of the speaker’s table.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. visits Marlinton, Richwood, and Summersville. He is late for the speech in Summersville because his car was pulled over by Richwood police officer Bernard Dawson to make way for a funeral procession. His driver tried to get the police officer to make an exception, but no exceptions are made and the car waits until the procession passes.
Thursday, April 21, 1960
At 11:30 a.m., Ted Kennedy arrives in Sistersville in Tyler County for a handshaking tour. Next, he has lunch with Mayor Thaw and then heads to New Martinsville, visiting a few local factories along the way. He receives guests at the Grandview Hotel-Motel in the evening. He attends a small dinner at 6:30 p.m. at the Court Restaurant. After dinner, he makes a speech at the Wetzel County Court House. Ted stays in New Martinsville tonight at the Grandview Hotel-Motel.
FDR, Jr. visits Ansted, Gauley Bridge, and Smithers on his way to Charleston via Route 60. In Charleston, he makes a television appearance and then attends an early evening rally in Eskdale. He leaves West Virginia after visiting Eskdale.
Friday, April 22, 1960
Ted Kennedy leaves New Martinsville early in the morning, touring a few more local plants on the way to Farmington where he is joined by Joe Stydahar. The pair tour a number of Marion County towns. In Farmington, Kennedy and Stydahar meet with miners at the Consolidation Number 9 mine of the Mountaineer Coal Company; the pair go underground to greet miners.
Saturday, April 23, 1960
Ted Kennedy and Joe Stydahar tour Grafton in the afternoon, where they attend a reception at the St. Augustine Social Center. The reception lasts from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. and coffee is served. Kennedy and Stydahar arrive in Hundred this evening, returning for an open house at Grant Town at 9:15 p.m. Kennedy also visits Shinnston on this day, interrupting a sidewalk auction. Auctioneer Nelson Gemondo gives way and allows him to speak on his brother Jack’s behalf.
Sunday, April 24, 1960
Joe Stydahar accompanies Ted Kennedy for coffee at the Farmington Town Hall before Kennedy leaves the area for Morgantown in the evening.
Monday, April 25, 1960
Hubert Humphrey embarks on a two day campaigning tour of North Central and Northeastern West Virginia and the Eastern Panhandle. Covering Humphrey’s tour here in West Virginia are photographers and reporters from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Life Magazine, Baltimore Sun, New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Washington Post, ENS, Washington D.C., Wire Service, UPI and AP. His bus-car caravan starts from Charleston at 6:00 a.m. The party waits until they reach Summersville to eat breakfast. Afterwards, Humphrey makes his first speech on the steps of the Nicholas County Courthouse as residents go to work. The candidate calls for a food stamp program to enable families of the unemployed or with low income to supplement their diets. Senator Humphrey heads north with campaign stops at Craigsville, Webster Springs, Buckhannon, Philippi and Fairmont, where he lodges for the night.
Meanwhile, JFK launches a planned three day bus tour of the southern coal fields. He begins with a breakfast meeting at the Hotel Pritchard in Huntington that includes Kennedy’s younger brother, Robert, and brother-in-law, Sergeant Shriver (who is married to Kennedy’s sister Eunice); Chet Huntley, NBC news analyst who is in the area to do a report on West Virginia politics; William Battle, son of the former governor of Virginia and an old navy buddy of Kennedy’s, and Joe Stydahar of Chicago, former West Virginia University and Chicago Bears football great. Kennedy tours the Huntington Manufacturing Co. plant and then heads south through Lavalette, Wayne, Crum, and Kermit en route to Williamson. He greets a delegation of students from South Williamson Grade School, and visits with folks at a Piggly Wiggly Supermarket where he buys a cake. While in the area, he crosses the Tug Fork and does a little campaigning in Kentucky. Kennedy, traveling in a private automobile in preference to the chartered bus which carries members of his staff and newsmen, stops at several tiny communities en route from Williamson to Logan and finds time to greet and chat with people in their yards and on their front porches. Next stop is Logan Courthouse where he draws a crowd of over 600 people. He then moves on to a reception at the Smokehouse in downtown Logan, where he broadcasts over both local radio stations.
Tuesday, April 26, 1960
After an overnight stay in Fairmont, Hubert Humphrey’s first stop today is Kingwood in Preston County, where folks claim their buckwheat and maple syrup beats anything Vermont has to offer. The diplomatic Humphrey compliments the Preston Countians on their fine breakfast products but doesn’t want to take sides, according to the Mineral Daily News Tribune. Senator Humphrey also visits Fellowsville, Aurora and the Mineral County seat of Keyser, where many business people, professionals, college and high school students who had arranged their lunch hours in order to hear the senator’s address were forced to leave before his arrival. He was due at 12:15 p.m. but did not arrive until nearly 2:00 p.m. Consequently, the senator gives a 30-minute speech to a small crowd gathered on the courthouse lawn, stating that the most important issue facing the American public today is war and peace. Humphrey speaks to an estimated 2,000 people in Romney and goes on to Berkeley Springs, where he drinks from the famous George Washington spring and visits a local drugstore. The candidate’s tight schedule postpones his arrival at Martinsburg until 6:00 p.m., where approximately 150 people hear him speak. He also makes stops at Charles Town and Harper’s Ferry.
Muriel Humphrey flies from Washington, DC to Wheeling, where she appears at the Windsor Hotel for a Democratic rally this evening. She overnights in Wheeling.
Lieutenant Governor Karl Rolvaag visits six counties for the Humphrey cause: Barbour, Randolph, Tucker, Preston, Taylor and Harrison. While in Belington, Rolvaag comments that he was “enthusiastic” over the response of West Virginians to the basic importance of issues surrounding the campaign. Rolvaag is also scheduled to make a brief stop in Junior, and then journey to Elkins. He makes a total of 10 brief stops in the various towns throughout the day.
Senator John F. Kennedy travels by car from Logan to Welch. He is joined at Amherstdale by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., who accompanies the senator to the southernmost reaches of the state. The group stops at Pineville, Oceana, Mullens, Man, and at Pocahontas Fuel Company’s Itmann mine, where the presidential candidate was joking and mingling with a gang of miners during a shift change when he nearly makes contact with a high voltage line. According to the Mineral Daily News Tribune, the senator narrowly averts disaster by ducking as 200 miners in unison yell, “look out for the wire!” Undaunted, Kennedy steps from the mine car and in a few minutes is mingling with the miners. He sits down on the mine tracks, leans against one of the mine cars and becomes almost as grimy as the miners while chewing the fat. “That wire sure would have lit up your lights,” one miner jokes. It was the most informal campaigning Kennedy has done in West Virginia. When he leaves the mine his face and hands are as black as if he had been digging coal. Kennedy hits it off quickly with the miners. He eventually reaches Welch at 4:30 p.m. and speaks to a large gathering in front of the Municipal Parking Building. The candidate then travels on to Bluefield, where he is accompanied by his wife Jackie and appears on WHIS-TV (Channel 6) at 7:00 p.m. His busy day ends with a speech at Mercer County’s Glenwood Park on the citizens’ struggle to subsist on a diet which consists primarily of flour, rice, and corn. Kennedy stays in Bluefield tonight.
Meanwhile, Robert F. Kennedy does the college town circuit, visiting Philippi and Alderson-Broaddus College, then Buckhannon and West Virginia Wesleyan College before addressing a capacity audience at Glenville State College at 2:30 p.m. His talk to the college groups concerns his work as counsel for the McClellan Committee, the U.S. Senate panel investigating racketeering in labor unions. This evening, RFK goes to Grantsville for a speech at the Calhoun County Courthouse at 6:30 p.m.; he returns to Glenville for a Gilmer County rally at 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 27, 1960
Muriel Humphrey meets women on their own doorsteps and in their yards in the Northern Panhandle. Traveling in her station wagon with a portable coffee urn, she states, “As a politician’s wife, I have a fear that I will express a view that is entirely mine and not my husband’s.” Her schedule for the day includes a morning reception at the Wellsburg’s Eagle Hall and a visit to the Wellsburg Daily Herald, followed by a luncheon given by the New Cumberland Women’s Club at the VFW Hall, a stop at the Weirton Daily News, reception at Weirton Community Center, and tour of the Weirton Steel mill with escort John A. Jones; she ends her day with a reception at the Moundsville American Legion Hall.
Lieutenant Governor Karl Rolvaag is touring six north central West Virginia counties (Barbour, Randolph, Tucker, Preston, Taylor and Harrison) on behalf of Senator Humphrey and candidate Steven Narrick, who is seeking West Virginia’s First Congressional District seat. Rolvaag speaks at Andrews Methodist Church in Grafton at 6:30 p.m., sponsored by the Taylor County Democratic Women’s Club.
John F. Kennedy begins the day with stops at Bluefield State College, Concord College in Athens and the Maidenform bra factory in Princeton. His wife Jackie stays in Bluefield because she has an afternoon appearance on a local television station. When the “Kennedy For President” bus pulls up at the Hinton Post Office at 12:00 noon there are 600 people cheering in the rain, but the popular senator is not on board because he has flown back to Washington to vote on a mine safety bill. The task of informing the crowd falls on former state senator, Forest L. McNeer of Hinton. One fellow states, “This is a pretty darn awkward situation.” This unforeseen change forces JFK to cancel scheduled stops in Alderson and elsewhere in the Greenbrier Valley. Following the Senate vote in Washington, Kennedy is scheduled to fly to Martinsburg for a 7:30 p.m. broadcast on WEPM radio station, followed by a visit to Charles Town race track accompanied by his wife, Jacqueline. Senator Kennedy will answer listener’s questions on the air. The candidate will not return to West Virginia until the weekend.
Ted Kennedy is supposed to fly in to Pence Springs and speak, but his plane cannot land because of bad weather.
Robert F. Kennedy is in Elkins to drum up votes for his brother. He greets townspeople and is welcomed to the city by mayor Garland Hickman and by the famous West Virginia Highlanders bagpipe band. Kennedy also visits Alleghany Lumber company, the Kelly Foundry, the Preston Hardware Company and Reidbond Brothers Clothing Manufacturers.
Thursday, April 28, 1960
Hubert Humphrey is scheduled to return to Charleston today and stay at the Ruffner Hotel. He will travel by bus to Fayetteville and attend a reception held by the Fayetteville Women’s Club at the private residence of former U.S. senator and Mrs. W.R. Laird III. Humphrey will also visit the Memorial Building and is taking along his own musicians to help entertain the crowd.
Lieutenant Governor Karl Rolvaag will come to Fairmont, Farmington and Mannington, and hold a press conference at the Fairmont Hotel.
Friday, April 29, 1960
Karl Rolvaag visits the Conrad Hotel in Glenville for coffee hour. He also stops at the Rochester and Pittsburgh Coal Company Mine.
Saturday, April 30, 1960
Senator and Mrs. Hubert H. Humphrey are in southern West Virginia. They stop briefly in East Rainelle and speak to voters. In Rainelle, the Rainelle High School band, under the direction of Harold Johnson, parades and welcomes the Democratic presidential hopeful at the Army Reserve Center, where he speaks and visits with townspeople. The Minnesota senator next visits Richwood for the Feast of the Ramson, an annual rite of spring that attracts thousands to Nicholas County to dine on ramps—the pungent wild leek that grows in the mountains of Appalachia. Humphrey then travels to Fayetteville.
John F. Kennedy returns to West Virginia today and begins his latest round of campaigning in communities on Cabin Creek and in Madison, Marmet, Charleston, South Charleston, Dunbar and St. Albans. He speaks to a crowd of 200 people on the front lawn of the Boone County Courthouse in Madison. JFK is suffering from a sore throat and can barely speak. Huntington native Matt Reece gives Kennedy’s speech in Eskdale on Cabin Creek. Campaign staffer Theodore Sorenson delivers the rest of his speeches throughout the day. Jacqueline Kennedy joins her husband later this evening at St. Albans Junior High School, stating that “she has been giving her husband lots of gargles and pills.”
Robert F. Kennedy is in Charleston to take personal charge of the Kennedy campaign.
Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr. gives a speech at Richwood Grade School. While leaving the school he runs into Hubert Humphrey going into the school to give a speech. Both are in town to meet attendees at the Feast of the Ramson, Richwood’s popular annual ramp dinner. FDR, Jr. then leaves the Richwood area for planned stops at Cowen in Webster County, Parsons in Tucker County, and Rainelle in Greenbrier County. There is no record of him showing up at any of these places.
Sunday, May 1, 1960
Senator John F. Kennedy is scheduled to speak at the Weirton Community Center, but a throat infection has left him without much of a voice. JFK and his wife Jackie are also in Parkersburg to address attendees at an ox roast in the city park. The crowd is the largest of his West Virginia campaign, estimated at 4,000. Owing to his throat problems, the senator apologizes to the crowd and his brother Ted takes over the speaking. Senator Kennedy leaves the stage as the Parkersburg High School Big Red Band strikes up Anchors Away. He spends the night at the Blennerhassett Hotel in Parkersburg. Accompanying Kennedy today is his sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver (Mrs. Sargent Shriver) of Chicago.
Monday, May 2, 1960
Ted Kennedy fills in for his brother in Ravenswood because JFK is called back to Washington. Ted states, “The opponent of my brother here hasn’t the slightest chance of becoming president.”
Tuesday, May 3, 1960
Hubert H. Humphrey spent last night in the Hotel Frederick and enjoys breakfast at the hotel this morning at 9:00 a.m. with Huntington Democratic leaders and citizens. He has a press conference on radio and TV at the hotel at 11:00 a.m. and addresses the Huntington Kiwanis Club there at 12:00 noon. Humphrey tours downtown Huntington businesses as well as Houdaille Industries, Huntington Manufacturing Co. and Owens-Illinois Glass Co. The senator visits Camden Park, where a crowd of around 10,000 people (the largest gathering for either candidate in West Virginia) have come to partake of free rides. He speaks to a crowd of mostly children standing atop an ice cream stand. Afterwards, he returns to the Hotel Frederick for private meetings with party leaders, followed by a reception at 9:00 p.m. This is HHH’s fourth visit to Huntington, where he stays overnight.
John F. Kennedy arrives at the Princeton-Bluefield Airport by private plane from Washington and attends a 7:30 p.m. political rally in Welch. This is his third appearance in McDowell County since May 1959. Sidney L. Christie, Secretary of the Democratic Executive Committee, introduces Kennedy. Chairman B.M. Stone presides over the invocation, which is given by Elizabeth Drewry, a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates. JFK delivers his speech in a green and white courtroom at the McDowell County Courthouse to an estimated 700 people in the audience and 300 outside listening through a speaker system. The senator is still dealing with a sore throat, so after speaking for about 10 minutes his younger brother Ted Kennedy takes over. Following the speech, JFK stands at the door to greet and shake hands with the people in attendance. He then attends a private reception at the Appalachian Community Room.
Wednesday, May 4, 1960
Hubert H. Humphrey arrives at 9:00 a.m. to speak to a crowd of 300 on the riverbank at Henderson. He stops for a short visit at Tu-Endie-Wei Park in Point Pleasant before heading off for Ripley and Charleston, where he is scheduled to participate in a televised debate with JFK this evening.
John F. Kennedy visits Athens and a number of Greenbrier Valley towns today after canceling a previously planned trip on April 27 because he had to return to the nation’s capital for a vote on the Mine Safety Bill. He arrives by motorcade at Concord College at 8:50 a.m., where he speaks to about 1,000 students and faculty before moving on at 9:35 a.m. JFK arrives in Hinton earlier than expected (at 10:15 a.m.) and speaks at about 11:00 a.m. Due to a lingering throat infection, he spoke for only six minutes while standing on a flat bed truck to about 600-700 people. He then campaigns in Alderson, Ronceverte, Lewisburg, and White Sulphur Springs, before heading to Charleston and appearing in the televised debate with Sen. Humphrey this evening.
In what may be the first televised debate between U.S. presidential candidates, HHH and JFK meet this evening to discuss the issues at the WCHS-TV studio on Virginia Street East in Charleston. The pair agreed to tonight’s event on April 19, but the CBS network has refused to air it because no other candidates will participate. Consequently, NBC will air the debate. Things get underway with a coin toss at 7:20 p.m. without a live audience. Whoever wins the coin toss is the person to present his opening statement with a time limit of five minutes. When the five minutes is up, the other candidate has five minutes to make comments on the opposing candidate’s statement, and then will have five more minutes to present his view. It will take 20 minutes for both candidates to get their ideas across and make comments on the other’s statement.
Following this part of the debate, candidates are asked questions sent in by Charleston Gazette readers which were screened and selected by the Gazette Editorial Board. Each candidate has two minutes to give his answer to questions. This continues for an hour and the debate ends at 8:30 p.m. News director Bill Ames of WCHS officiates the opening coin toss, explains the ground rules and performs as moderator and timekeeper. Questions are asked by W.E. Chilton III, assistant to the publisher of the Charleston Gazette, and Charles Schussier from WTRF-TV in Wheeling. People would comment that the debate was not really a debate. The candidates agree on almost everything or politely disagree with each other. They agree on many issues, including that the president should be given the right to solve the Cuban sugar quota problem, foreign aid should be continued with less emphasis on military spending, Red China should not be admitted to the United Nations until its leaders show more respect for the U.N.’s peace aims, Negro sit-ins in southern stores are proper as long as they are orderly, and Russia has not shown much good faith in its disarmament overtures. In review, most observers agree that the event was not a true debate. Kennedy concentrates on local issues and avoids Washington jargon, and his good looks and eloquence play well on TV. Humphrey feels the debate is a victory for the entire state.
Mutual Broadcasting Co. airs the debate live in Charleston (WCHS), Bluefield (WHIS), Clarksburg (WBOY), Parkersburg (WTAP), and Wheeling (WTRF), and the Westinghouse chain of television stations join in a hook-up to provide outlets in San Francisco (KPIX), Boston (WBZ), Washington (WTOP), Cleveland (KYW), and Pittsburgh (KDKA). The debate is also taped in Canada for later broadcast. Out-of-state journalists are housed at press headquarters at 210 Hale St.
Thursday, May 5, 1960
Beginning at the Windsor Hotel in Wheeling, Hubert Humphrey launches a grueling 11-hour tour of the Northern Panhandle at 7:00 a.m. He visits Bethany, Wellsburg, and Weirton, before making his way to Morgantown and an 8:30 p.m. speech at the WVU School of Music Auditorium. Following the WVU visit, the senator cancels a 9:00 p.m. appearance in Huntington and returns to Washington tonight.
John F. Kennedy heads to Beckley and a short speech to about 1,000 people on the steps of the Raleigh County Courthouse, followed by about 40 minutes shaking hands. This is the senator’s third visit to Beckley. Next stop is Collins High School in Oak Hill, where Kennedy appears in front of 600-1,000 people at the gymnasium. This is his second visit to the high school. JFK returns to Charleston tonight for a large reception at the Charleston Civic Center. Robert F. Kennedy is also in Wheeling today, headquartered at the McLure Hotel.
Friday, May 6, 1960
Hubert Humphrey flies from Washington, D.C. to Welch Municipal Airport. From Welch he takes a helicopter that lands in Lefty Hamilton Baseball Park, and from there he is driven into Williamson where he speaks to 350 people. Humphrey also attends a dinner for retired Judge R.D. Bailey at Pineville High School.
Frances Humphrey-Howard, the sister of Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey, is in Clarksburg campaigning on his behalf. She arrives by plane late this afternoon, visits workers at the National Carbon Plant on the 6 p.m. to midnight shift, and is guest at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel tonight. She is scheduled to serve coffee on the steps of the Harrison County Courthouse tomorrow.
John F. Kennedy cancels his fifth trip to Huntington earlier in the day due to an issue with a bill in Washington, but he is able to appear after all. He arrives at 12:50 p.m., marking his fifth visit to the city, and speaks on the lawn of the Cabell County Courthouse. He later takes a tour of the West 14th St. area after lunch and is scheduled to appear in Ceredo and Kenova later in the day. JFK returns to Charleston for a televised rally held on the Dickinson St. parking lot from 8:30 to 9:00 p.m. It is located next to what was then the Kanawha Co. Library (now site of Huntington Banks tower). FDR, Jr. is scheduled to appear with JFK, who is scheduled to take phone calls live on the air. An advertisement in the Charleston Daily Mail indicates the rally will be broadcast on three different stations: WCHS, WHTN (now WOWK), and WSAZ. Articles in both the Charleston Gazette and Charleston Daily Mail on May 7 confirm this rally does take place.
Saturday, May 7, 1960
Hubert Humphrey makes a brief one-hour appearance in Clay at the Clay County Courthouse in the morning. He then heads by campaign bus to Clarksburg at 3:45 p.m. where he arrives at 3:45 p.m. and is met at the south edge of town on Routes 19-50 by a grand parade. His wife Muriel and two of his four children accompany him. The Jane Lew High School band leads Sen. Humphrey through town to the courthouse steps. After giving a speech, he takes a street tour to shake hands with afternoon shoppers. Later in the evening, Humphrey attends a $10 a plate Jefferson-Jackson Day fundraiser dinner at the Clarksburg Masonic Temple at 6 p.m. About 500 guests attend the event, including future JFK vice presidential candidate, Lyndon Baines Johnson. At 9:00 p.m., HHH attends a pre-election dance at the Moose Hall.
After his plane is grounded due to inclement weather, John F. Kennedy is unable to fly to Elkins. Instead, he makes a one-day swing through Spencer, Elkview, Cotton, Walton, Clendenin and to the Libbey-Owens-Ford glass plant in Charleston. Campaign stops were short and mostly hand shaking opportunities, with one speech at the Roane County Courthouse in Spencer.
FDR, Jr. arrives in Elkins by car, his second visit to the city but his first speech given to a local audience. Roosevelt is introduced by Judge Stanley Bosworth, and Robert E. Maxwell is the master of ceremonies. JFK speaks to the audience gathered at Tygart Hotel on the phone and his voice is broadcast over a loudspeaker.
Sunday, May 8, 1960
Hubert Humphrey and his family (wife Muriel and two children) travel to Huntington to attend a Mother’s Day tea held at the Junior League Community Center hosted by the Cabell-Huntington Women’s Club. They are due to arrive at 2 p.m. for tea time, but are unable to arrive until 4:30 p.m. because bad weather grounds their plane in Clarksburg. Instead, the family opts to drive the 80 miles to Parkersburg and charter a flight to Huntington. Muriel Humphrey gives a short speech. John F. Kennedy is scheduled to be in Clarksburg at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel.
Monday, May 9, 1960
Hubert H. Humphrey and his wife Muriel campaign in Nitro, Kanawha City, South Charleston, Dunbar, and Campbell’s Creek today. Their itinerary includes visits to the American Viscose and Monsanto plants in Nitro, the Union Carbide Institute Plant, the Libbey-Owens plant in Kanawha City, Dunbar City Hall, the South Charleston Mound and Midway Junior High on Campbell’s Creek.
John F. Kennedy is in Huntington and Parkersburg. This morning he plans to visit the Owens-Illinois Plant, International Nickel Co. and the West Virginia Steel Works of the H.K. Porter Co., and then tours the 20th Street and downtown shopping areas. At 11:30 a.m. JFK flies out of Huntington’s Tri-State Airport to Parkersburg. From the Wood County Airport, he goes to the Blennerhassett Hotel for lunch at 1:30 p.m., then greets workers at American Viscose Corp. at 2:30 p.m., greets students at Parkersburg High at 3:25 p.m. and leaves at 4:10 p.m. for a parade through town led by Parkersburg High’s Big Red Band. The band plays a 20-30 minute concert and JFK speaks at 5:10 p.m. He then departs for Charleston at 5:45 p.m.
Tuesday, May 10, 1960
Both candidates are in Charleston today for the West Virginia Democratic primary election.
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