Was Nixon Robbed?
The legend of the stolen 1960 presidential election.
Another man, too, believed Nixon was robbed: Nixon. At a 1960 Christmas party, he was heard greeting guests, "We won but they stole it from us." Nixon nursed the grudge for years, and when he was criticized for his Watergate crimes he would cite the Kennedys' misdeeds as precedent. He may have felt JFK's supposed theft entitled him to cheat in 1972. It's an interesting hypothetical: If no pall had been cast over the 1960 election, would Watergate have happened?
David Greenberg, a professor of history and media studies at Rutgers and author of three books of political history, has written the "History Lesson" column since 1998.
Photogragh of John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon © Bettmann/Corbis.