KENNEDY, John F. Photo inscribed and signed ("John Kennedy") as Senator, n.p., [August, 1956]. 8 x 9 15/16 in., Wide World Photos stamp on verso, some smudging to inscription and signature, upper corners creased, evidence of mounting on verso.
A FINE INSCRIBED PHOTO: KENNEDY QUOTES HIS NOMINATING SPEECH FOR ADLAI STEVENSON: "TO FOLLOW IN THE GREAT TRADITION OF JEFFERSON, JACKSON, WILSON"
An extraordinary inscribed photograph of Kennedy delivering his nominating speech for Adlai Stevenson at the 1956 Democratic National Convention. After one term in the Presidency, Eisenhower's popularity had increased dramatically and it seemed likely that he would win reelection. The Democrats attempted to mount a challenge, however, and looked to their 1952 candidate, former Illinois Governor Stevenson, to head the ticket. A rising star of the party in 1956 was Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy who had handily defeated incumbent Henry Cabot Lodge in 1952. Looking to infuse the Stevenson ticket with some new blood, Kennedy was given the nod to present the nominating speech before the August Convention. Kennedy's speech was greeted with great enthusiasm and encouraged the delegates to recommend his nomination as Vice President, which he failed to achieve by only twenty votes.
Here, Kennedy is captured by the photographer in the midst of his speech with left hand upraised. On the bottom third of the photograph, Kennedy has written a part of his memorable speech: "It is now my privilege to present to this Convention as a candidate for President of the United States the hand of the man uniquely qualified by virtue of his compassion, his conscience and his courage to follow in the great traditions of Jefferson, Jackson, Wilson....the next Democratic nominee and our next President of the United States Adlai E. Stevenson."
Kennedy's speech, the unexpected offering of his name for Vice President, and his active campaigning for Stevenson helped lay foundations for his Presidential nomination in 1960.