On January 6, 1961, after the official counting of the electoral votes in a joint session of Congress, Vice President Richard Nixon announced the election of his 1960 opponent, John F. Kennedy.
Mr. Speaker, since this is an unprecedented situation, I would like to ask permission to impose upon the time of the Members of this Congress to make a statement which in itself is somewhat unprecedented.
I promise to be brief. I shall be guided by the 1-minute rule of the House rather than the unlimited time rule that prevails in the Senate.
This is the first time in 100 years that a candidate for the Presidency announced the result of an election in which he was defeated and announced the victory of his opponent. I do not think we could have a more striking and eloquent example of the stability of our constitutional system and of the proud tradition. of the American people of developing, respecting, and honoring institutions of self-government.In our campaigns, no matter how hard fought they may be, no matter how close the election may turn out to be, those who lose accept the verdict, and support those who win. And I would like to add that, having served now in Government for 14 years, a period which began in the House just 14 years ago, almost to the day, which continued with 2 years in the Senate and 8 years as Vice President, as I complete that 14-year period it is indeed a very great honor to me to extend to my colleagues in the House and Senate on both sides of the aisle who have been elected; to extend to John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, who have been elected President and Vice President of the United States, my heartfelt best wishes, as all of you work in a cause that is bigger than any man's ambition, greater than any party. It is the cause of freedom, of justice, and peace for all mankind.
It is in that spirit that I now declare that John F. Kennedy has been elected President of the United States, and Lyndon B. Johnson Vice President of the United States.
Members of the Congress, the purpose for which the joint session of the two Houses of Congress has been called pursuant to Senate Concurrent Resolution 1, having been accomplished, the Chair declares the joint session dissolved.