In honor of the first presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, Life.com looks back at the first “modern” presidential debates, between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. Along with a beautiful collection of photos, Life included a write-up of the debates:
"The details of the debates have been recounted innumerable times in the subsequent decades, with every hand gesture, every utterance and every close-up dissected and weighed for its significance. The stories, meanwhile, of how Nixon showed up to the very first debate looking pale and glistening with sweat beneath the glare of the studio lights, while JFK looked (literally) tanned and rested, haven’t lost any of their power simply because they’re true."
(Photo credits: Paul Schutzer — Time & Life Photos/Getty Images)