In 1960 Eleanor Roosevelt strongly supported Adlai Stevenson and encouraged him to seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for President. That year, however, the Party pinned their hopes on a promising fresh face, and the nomination went to John F. Kennedy. Eleanor had some reservations about JFK, but she supported his bid for president after he made a visit to her home, Val-Kill, in Hyde Park, NY in August of that year.

On September 26, 1960 JFK and Richard Nixon held the first televised presidential debate. After the debate, Eleanor wrote this letter to JFK with her opinions on both his and Nixon’s performance.

JFK responded by kindly thanking Eleanor for her advice and comments.