Kennedy Presidency

1961- 1963

Election of Kennedy

  • John F. Kennedy (Democrat) vs. Richard Nixon (Republican)
  • Chose Lyndon B. Johnson as running mate
  • Debated with Nixon on live television (won 3 out of 4 million votes from the television viewers)
  • Voted for by 70% of the African American race in America
  • In the end he won with 307 electoral votes beating out Nixon's 219
  • New Frontier---> JFK's platform which promised to improve legislation over education, healthcare, and civil rights and also improve America's economy

Cold War

  • Flexible Response----> an establishment of strategies and weapons to respond to whatever came their (United State's) way
  • Vietnam---> -U.S. supported the Anti-Communist south and protested Diem (Vietnamese leader), also wanted Vietnam's government to start over with a clean slate
  • Cuba----> U.S. had strategized over throwing Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, ordered the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, then the Cuban Missile Crisis put a halt on everything
  • Berlin Crisis---> Kennedy met with Khrushchev to discuss the division of Germany but later felt threatened (led to the increase of military power)
  • Berlin Wall--->built in 1961, JFK didn't protest its construction, he focused on nuclear testing instead

Kennedy and Civil Rights

  • Supported Civil Rights
  • Comforted MLK's wife after he was thrown in jail for peaceful protesting
  • Promoted desegregation of schools
  • Gave a few African Americans high-up jobs in administration
  • Gave Johnson the responsibility of the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity


  • November 22nd, 1963
  • Shot in the head while riding in a car parade in Dallas Tx
  • Parade was to promote his re-election
  • Shot by Lee Harvey Oswald (who then was killed by Jack Ruby)