Newspaper Articles

Parkersburg Sentinel
April 11, 1960

600 On Hand To Greet Sen. John F. Kennedy

Pledges New Deal For W.Va.

Stresses Importance Of May 10 Primary

"We consider West Virginia a key state in the selection of the next Democratic nominee for President of the United States," Sen. John F. Kennedy, told a gathering of approximately 600 at a coffee at the Elks Club this morning.

Kennedy (D-Mass) began his presidential campaign in West Virginia in earnest at this morning's coffee and doughnut session with the Wood County Democratic Women's Club and "Kennedy for President" Club serving as hostesses.

Prominent party leaders from the state and county and Ohio were on hand to greet the candidate as he arrived at the club and to hear him speak briefly.

Among them were Robert McDonough, state campaign chairman for Kennedy, Attorney William Richardson, general chairman for the local affair and Congressman Ken Hechler.

Preceding Sen. Kennedy's address in the ballroom of the club, the Rev. Griffin Callahan, rector of Trinity Episcopal church, offered the invocation.

When introduced by Mr. Richardson the presidential candidate was given a standing ovation by the crowd.

In his opening remarks Sen. Kennedy said that when he was here 18 months ago in interest of the candidacy of Congressman Ken Hechler, he had no idea that he would be back again as a candidate for the hig[h]est office the people of the United States could offer him.

He said he felt that the West Virginia primary is equally as important as that of Wisconsin.

"As West Virginia goes so goes the nation," Kennedy told his listeners, and throughout his talk emphasized the importance of the state's primary in the selection of the next President of the United States, and the faith of the party in placing in it in carrying a Democrat to the White House in the fall.

Continuing Sen. Kennedy stated:

"I am looking forward to this campaign. I am looking forward to meeting as many West Virginians as I possibly can, in every city, village and home I can visit. I want to hear their thoughts and problems. I want them to know me and my record and views. I know they will act wisely and thoughtfully in helping pick the next President of the United States.

"The great issue confronting West Virginia in 1960 is the issue to which I have devoted most of my 14 years in Congress - economic development. West Virginia, like Massachusetts, needs to build new industries and new jobs - to rebuild its older industries and help its older workers - to build the schools and the highways and the modern parks and cities that will bring new industries in and keep its young people from leaving for other states.

"West Virginia is not a poor state looking for a Federal handout. This state is rich in resources - natural resources - and those resources can be developed for the benefit of all the people.

"That is what I pledged to do for Massachusetts when the pessimists were saying it was all "washed-up" - and that is why I have stressed in my Senate work bills for area redevelopment, for channeling defense contracts to labor surplus areas, for aiding the unemployed and the retired and the disabled, for building more schools and better roads, for broadening and increasing our distribution of surplus foods to the needy, for helping small business and unprotected industries.

"My pledge to the people of West Virginia in this campaign is simply this: if, with their assistance, I should be elected President of the United States, I will work unceasingly for more economic development - for West Virginia and for all the nation, for the coal industry, the glass industry, the chemical and steel and pottery and construction industries, here and throughout the nation.

"This will be done not through relief but through area redevelopment - not through doles but through social insurance. I look forward to a West Virginia that depends not only on food stamps - important as that program is - or handouts, but on this state's own industries, its schools, highways, parks, natural resources and - above all - its energetic and industrious citizens.

"It was 27 years ago today that the 73rd Congress was meeting, the famous Congress of the "First Hundred Days."

"That Congress, under Franklin D. Roosevelt's leadership, accomplished more in 100 days than has been accomplished in the eight full years under the Eisenhower-Nixon administration.

"Franklin Roosevelt gave the American people a New Deal - social security, unemployment compensation, REA, minimum wages, protection to unions and farmers and child labor and all the rest.

"And now it is time for another "New Deal" - a New Deal for West Virginia.

"This Administration in Washington is talking about prosperity - but they haven't been to West Virginia.

"This state has been forgotten in the White House. Republican prosperity has passed it by. Republican give-aways have gone somewhere else. And that is why I say it is time for a "New Deal" for West Virginia.

"Why should there be hungry people in this state while $9 billion worth of surplus food is rotting in warehouses? Why should West Virginians who want to work be out of work - why should great mines and mills like idle [sic] - why should vast resources stay in the ground untapped - at a time when this nation needs all of its powers and energies to match the growing menace of the Soviet Union?

"Why should one state of the nation suffer while another prospers? Why should thousands of young people be required to leave a state with such great natural beauty and potential wealth?

This is one nation, under God.


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