Newspaper Articles


The Montgomery Herald
May 5, 1960

Kennedy Says No Charity Is Involved In Aiding Distressed Areas

‘It Is Not A Case Of A Rich Uncle Taking Care Of A Poor Relative’

April 18, 1960

Mr. Robert K. Holliday, Publisher
The Fayette Tribune, Inc.
Oak Hill, West Virginia

Dear Mr. Holliday:

I must apologize for the delay in forwarding the comment you asked me for back in February. However, as you know I was deeply involved in the primary in Wisconsin, and I just now have started to catch up on my past correspondence. Enclosed please find the article which you requested. I certainly agree with you that the present administration has been blinded through the problems of depressed areas of this nation. I believe the election of a Democratic president is essential not only for West Virginia but for the nation.

Sincerely yours,
John F. Kennedy

By Senator John F. Kennedy

The Senate Special Committee on Unemployment problems has uncovered a new serious disease in the American economy – creeping unemployment.

The disease has been most disasterous [sic] to particular communities which have become known as distressed areas.

It is rather startling to learn that during a time of so called moderate prosperity many cities are severely suffering from economic deficiencies.

It is just as startling to learn that with each recession since World War II the level of unemployment has remained one per cent higher than the pre-recession unemployment level.

It should be quite obvious that unless some drastic remedies are applied the chronic unemployment that has stricken areas like Fayette County will spread like a cancer to other areas of the nation.

Strong national economic health cannot be maintained as long as weak spots exist. It is an absolute must for the national interest that the prosperity of one section of the nation be shared with other sections or the prosperous areas will find themselves pulled down until the entire nation is plunged into economic despair.

There is no charity involved in aiding distressed areas. It is not a case of a rich uncle taking care of a poor relative.

There is simply a national obligation to solve these problems even when they are confined to particular localities.

The Congress has taken steps to ease the pain by establishing national minimum unemployment compensation standards, food distribution program for the needy, some public works, but all of these are at best pain relievers and not cures.

Every community has certain natural assets, which have value for some economic activity. Sometime these assets are underdeveloped or even hidden.

It is necessary that we find a means to uncover and develop these assets so that the areas with the natural resources, strategic locations and available labor supply will attract new industry.

But what is needed is capital. These areas need credit on favorable terms and at low rates of interest. The Federal government with the cooperation of private lending institutions and state and local governments can help raise the funds necessary to create new industries.

These communities might also need loans or grants to build public facilities such as water supplies or access roads.

Other needs of distressed communities are technical assistance for studying ways for self improvement and vocational training to retrain workers for new skills.

All of these needs are embodied in a bill which I co-sponsored in 1956, a bill which when finally passed in 1958 was vetoed by the president.

The bill has again passed the Senate and is waiting action in the House of Representatives. I hope that when it reaches the President this time he will sign it so that long delayed aid to places like Fayette County can be initiated.

But it is not enough to pass this needed legislation. There must be determined executive action to follow through to see that the job gets done – to see that Fayette County and other distressed areas enjoy their rightful share of the prosperity this country is capable of having.


Kennedy To Make Second Visit To Fayette County Today

Reception And Rally Are Planned For Collins High School Gymnasium

Fayette County Kennedy for President committees will sponsor a public reception and rally for Senator John F. Kennedy Thursday at 4:30 p. m. at Collins high school, Oak Hill.

Kennedy’s appearance in Oak Hill will be his last during the current campaign fight with Senator Hubert H. Humphrey for the Democratic presidential nomination in W. Va.

After Kennedy’s visit today it will have made the second visit in which both Kennedy and Humphrey have been to Fayette county. Fayette county truly has become a battleground for the two presidential aspirants.

The Oak Hill event will be one of the highlights of a busy campaign day that will see Senator Kennedy in Charleston and Beckley earlier.

A mammouth [sic] reception in his honor is planned Thursday night in the Charleston Civic Center.

To date he has emerged with convincing victories in five other state primaries and is currently leading Vice-President Richard Nixon by 10 percentage points in the Gallup Poll.

Members of the committee planning the Oak Hill rally include Robert J. Thrift jr., Mrs. A. M. Gray, John Marra and M. A. Beckelheimer of Fayetteville; Benedict Teano, Mrs. Sam Price, Robert E. Kelly jr., Mrs. Irene Johnson and Mrs. William Klapp of Oak Hill; Joseph Buffa, Mrs. E. R. Bolton, Mrs. Mytle Flaherty and Mrs. George Barbera of Mount Hope; T. W. Riccardi, Mrs. Amerigo Baker and John L. Lewis of Montgomery; Mr. and Mrs. Emmett Early of Boomer; Mr. and Mrs. John Aiello of Smithers; and Mrs. Ray Kirkwood, Mrs. Linkenhoder, Mrs. William Price and Mrs. William Price jr. of Ansted.


Senator Humphrey Believes GOP Sees Price Of Everything, Value Of Nothing

Presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey tore into the Eisenhower administration Saturday night at Fayetteville in a rally held in the Memorial filedhouse [sic].

Considering the Fayette county choral festival was being given on the same night, a large crowd of people gathered to hear the fiery senator use typical Humphrey oratory in blasting the Republicans.

Senator Humphrey pointed out that the Democrat party is much stronger because of the Wisconsin primary. He called the Republicans a monopoly party.

Senator Humphrey said he never has felt more at home than he has in West Virginia, and he stressed the Republicans never treated the state as their home in criticism of Gov. Underwood and a GOP candidate for governor who have requested the two Democratic candidates “go home.”

Typical Humphrey statements were:

“America has the means to provide for the people.”

“The Republicans see the price of everything, but see the value of nothing.”

“We need a government with a spirit, not smiling Hooverism.”

“Whoever is President in 1961 W. Va. will not be forgotten.”

“One doesn’t want relief, we want them to have jobs.”

“If the Republicans can take credit for the rain, they can take credit for the drought.”

In referring to those people who say he doesn’t have a chance, Senator Humphrey said, “I think the people of W. Va. might have something to say about that. I would rather get your judgment.”

Senator Humphrey was introduced by former Judge R. J. Thrift. Thrift used glowing terms in praising Senator Humphrey.

The presidential candidate had eaten earlier with former U. S. Senator and Mrs. Wm. R. Laird III. Once during the talk he said “once a Senator always a Senator. Bill, you keep that title, too, because it’ll mean a free haircut whenever you’re in Washington, D. C.”


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