Face the State Flashback

50 Years Ago: Goldwater Takes on JFK in Hartford


50 years ago this month, people were starting to talk about the presidential election of 1964. President John Kennedy was expected to run for a second term, and was planning political trips to Illinois, Florida and Texas. The Republican front-runner at the time was New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, but his popularity was waning after a messy divorce. Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater was nipping at his heels.


Goldwater was the darling of conservatives, but in October of 1963 had not made a decision on whether to run. He was invited to Hartford to see how his libertarian message might fare in the liberal Northeast and the land of steady habits.

In this week’s Face the State flashback, we have some old film from our archives of Goldwater’s trip to Connecticut’s capital city. He spoke before a big crowd at the now demolished Statler Hilton Hotel, after a visit to the Wadsworth Atheneum and the Hartford Club, where Mark Twain was once a member. It was October 24th, twenty-nine days before President Kennedy was assassinated.


In the film you’ll see in the link below, Goldwater talks about Kennedy and criticizes him on spending, Cuba, civil rights and his love of Hartford during a near disaster.

Watch it right here: http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9411416

Also click the link below to watch our rare film of President Kennedy visiting our state during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, so rare in fact the JFK Library asked us to donate it to them. We did.


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