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by Ian Tartt

Debates have become a staple of presidential elections. In all the years the debates have been held, some moments stand out more than others. Whether good or bad, here are the top five memorable moments from presidential debates.

1. Made for TV


On September 26, 1960, presidential candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon squared off in the first ever televised presidential debate. Unlike today’s debates, which become more circus-like every election it seems, this debate was relatively boring in comparison. Both men knew a lot about the subjects they discussed, they were very straightforward in their answers, and made virtually no attempt to attack each other. Kennedy, who had taken some time to rest up and wear a bit of makeup before the debate, was considered the winner by those who watched it on television. Nixon had been working hard that day and appeared tired and nervous, although those listening on the radio considered him to have won. The two debated several more times that year, although the presidential debate did not become a standard election event until 1976.

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