The Great Debates Revisited: Timothy Naftali
American life changed forever in 1960 when Vice President Richard M. Nixon and Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kennedy ushered politics into the multimedia age with the first televised presidential debates.
This third event in a series called The Great Debates Revisited features a screening of the third presidential debate between Kennedy and Nixon, with introductory commentary and a post-screening Q&A session led by Timothy Naftali.
Nixon was attributed the win for this debate, which continued the prior foreign policy argument. Perhaps more importantly, the third debate is the only contest in which the candidates argued without a direct personal confrontation as they appeared in separate television studios – Kennedy in New York and Nixon in Los Angeles.
Timothy Naftali is the director of the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum. A former history professor at the University of Virginia, he is the author of four books, including Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism. His articles have appeared on Slate.com, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Foreign Affairs.
The Kansas City Public Library, the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum, and the Truman Library Institute present The Great Debates Revisited to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this landmark moment in American political history.