Kennedy, Catholicism and the 1960 Election: the Lowell View



“I Believe in an America Where the Separation of Church and State is Absolute” 

Don’t miss David Pevear’s story in today’s Lowell SUN on the role of Catholicism in the 1960 Presidential election – it includes an interview with Lowell Attorney and life-long Democratic operative, activist, advisor and guru Richard K. Donahue. Dick was there through the entire campaign and his view still reflects that bright, brash, “we will win this” Massachusetts political attitude even after the passage of fifty-years. John F. Kennedy and the men around him were young and confident – the issue of JFK’s Catholicism like other elements of the campaign was handled deftly but aggressively. Kennedy’s approach was straight forward – check out his speech before the Protestant Ministers in September of 1960 here. But as Dick Donohue remembers in the West Virginia Primary campaign – “Any voter who still felt Kennedy was a damn Catholic, we’d hit them with the 109.” (That’s PT 109) The heroic 109 story played well in a state with more Gold Star Mothers per capita than any other state, according to Donahue.

The article is not yet posted on the SUN website. Here is the link:

One Response to Kennedy, Catholicism and the 1960 Election: the Lowell View

  1. Brian Flaherty says:

    My favorite comment (about Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith being an issue in 2012) – “…we’re past that. It would not be an issue.” Guess someone forgot to tell Ted Kennedy that back in 1994.