Reagan's age, Mitt's binders: Presidential debate highlights

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FILE - In this Oct. 21, 1960 file photo taken a television in New York displays a debate between Republican presidential candidate Vice President Richard M. Nixon, left, and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John F. Kennedy, D-Mass. The 1960 presidential election offered the country's first televised debates. (AP Photo, File)

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, are set to meet on Tuesday for their first debate, a highly anticipated event in a highly unusual election year.

The campaign has been divisive on a historic scale. Trump was impeached for trying to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son and has repeatedly tried to cast doubt on Biden’s mental acuity, going so far as to say the former vice president “doesn’t know he’s alive.” For his part, Biden has said of Trump, “If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.”

Against that backdrop, the two are set to face off for the first time as presidential nominees in Cleveland in a debate moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News Channel.

Here are some of the most memorable moments in presidential debate history:


The 1960 presidential election offered the country's first televised debate. It's remembered less for what was said than for what viewers saw.

Democrat John F. Kennedy, the handsome young Massachusetts senator, looked tan and relaxed. Republican Richard Nixon, who had been sick and in the hospital, looked hollow-eyed and had a five o’clock shadow. Kennedy paired his tan with a blue suit, offering a nice contrast on black and white TVs. Nixon was wearing a gray suit, which blended into the gray studio background.

Many considered the debate a turning point in Kennedy's campaign.