Sen. Kennedy Visitor In City
April 28, 1960
Sen. Kennedy Visitor In City
United States Senator John F. Kennedy, en route to Charles Town for a Democratic rally, was a visitor in Martinsburg yesterday evening for about an hour.
The Democratic presidential candidate landed at the Municipal Airport shortly after 6:30 p.m., and was whisked by police escort to radio station WEPM where he had a half-hour broadcast question-and-answer program.
His appearance on the radio was limited to answering questions submitted by telephone. He pointed to the heavy write-in votes cast for him in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts primaries this week and said it indicated support for his candidacy and at the same time indicated that Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, his opponent in the West Virginia primary, could neither get the nomination nor, be elected.
The question of Kennedy’s Catholic religion was not brought out by any of those telephoning the radio station. Most of the queries, which numbered approximately ten, were concerned with his position on various matters of legislation and national policy.
Following the broadcast, he returned to his parked auto and of people who wanted to shake his hand.
His wife also flew into the airport here, coming from Bluefield where she had been campaigning earlier in the day. Kennedy flew in from Washington where he had gone earlier in the day just in order to vote on a measure pending before the Senate.
Senator and Mrs. Kennedy returned from the Charles Town rally about midnight and took off by plane for Washington.
(Special to The Journal)
(Special to The Journal)
Charles Town, April 28 – So little time and space; so much to write.
The Kennedys know exactly how it is. Their autographs were little more than simple scrawls.
The rally was held at the Charles Town Race Course, Wednesday night. About 3,000 persons were on hand – this the estimate of Joe Thompson, county Democratic chairman the master of ceremonies.
There was a group singing, candidate introductions, solos, band numbers.
Senator Kennedy, who was introduced by Shirley Hunt , his county chairman, plugged the school levy, tabbed West Virginians “not illiterate”, said he would appreciate the nation’s press giving the state just a little good publicity.
If Kennedy could beat Lodge as he did in Massachusetts, said Hunt, he should have “no trouble beating Nixon in West Virginia.”
The Senator told the crowd that he was about to be rendered speechless, a tragic thing for a candidate, he noted, from too much recent speech-making.
He cited the great power of the U.S. President, termed the office the “key” one, referred to such great presidents as Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, FDR.
This one, he said, will be the “most important election since 1932.”
Vice-President Nixon, he noted, claimed to be mighty pleased with the “puny results” in Wisconsin; and the Democrats are “going to please” him “mightily next November.” “I don’t think the country can stand another four years” under Nixon and his party, he said.
Russia, he asserted, has been moving ahead “while we have stood still." The U.S, he said, advanced only one-and-one-half percent. The U.S. is moving through dark and difficult days, he stated.
He spoke of “revolutionary times” and “deadly competition” with Russia. But the Russian system is old hat, he said – “We really are the revolutionaries.”
He felt that the “fires of patriotism burn strongly” in West Virginia, with figures to back it up; didn’t think the State had reached “high noon”; was unwilling to accept the stories about the state’s decline.
At this point, from Bluefield, via Martinsburg, Mrs. Kennedy arrived, in a three-quarter length off-white wool, with hair long and full. There was a flurry of excitement.
The Senator decried President-picking by a “few men meeting in a downtown hotel room in Los Angeles” and plugged hard for primaries. Other candidates, he said, should be “out here in the hills, the valleys and fields of West Virginia”. He wished aloud that every candidate could spend a month in the state. “If the voters don’t love ‘em in May,” he said, “they are not going to love ‘em in November.”
He cited the importance of “brains and talent”; referred to the changing times; new commodities; said West Virginia was going to move ahead- but that it would have to encourage new industries, attract new people.
He referred to automation as a problem too long ignored, one that West Virginia felt first, but one that is possible the most serious national problem of the coming national problem of the coming decade, he said. “We must make machines serve us – not replace us.”
A reception line was started. It quickly bottlenecked. A new line was started on the floor below. It too, bunched up.
Mrs. Kennedy strolled through the crowd, stopping here and there to chat.
Afterwards, there was a dance.
(Special to The Journal)
CHARLES TOWN, April 28 - Kaleidoscope on a candidate: It's 7 p. m. He's far behind schedule. Finally he arrives "Here Comes Humphrey" . . . . . "Over the Hump with Humphrey" . . . . . These are signs are sings on the bus . . . . . With Joe Thompson, chairman of the County Executive Committee, he moves through the crowd . . . . . "Glad to see you . . . . How do you do . . . Nice to see you" . . . . . His hair is gray-streaked. So is his suit. It has a trace of rumple. In the lapel, a Democratic pin.
He steps to the microphone . . . . . The jaw juts a bit . . . . Praise for the Mayor . . . . . Praise for Senator Randolph, a "walking, talking, persuading . . . . . Chamber of Commerce for West Virginia 24 hours a day" . . . . . Praise for others . . . . .
Refers to "this wonderful part of West Virginia . . . the garden spot of West Virginia . . . . . a playground . . . I've never been treated more kindly . . . . ." Protests against "ug[missing] . . . traits of West Virginia . . . By now, several hundred people are listening . . . . .
This country, he says, is "as much a part of the history of our nation as Valley Forge, Bunker Hill . . . . ." . . . . . A reference to the county's recent arrival, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, "a great company."
He recommends outling of "a grand design for the world" with which to beat the Communists . . . a little more food to the Cubans, rathan than guns . . .
He speaks of the next 10 years as a "decisive period" in the nation's history . . . . . says the country is spending more than a million dollars a day for storage of surplus food when there are people going hungry . . . . refers to a world in which 60 per cent of the people are sick . .. . . states that the greatest issue is War - Peace . . . lambasts the "wasteful, squandering outfit in charge of the Department of Agriculture" . . . protests the lag behind Russia.
He reports that there are 300 newspapers in Minnesota, not one Democratic, but nowadays there are Democrats in offic there . . . . . The Republicans never have been "for the people," he says . . . The Administration "has forgotten this state."
Some people claim he's too liberal, he says. They cry socialism -- just as they're heading for Bethesda or Walter Reed for free care . . . . l. "If it's good enough for Ike, it's good enough for my Mother . . . . . And if it's good enough for Nixon, my gracious, it's good enough for anybody!" (he earlier told a Journal reporter than despite the current Rockefeller talk, he still thinks Nixon will get the Republican nomination).
He is not, he says, the "candidate of the open checkbook," nor of party machines . . . . but a candidate of the people, possessing a "kinship of spirit" with them that Kennedy doesn't have . . . . . But "if you can't vote for me," he says, "vote for my opponent" - stay in the Democratic column.
He visits with a man over the carvings on the latter's cane . . . . . spends time with school kinds, answering their questions, personally taking down their names, promising to send them material, urging them to launch Humphrey-for-President clubs.
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