Nixon Kennedy Presidential Debate – Allen Pietrobon

The Not Old Better Show, Smithsonian Associates Interview Series

Welcome to The Not Old Better Show, Smithsonian Associates Series.  I’m Paul Vogelzang and today’s show is a great one with guest Dr. Allen Pietrobon.  Dr. Allen Pietrobon is a historian and professor of Global Affairs at Trinity Washington University, in Washington D.C. Dr. Pietrobon is an award-winning scholar and public speaker, and will be appearing at the Smithsonian Associates program, January 11, and the title of Dr. Pietrobon’s program on Zoom is Kennedy, Nixon, and the Debate of the Century You’ll find more details on our website, with links to Smithsonian Associates.

It was that first moment in our history when we saw that television can transform a political candidate … into a celebrity, and it changed the whole contours of our politics.” That is how one historian described the debate that helped John F. Kennedy become president in 1960.

Historian Allen Pietrobon takes us back to the Eisenhower era, a time before the “celebrity president.” He examines the lives and backgrounds of John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon and reveals how Kennedy’s domination of the medium during the first-ever televised debate was key in his winning the presidency. The debate left Nixon so diminished, it would be 16 years before presidential candidates agreed to debate live on TV again.

Pietrobon uses the 1960 presidential election as a lens to explore American politics and culture in this pivotal era in history.

Please join me in welcoming you to The Not Old Better Show, Smithsonian Associates interview series, Smithsonian Associate Dr. Allen Pietrobon.

My thanks to Dr. Allen Pietrobon for his time, research, and expertise today.  Remember, Dr. Allen Pietrobon will be appearing at the Smithsonian Associates program, January 11, and the title of Dr. Pietrobon’s program on Zoom is Kennedy, Nixon, and the Debate of the Century You’ll find more details on our website, with links to Smithsonian Associates.  My thanks to the Smithsonian team for all they do to support the show, and my thanks to you, my wonderful Not Old Better Show audience.  Please be well, stay safe, and have happy holidays.  Please, let’s talk about better…the Not Old Better Show.  Thanks, everybody.

Written by Paul Vogelzang

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