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Raleigh Register
May 6, 1960

Kennedy Lashes Ike, Underwood

From Courthouse Steps

Sen. John F. Kennedy, Massachussetts, in his third visit to Beckley Thursday, lashed out at Gov. Cecil Underwood and President Eisenhower for their belated conference. He was referring to a conference in Washington Wednesday when Eisenhower said he would lend a helping hand toward assisting West Virginia with its economic troubles.

The presidential aspirant delivered the talk from the steps on the Main Street side of the Raleigh County Courthouse.

Kennedy had barely completed his brief speech to about 1,000 persons when a middle-aged lady planted a kiss on his left cheek. The boyish Kennedy was a marked man with the lipstick as he walked down from the courthouse steps and shook hands for 40-minutes.

In the speech, Kennedy lambasted West Virginia's governor for telling him and Humphrey to go home.

Kennedy charged that commodities distributed to the needy amount to $20 a year per person [.] "It's time the Republican goevrnor [sic] and president begin to find out about West Virginia" he declared.

Kennedy said he was sure much had been accomplished in the West Virginia presidential contest, despite protests to go home - "West Virginians have a right to vote for the man they want to be president."

The choice should not be made in Washington or Illinois or at a convention, he added.

The attention focused on West Virginia in the contest will result in Eisenhower leading Vice President Richard Nixon through the hollows of the state before the general election, Kennedy predicted.

Kennedy promised, if elected, to return to West Virginia. "But I will know how to get to Beckley and Raleigh; I won't have to be led."

The Kennedy caravan rolled on to Oak Hill where the candidate told about 600 people that it was his second visit to Collins High School. Kennedy appeared at the high school after launching his campaign in Beckley with a specch last month.

The Kennedy and Humphrey campaigns screeched to a sudden half Thursday night. The chieftains sped eastward toward Washington to register their approval of an area redevelopment bill - a measure dear to the hearts of West Virginians.

Both Sens. John F. Kennedy (D-Mass) and Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn) have been vocal in their support of their bill in their swings through this economically blighted state.

The Senate goes in Friday at 9:30 a.m. (EDT). The body agreed to adjust to changing financial conditions.

"I want to get the depressed area bill on (his) the President's desk at the earliest possible moment," said Humphrey.

"This is one of the bills I have been talking about which would do something concrete for the depressed state of the West Virginia economy," said Kennedy.

Senator Kennedy Denies W.Va. A Dying State

At Rally In Oak Hill

OAK HILL (RNS) - Senator John Kennedy revisited Oak Hill Thursday afternoon, denied that West Virginia is a dying state, and asserted all it lacks is an opportunity to move ahead.

This opportunity, he implied, will be available if he is elected, and he left no doubt in the minds of the hundreds who gathered in the Collins High School gymnasium to hear him that he considers a great majority in West Virginia's primary next Tuesday a key factor in his campaign to win the nomination at the Democratic national convention.

Senator Kennedy, citing the fact that President Eisenhower and Governor Cecil Underwood conferred this week in Washington on West Virginia's economic plight, called it a step in the right direction, but "eight years too late."

"It took a presidential primary to bring about a decision that this is a national problem," Kennedy asserted, referring to the some 250,000 residents of West Virginia who are dependent upon some form of government aid for their subsistence, and that there are 100,000 able-bodied men willing but unable to find work.

"It would do Nixon a world of good to campaign in West Virginia," Kennedy said, adding that if the Vice President, still without visible opposition for the Republican nomination for president, "for some benighted reason should be elected, he won't know any more about West Virginia than I did a month ago."

Kennedy left no doubt that West Virginia in his opinion needs somebody in the White House with the intimate knowledge of West Virginia's problems and its geography that he possesses as a result of his campaigning.

He said he can claim to be the only presidential candidate who has twice visited Collins high school, and in a joking way referred to the student body as the best cheering section for Kennedy in the nation.

In a more serious vein, he called the Collins students and other young people like them "West Virginia's best natural resource."

In conclusion, Kennedy said he is running for the presidency because "it is the best source of action."

He referred to Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr., who will speak in his behalf this afternoon in Fayette County and harked back to the days of the late President, father of his cohort."

"Everywhere we go," Kennedy stated, "we find an FDR memorial in the hearts of the people of West Virginia."

Kennedy was introduced by Mrs. John Scott, instructor at Collins High School. With her and Senator Kennedy on the speakers platform were Mr. and Mrs. Ben Teano, Oak Hill, Mr. and Mrs. Emmett Early, Boomer, and Mayor Joe Keatley, Oak Hill.

Senator Kennedy was over a half hour late for his 4:30 p.m. rally in Oak Hill, and judging by the number of people with whom he talked, and the number of autographs he signed, his party also would be hard-pressed to arrive in Charleston in time to prepare for a giant rally later in the evening.

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