John F. Kennedy

Election of Kennedy

  • Democratic Party
  • Wanted to get the nation moving again
  • US will have the strength to resist communism around the world
  • Kennedy challenged Nixon to televised debates
  • 78 million American watched the first debate

The Cold War

  • Bay of Pigs 1961- failed military invasion of Cuba by CIA sponsored group
  • The Cuban Missile Crisis- moment when Cold War almost became nuclear and 1st time mutual assured destruction is discussed .
  • Pursued more moderate polices with Soviet Union
  • Berlin Crisis- demanding withdrawal of Western troops from West Berlin; Last major politico-military European incident of Cold War
  • Flexible Response- defense strategy; calls for mutual deterrence at strategic, tactical, conventional levels; gives US ability to respond to aggression across all warfare

Civil Rights

  • Sit-ins in South 1960
  • 1961 Freedom Ride was burned
  • Washington protect the Freedom Riders
  • Put in Voter Education Project to register blacks in the South
  • Birmingham hosed down Civil Right Demonstrators
  • Kennedy calls this a moral issue on television
  • Wanted new legislation to protect blacks
  • August, Martin Luther King Jr. led March on Washington
  • King gave "I have a dream speech"
  • James Meredith- 1st African American student admitted to segregated University of Mississippi
  • Meredith motivated by Kennedy's inaugural speech


  • November 22, 1960
  • Downtown Dallas, Texas
  • Assassin Lee Harvey Oswald
  • Oswald arrested then shot by Jack Ruby
  • Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson= President Lyndon B. Johnson