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Elkins Inter-Mountain
May 9, 1960

Kennedy ‘Grounded’; Unable to Fly to Elkins on Sunday

Several hundred Randolph County citizens overflowed the Tygart Hotel in Elkins yesterday to get a glimpse of Presidential Candidate John Kennedy, but learned with disappointment that his airplane had been “grounded” by rainy weather conditions at Charleston.

But Sen. Kennedy still spoke to the Elkins audience via telephone and his voice was broadcast over a loudspeaker in the hotel lobby.

To the Elkins audience, Sen. Kennedy said: “West Virginia can decide Tuesday, who can be the Democratic nominee for president at Los Angeles. In other primary elections, larger states have made that decision. Even if Sen. Humphrey wins the nomination here, he can not win in Los Anggeles [sic].

“If you vote for me on Tuesday, you will select as the Democratic nominee a man who has traveled through all of W.Va.- one who understands the problems of W.Va. If my opponent wins here he can not be of help to W.Va., for he can not win the Democratic nomination at the convention.

“After 14 years in Congress, I don’t think the U.S. can stand another four years under the Republican administration. Our nation needs a great president, who will work in the tradition of Franklin Delano Roosevelt – I will devote all my energy to that aim, remembering W.Va., defending the public interest, defending the constitution and deserving the confidence you have put in me.”

Coming from Clarksburg by automobile to speak in behalf of Kennedy’s campaign was Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr., son of the late President of the U.S.

It was FDR Jr’s second visit to Elkins in recent weeks, but it was his first speech given to a local audience.

Roosevelt recalled the visits to Elkins of his mother, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, who was instrumental in the establishment of the Homestead development some quarter of a century ago.

FDR Jr., referred to the problems of W.Va. some 30 years ago when his late father took office. “We must elect a Democrat president to restore this country to prosperity”, he said. “After eight years with Ike and Nixon in Washington, we can see the same signs of depression, the same signs of difficulties. This country can not stand four more Republican years in Washington,” he added.

He pointed to an unemployed W.Va. coal miner, who had not worked for 26 months and who said he had eaten so much rice he was amazed that he hadn’t started speaking Chinese. He cited the depressed areas of W.Va. as a forerunner to what could happen throughout the U.S.

FDR Jr. contrasted the mechanization and automation of problems of the W.Va. coal fields to the textile industry which moved out of Massassachusetts [sic] following the end of World War II. Sen. Kennedy went after this problem bringing together the federal government, management and labor to bring new and diversified industry into Massassachusetts [sic]. “What he has done in his home state, he can do for W.Va. and for the nation,” he added.

Roosevelt was introduced by Judge Stanley Bosworth. Robert E. Maxwell was master of ceremonies.


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