Newspaper Articles

Parkersburg News
April 12, 1960

Sen. Kennedy Urges W. Va. "New Deal"

Senator John F. Kennedy, (D-Mass.) speaking before some 600 persons at a coffee at the Elks Club yesterday morning, referred to West Virginia as a "key state" in the coming Democratic primary, in which Senator Kennedy seeks the presidential nomination.

The gathering was sponsored by the Kennedy for President Club and the Wood County Democratic Women's Club, acting as joint hosts for the distinguished visitor.

The meeting, held at 8 a.m., was attended by prominent party leaders from this and surrounding areas, including Rep. Ken Hechler of Huntington, Robert McDonough, state campaign chairman for Kennedy and Attorney William B. Richardson, general chairman for the event.

Kennedy said he feels the West Virginia primary is equally important with that of Wisconsin, adding "As West Virginia goes, so goes the nation."

Kennedy continued:

"The great issue confronting West Virginia in 1960 is the issue to which I havee [sic] 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 human resources:and those resources can be developed for the benefit of all the people.["]

Time For a New Deal

In a prepared copy of his address released to the press, Kennedy said:

"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. . .

"Depression in one area hurts all areas. Depression in one industry hurts all industries. And that is why West Virginia's problems are not local but national:that is why the next President must come forth with a New Deal for West Virginia.["]

Following his appearance here Kennedy left by plane for Charleston then went by car to Huntington and later planned to go to Beckley for a public reception.

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