Newspaper Articles


Charleston Gazette
April 25, 1960

Kennedy-Humphrey TV Debate Set Here on May 4

The long-awaited face-to-face television debate between Sen. John F. Kennedy and Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey will take place May 4 in Charleston.

The meeting will be sponsored jointly by The Charleston Gazette and a network of five state television stations—WCHS-TV, Charleston; WHIS-TV, Bluefield; WTRF-TV, Wheeling; WBOY-TV, Clarksburg; and WTAP-TV, Parkersburg.

The one-hour debate will take place in the WCHS-TV studios and will be carried simultaneously over all five stations.

The exact time of the program has not been decided but it will be between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., May 4.

During the program, both candidates in the West Virginia presidential preference primary will be given time for opening statements and then will answer questions submitted by West Virginia voters.

Gazette readers may submit questions by completing the coupon on page one. Questions should be sent to “Debate” in care of The Gazette, Charleston, W. Va.

The management of WCHS-TV said the program, or any portion of it, would be available to any station or network outside West Virginia except that it can not be shown on any station in the state other than the five co-sponsors.

All three major television networks have been offered the program. before [sic] the date was set, both the National Broadcasting Co. and the Columbia Broadcasting System offered to carry the de[b]ate nationally, and the American Broadcasting Co. invited Humphrey and Kennedy to appear together on its “Open Hearing” program.

Final arrangements have not been worked out.

Meanwhile, Humphrey, back in Charles[t]on Sunday night for more campaigning took time out from Kennedy to belabor West Virginia’s Republican leaders.

Gov. Underwood and other state GOP leaders criticized both Humphrey and Kennedy for their line of campaigning in the state. They said both men were giving West Virginia a bad name by playing up economic troubles and faving [sic] the religious issue.

Humphrey said he felt the current primary fight showed “increasing activity among Democrats all over the state . . . forcing Republicans to take a back seat—where they belong.”

“No wonder your Republicans are getting worried,” he said in a statement.

“They apparently haven’t any issues of their own they are willing to talk about, so are trying to get into the news by telling us Democrats what we should do and shouldn’t do, in our own primary.

“They better worry more about taking care of themselves in November, because we Democrats are just practicing to get in shape for running them out of the Statehouse in Charleston and out of the White House in Washington . . .

“We Democrats may disagree among ourselves in primaries from time to time, but we have a common cause to work for in November—and we’ll be fighting shoulder to shoulder then.”

Both Kennedy and Humphrey start out again today making themselves better known to the West Virginia voters. Humphrey is working north from Charleston to Fairmont, with small town stops in between. Kennedy is concentrating on the southern area along the Kentucky border—Huntington, Wayne, Williamson and Logan. The two men will stay on through Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Kennedy will have the state to himself, and then leave. Humphrey will be back on Thursday.


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