September 26 - 1960 - The First Kennedy-Nixon Debate
The 1960 Presidential Election between Republican Vice President Richard M. Nixon of California and Democratic Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts was one of the closest, hardest fought contests in history. The candidates were close on many issues, while partisan politics were being reshaped across the country. The election was therefore largely fought over personal matters, with Nixon seeming out of touch and Kennedy facing questions about his Catholicism. So when Nixon and Kennedy met for a debate on September 26, there were many people weighing the candidates. Suppsoedly, Kennedy won the television audience, while Nixon won the radio audience. Even if that's hard to prove, a weakened Nixon, he had been in the hospital two weeks earlier, came off poorly and would lose one of the closest elections in American history.