Thursday, August 28, 2008

Acceptance Speech at the Coliseum

A few last bits of 1960 convention trivia before the window of opportunity slams shut:

JFK gave his acceptance speech On July 15, 1960 in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, before a crowd of around 50,000. Most of those seats were given away free to Angelenos--distributed through PTA groups and labor unions. However, the ticketing/seating foul-ups were colossal and people ended up sitting wherever space was available.

Local high school bands performed throughout the afternoon, Edward G. Robinson read a poem by Walt Whitman, and over 100 people fell victim to heat stroke and had to be taken to the Coliseum's hospital. The temperature was near 90 for most of the afternoon.

It started around 4 and was all over at 8:32 pm, and the band played "Happy Days are Here Again."

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