Illini 411: Did Richard Nixon campaign on campus in 1960?
When Nixon was Eisenhower’s vice president (1953–61), he visited Champaign-Urbana for campaign stops in 1954 and 1956. During his own 1960 presidential campaign, Nixon visited the small Illinois town of Melvin in Ford County, and gave a 20-minute whistle-stop speech in Tuscola, but did not come to campus. John F. Kennedy, on the other hand, spoke to a crowd of 10,000 people on the Quad just two weeks before the election. In retrospect, Nixon probably wished he had spent more time in Illinois: he lost the state by fewer than 9,000 votes.
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