JFK and Jackie at a diner in Oregon, 1959.

JFK and Jackie at a diner in Oregon, 1959. As Kennedy sat in the diner, he was a senator at the time and still relatively unknown in most parts of the country. He hadn’t even officially announced that he was running for president. However, during this photo, he was on an unofficial campaign trail, and most members of the Democratic Party knew he would run. In fact, back in Washington, a “Stop Kennedy” movement was already underway from his competitors.

Throughout 1959, Kennedy traveled the length and breadth of the land, with a full schedule of speeches and public appearances, combating critics and challengers attempting to derail his bid to win the Democratic nomination. He traveled all over: the Midwest, California, attended a Cubs game, met Stan Musial (famous Cardinals baseball player), and visited a West Virginia coal factory. Interestingly, he faced smaller crowds out west, and in this photo, taken in Oregon, he was a virtual unknown.

“In Oregon,” recalled photographer Jacques Lowe, who traveled with JFK for part of 1959, “Kennedy walked into a union hall to find eleven men waiting to hear him.” Undeterred, according to Lowe, JFK didn’t miss a step. “Without hesitation, he launched into his speech.”