Election Night in Hyannis Port, 1960

Election night‘Finally the Senator stood up, took one last look at the television and said, “This will probably not be decided until morning. I think I will go over to the house and get some sleep.” Turning to Bob he said, “Let me know if you hear anything.” In is usual manner he turned and calmly went out the door.

Complete results from California, Michigan, and Illinois were still not in and no one knew how long it was going to take. The equipment was idle and people stood around, too tired to do much else. Finally, near four o’clock, a few began drifting out. Soon more left. I couldn’t see what good I was doing there, either, so I started to gather up all of my notes, pads, and pencils and put them into my briefcase, and said goodnight to those too tired or too discouraged to leave.

As I neared the outside door, Ted Sorensen, who was also about to leave, said, “Do you have a ride down to the Yatchtsman? If you’ll wait while I go upstairs to get one of my briefcases, you can ride down with me. My car is parked on the other side of the Senator’s house.”

A few minutes later we were walking across the back yard of Bob’s house. We had to watch our step because the place was booby-trapped with Kennedy bicycles, wagons, and other little folks’ equipment. There was a break in the hedge at the rear of the back yard, and from there we walked across the Senator’s lawn. Ted said: “I think the Senator was was to go to bed; it will be hours before we know the outcome.”

I was just agreeing with Ted when I looked over towards the Senator’s house and saw through that window a sight I will never forget. There in his big easy chair, light streaming over his shoulder, the Senator sat reading a book. Suddenly I was certain he was going to be our next President. I felt that he knew he was going to win. He was already getting ready for the next phase of his life.’

My Twelve Years with John F. Kennedy by Evelyn Lincoln, Personal Secretary to the President, David McKay Company, Inc. 1965.

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