The Storied History of Presidential Debates

They've been a big factor in elections for decades.

September 22, 2016, 12:00 PM

— -- The first presidential debate of the season is just days away, bringing the 2016 election to a historic milestone.

Presidential debates have been a mainstay of the general election for four decades, though their origins date all the way back to 1960.

That was when John F. Kennedy battled against Richard Nixon, and demonstrated how important appearances could be in making a bid for the White House.

Learn more about the role of zingers, showmanship and policy talk in presidential debates in the video above.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events