From Scott's Catholicism Blog on about.com:
On September 12, 1960, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy addressed the Greater Houston Ministerial Association at the Rice Hotel in Houston, Texas
Senator Kennedy's speech has long been credited with ensuring his victory in November 1960. But it also ushered in a new era in Church-state relations in the United States, and 50 years later critics, both Catholic and Protestant, have argued that the increasing marginalization of religion in American public life can be traced, in significant part, back to September 12, 1960.
This piece is interesting. I've never followed American politics closely but this was a bit of an 'eye opener'.