Newspaper Articles

Wheeling News-Register
April 20, 1960

Kennedy Reception Attended by 2,300

Moves Into Southern W. Va. Today

By Bill Chaddock
News-Register Staff Writer

An estimated 2,300 persons - one of the largest crowds in the history of the Hotel McLure - jammed their way into the hotel's Colonnade Room last night for a reception that gave the "Kennedy for President" bandwagon a warm sendoff.

And as Sen. John F. Kennedy's forces moved into the southern part of the state today, Wheelingites could look ahead to the scheduled visit May 5 of the other Democratic candidate on the state primary ticket, Sen. Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota.

Officials at the McLure Hotel today said they could only estimate the immense crowd that crowded the huge ballroom and adjoining hall of the hotel for the reception honoring the senator and Mrs. Kennedy.

Kennedy told the throng of well-wishers that all candidates, announced and unannounced, should enter primaries and give the people a chance to select their own candidate for president.

In his brief remarks, the presidential hopeful said that people in the state "like people who come and run themselves in primaries," and not in some "smoke-filled room at the convention."

He commented briefly on the "Stop Kennedy" movement said to be in operation in the state, and contended that persons behind the activities should come into the primary and let the people make their choice.

The remarks tied in closely with what he told newsmen earlier during his tour of the city and two industrial plants.

At that time he contended that a gang-up effort is being made against him by all other candidates and Humphrey is being "used" as the focal point to stop the Kennedy bandwagon which gained a full head of steam in Wisconsin.

The youthful Senator spent a full day in the Wheeling area yesterday before climaxing his visit with a press conference and the reception.

During the afternoon hours he toured the Sylvania Electric Co. plant in South Wheeling and the Hazel Atlas Glass Co. plant in East Wheeling talking to employes on the job and greeting well-wishers on the streets outside.

At his press-conference he reitereated his stand that religion is not a "major issue" and that he has already proved that his beliefs have not deterred him from performing legislative duties.

He also once again accepted the challenge of Sen. Humphrey to a face-to-face debate prior to the primary election on May 10.

However, he pointed out that he did not think the campaign should get down to squabbling and that the candidates should discuss the real issues because the presidency is too important.

Today, the Massachusetts senator traveled the same ground that Humphrey covered yesterday, only in the opposite direction.

He begins his tour in Beckley and moves into Charleston while Humphrey, who spent his first full day in the state yesterday, moved from Charleston south.

Humphrey, loser to Kennedy by some 100,000 votess in Wisconsin a few weeks ago, is reported to have picked up a large number of votes with his New Dealish speeches and just plain-folks manner.

As to the debate between the two men, dates have not been arranged, but both a few days before and election eve are being considered.

Today in Washington, D. C., Senator Humphrey said he is "delighted" that the candidates may be able to square off in face to face debate.

He added "I am certain the debate will be healthy and informative and develop policy and strengthen both the Democratic party and the nation."

Kennedy will fly back to Washington tonight following stops at Beckley, Oak Hill, Fayetteville, Montgomery, Charelston [sic] and Huntington.

Neither he nor Humphrey are expected to return to the state until next week.

At that time, supporters said Humphrey will probably remain until after the May 10 primary voting.

Jacqueline Kennedy Charms Them All

By Kitty Jefferson Doepken
Woman's Page Editor

It was love at first sight! Wheeling's gay, dashing, debonair man-about-town, Gordon P. Fought, succumbed yesterday to the charms of presidential hopeful Jack Kennedy's pretty wife Jacqueline, and today he sprouts a Kennedy button!

When we suggested to Jacqueline that we take the picture (at left), she immediately asked "Who IS he?" No slouch at politics, this lovely young woman! After all, he might have been one of the advance men from a Nixon brigade or something! But when we explained that our Mr. Fought was one of the city's best-dressed heartbreakers, not to mention a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, all was well. They became bosom friends.

Mr. Fought, one of Wheeling's most eligible bachelors, beamed upon Mrs. Kennedy, and reminisced about the time he shared a dinner with her father-in-law.

And we feel it propitious to report here that Gordon P. Fought restrained admirably from doing any campaigning of his own. With a deep sigh he put away his campaign cards which have something to do with the House of Delegates and say "It's later than you think!" and allowed the fair Jacqueline to bask in her moment of photographic glory. For which his only stipulation was that she be made a "Woman of the Week! So be it!

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