West Virginia was key for Kennedy's presidency - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

West Virginia was key for Kennedy's presidency

Photo: Hank Walker / Time Life Pictures / Getty -- from www.time.com Photo: Hank Walker / Time Life Pictures / Getty -- from www.time.com

BLUEFIELD (WVVA) - As the nation reflects on the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, many West Virginians fondly recall the then-future president's campaign stops in southern West Virginia in 1960.

Kennedy credited West Virginia with helping him win the White House and vowed that the needs of the Mountain State would be among his chief priorities.

"I would not be where I now am, I would not have some of the responsibilities which I now bear, if it had not been for the people of West Virginia," Kennedy said during a speech in Charleston on West Virginia's Centennial Celebration of June 20, 1963 -- five months before his death.

The quote comes from a an exhibit on Kennedy's West Virginia Primary campaign at the JFK Library website.

Kennedy made multiple visits to the counties of southern West Virginia during the 1960 campaign, as has been chronicled in-depth by the Division of Culture and History in a special online exhibit.

During one trip to the Mountain State in April of that year, Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy appeared live from the downtown Bluefield studios of WHIS-TV -- which would later become WVVA.

According to an April 26, 1960, article in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, reprinted at the West Virginia Division of Culture and History website, Kennedy appeared on WHIS at 7 p.m. that evening, before heading to Glenwood Park for a public meeting.

Information provided with the photograph at left from the Time-Life archives, says Kennedy was at the WHIS Studio for a call-in show.

Do you remember seeing Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy on WHIS-TV? Did you see them in person? Share your memories with us below...

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