History of Presidential Debates

Contrary to what many believe, the presidential debates are a modern construct, waiting for the advent of mass communication to become a reality. The first debate was in 1948 and broadcast by radio; the next one did not take place until 1956 when the first televised debate took place. Videos and transcripts of all subsequent debates, as well as the vice presidential debates, are available here. Transcripts of the primary debates are also online.


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