Today is Presidents Day, and we are in a presidential election year. But when was the last time a candidate was elected to the White House without winning the Buckeye State? The year was 1960. The candidate was John F. Kennedy. When the votes were counted on Nov. 8, 1960, Mr. Kennedy, 43, became the youngest man and the first Catholic to be elected president. But he lost in Ohio to Vice President Richard Nixon, a Republican. The Democratic senator from Massachusetts made two trips to Toledo, one in Sept., 1959, and another on Nov. 4, 1960, as part of his presidential campaign. Each time, he drew large crowds. During his November campaign stop, he was greeted by 1,200 people at Toledo Express airport. This photo from The Blade archives shows the senator leaving the airport and waving to onlookers. Another 25,000 people crowded into the area surrounding the Lucas County Courthouse in Toledo to hear his speech. John F. Kennedy was sworn in as the 35th president of the United States on Jan. 20, 1961, and during his inaugural address he delivered what became an oft-quoted phrase “… my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country." In his short time as president, Kennedy created the Peace Corps, navigated the country through the Cuban missile crisis, challenged the nation to put an American on the moon before the end of the decade, and proposed Civil Rights legislation to Congress. He was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald on Nov. 21, 1963.
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