In a political convention as in baseball, it’s often hard to tell the players without a program.
To give its readers an insider’s view of the 1960 Los Angeles and Chicago conventions, Look Magazine offered this guide in its July 19, 196o issue.
It included a ballot form to keep track of the voting. It was , they promised the next best thing to being in that smoke-filled room itself.
Future First Lady
Wives did not escape the balloting contest.
In describing the choices for First Lady, the wives of the leading candidates all offered charm, wit and intelligence, sounding an awful lot like candidates for Miss America contest.
“Jacqueline (Jackie) Kennedy, 30, owns a lithe models figure, went to fashionable schools, speaks French. She is gay, friendly and a bit eggheadish and has a daughter.”
“Patricia (Pat) Nixon 47, is 5 foot 5 ,110 pounds and the mother of 2 teenage daughters. Smart, fun-loving she is a tireless performer of ceremonial chores.”
“Evelyn Wadsworth (Evie ) Symington, 57 once earned” , we are told incredulously, “$1, 750 a week in New York as a society singer.Witty gracious and well-bred, she is the mother of 2 lawyer sons.”
“Claudia (Lady Bird Johnson, 47, a petite 5 foot 4 who is adept with firearms, is a shrewd business executive (radio-TV) and the mother of 2 teenage girls.”
After hearing Michelle Obama deliver a powerhouse of a speech at the DNC last night , its hard to imagine ever referring to her as “eggheadish”
Television had come of age and LOOK provided that all important viewers guide. Television coverage had matured since the first feeble TV efforts of 1948. This was the first year for wide use of video tape enabling cameras to televise three events at once, saving two for later showing.
All three networks pursued every major delegate and candidate. Your choice of channel depended on which telecaster you preferred to grace your living room for hours on end.
Headliners for the NBC team were Chet Huntley and Dave Brinkley, the straight-man-and-wry-comment pair: for CBS, Walter Cronkite, hearty m.c., and Ed Murrow, the serious pontiff; and for ABC, John Daly, described as ” suave, gay telecaster with a penchant for historical matters.”
In a sense they explain, each convention was a giant political commercial that solicits your November vote for the party’s candidate. You pay a price however. for the second and fourth weeks of July you won’t get a peep at your favorite summer evening show.
So get out the balloting score sheets, relax and enjoy Americas fabulous quadrennial spectacular.”
- High Noon at the Democratic Convention 1960 PartII (envisioningtheamericandream.wordpress.com)
- High Noon at the 1960 Democratic Convention (envisioningtheamericandream.wordpress.com)