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A Look Back at 1960 Race

In July 1960, Los Angeles and Chicago set the scenes for the national party conventions in which all of the announced presidential candidates — Sen. Stuart Symington (D-Mo.), Sen. John Kennedy (D-Mass.), Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson (D-Texas) and Vice President Richard Nixon (R) — got their start in Congress.

Some Members grumbled that Congress decided to recess rather than adjourn for the conventions. A Roll Call story reported, “Many Congressmen and Senators were not pleased with the decision to return to Washington after the conventions. In debates on the House and Senate floors it was clear that some of the lawmakers thought that Congress could have finished its work prior to the conventions, or at least it could have tried.”

A two-month civil rights debate slowed down the legislative schedule, and Johnson defended the recess decision, saying there just was too much to be done in too short of time.

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