Newspaper Articles

Morgantown Post
April 19, 1960

Huge Crowd Greets Kennedy

Candidate, Wife Meet Local Voters

A near overflow crowd gathered to hear Senator John f. Kennedy last night at the Hotel Morgan ballroom. An estimated 1500 persons heard him call for support at the polls May 10 while saying that the "religious issue can be settled right here in West Virginia."

The Massachusetts Senator appeared with his wife Jacqueline before the brief address, and then they greeted each of the visitors personally on the stage.

Senator Kennedy said that "West Virginia and my home state of Massachusetts have had similar economic problems because of the loss of an important industry. The textile industry in my state and the coal industry in your state."

President Should Act

"The position of President," Senator Kennedy continued, "is important enough to do something about problems such as this. It is the most important position in the free world."

"I seek this position," he said, "because I want to do as much as possible to make our nation safe and strong."

Kennedy lashed out at religious bigotry, "and charged his opponents with "ganging up" to stop his bid for the presidential nomination."

Fight against All

He said his fight in the West Virginia primary was not only against Humphrey but against "Everybody who doesn't want me for president for one reason or another."

Kennedy said he did not think a presidential nominee should be chosen in a "smoke-filled room in Los Angeles by five or six people." Instead, he said, the choice should be made in the primaries like West Virginia's.

"I want to be in on the take-off as well as the crash landing," he said. "There are others using my opponent in this primary to beat me. I wish they would come down here themselves."

"This is a tough uphill fight for me with lots of problems," Kennedy said. "I came to West Virginia to run. West Virginia is suffering some of the most serious problems of any of our states, but I don't think one of them is religion."

"Is anyone going to tell me that I lost this primary 42 years ago on the day I was born? I don't think so."

Sen. And Mrs. Kennedy traveled to Wheeling last night and will spend the full day there today with appearances in and around the city.

On the itinerary were morning appearances at Bethany and West Liberty College and plant tours in the afternoon.

After speaking at a reception in Wheeling tonight, he will fly to Beckley to wind up the week-long campaign with appearances in the southern counties.

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