The Stormy Sixties

John F. Kennedy

Election of Kennedy

  • Election of 1960

What Party?

  • Democratic

Who was the Vice President?

  • Lyndon B Johnson

Was the Election Close? Nixon Kennedy Debates?

  • First televised debate
  • The television played a major role as those who watched it thought Kennedy won, and those who listened on the radio believed Nixon had won.
  • Kennedy won by a margin of 2% with 303 to 219

The Cold War

Kennedy and Vietnam

  • Kennedy changed the U.S's alliance with South Vietnam from just support to partnership and actively sent troops to fight.
  • As the war went on it became difficult to asses a specific policy to put into place and was assassinated before making a final decision or statement.


Bay of Pigs:

  • Failed attempt by the U.S. to overthrow Castro by sending 1,500 trained Cuban rebels.
Cuban Missile Crisis:
  • U.S. spy planes found Soviet nuclear missile sites being constructed in Cuba.
  • Air assault was considered, however the sites were disassembled.

Berlin Crisis

  • Kennedy met with Khrushchev in Vienna
  • A treaty with the USSR and East Berlin had interfered with U.S. access to West Berlin, and if such treaty was signed it would be viewed as an act of war
  • As soon as Kennedy returned to America Khrushchev announced a treaty had in fact been signed.

Construction of the Berlin Wall

  • This was a wall that divided East and West Berlin
  • Stopped the migration of citizens from East Berlin to West Berlin
  • Kennedy ignored it as long as those from West Berlin could travel to East Berlin

Kennedy and Civil Rights

  • Kennedy was an advocate of social and civil equality but was too busy with the Cold War to really do anything in these areas.
  • Executive Order 10925 stated that government contractors could not base any actions against an employee on race.
  • Sent troops to suppress uprisings by the KKK
  • Sent troops to protect students at riots at Ole Miss and Alabama university

Kennedy's Assassination

  • Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963.
  • Kennedy was riding in a convertible through Dallas, Texas when a sniper bullet had gone through his head.
  • Lee Harvey Oswald was assumed guilty and arrested
  • Killed before his trial came
  • Kennedy's Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was then sworn in as President aboard the Airforce One.