Make or break: the defining moments of presidential debates
As Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump prepare to meet in the first of three 2016 presidential debates, we look back over 50 years of head-to-head bouts
1960: A defining moment for TV and politics. The first and possibly still the most famous American presidential debate pitted the telegenic Democrat John F Kennedy against Republican vice-president Richard Nixon. The clammy Nixon was recovering from illness and had a five oclock shadow but refused makeup. TV viewers are said to have judged Kennedy the winner, whereas radio listeners gave it to Nixon or called it a draw. Kennedy won a narrow election. He was assassinated three years later.
1976: Republican president Gerald Ford, who succeeded Nixon after the Watergate scandal, had been closing the gap on Democrat Jimmy Carter but then remarked: There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, and there never will be under a Ford administration. It was seen as a critical gaffe in the context of the cold war and Carter went on to win the election.