Document Details

Document Type:   Thesis
Title:   John F. Kennedy and West Virginia, 1960-1963
Author:   Anthony W Ponton
College:   Liberal Arts
Degree Program:   History, M.A.
Degree:   Master of Arts
Committee Director:   Dr. Frank Riddel
Document Availability:   Document available for World-Wide access.
Date of Defense:   04/19/2004

In 1960, John F. Kennedy, a wealthy New England Catholic, traveled to a rural, Protestant state to contend in an election that few thought he could win. While many scholars have examined the impact of Kennedy’s victory in the West Virginia primary, few have analyzed the importance that his visit to the state in 1960 and his ensuing administration had on West Virginia. Kennedy enacted a number of policies directed specifically toward relieving the poverty that had plagued West Virginia since statehood. The Kennedy administration funded highway construction, worker training programs, and area development at levels the state had never before experienced. Kennedy’s relationship with West Virginia helped create a new cultural identity of West Virginians as proud, hardworking people.  

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