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From the Desk of Harry S. Truman: Presidential Debate Advice | September 26, 2016

From the Desk of Harry S. Truman: Presidential Debate Advice

From the Desk of Harry S. Truman: Presidential Debate Advice

Fifty-six years ago today, Democratic Presidential nominee John F. Kennedy debated then-Vice President and Republican nominee Richard M. Nixon in the first-ever televised debate. More than 65 million people viewed the debate. Harry and Bess Truman were two of those viewers.Two days later, President Truman sent a telegram to Senator Kennedy with a single piece of advice for future debates. What did the former president write to the future president?

Keep him on the defensive.

truman-to-kennedy

For more on Harry Truman’s engagement with national political campaigns after his presidency, see the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum’s online collection, “The President As Campaigner, 1952-1972.” The collection includes 132 documents totaling 538 pages covering the years 1952 through 1972. Supporting materials include photographs, oral history transcripts, public papers, audio recordings and museum objects.