John F. Kennedy
70% of african americans voted for kennedy because he was very pro-civil rights
Votes gave him a winning edge in several states
Won over primarily protestant west Virginia
Didn't reach the 761 votes required for nomination until the final state on the list (wyoming)
Kennedy challenged the republican nominee (VP richard nixon) to televised debates
Nixon was urged to refuse the national exposure
70 million americans watched the first televised debate
Television watchers felt JFK had won because of his debate style (talked more to the audience and the camera vs nixon) but radio listeners felt nixon won becuas of his responses
Kennedy won 3 million out of the 4 million votes that made up their mins because of the televised debate
Kennedy tried to identify himself with the liberal reform tradition of the Democratic party of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, promising a new surge of legislative innovation in the 1960s.
In the final days of the tour, Pres. Eisenhower started a speaking tour in favor of republican candidates (several states seemed to shift to nixon after the tour)
On November 8, 1960, John F. Kennedy was elected president in one of the closest elections in U.S. history. In the popular vote, his margin over Nixon was 118,550 out of a total of nearly 69 million votes cast. His success in many urban and industrial states gave him a clear majority of 303 to 219 in the electoral vote. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the youngest man ever elected president, the only Catholic, and the first president born in the twentieth century.
JFK’s platform was called the New Frontier that promised to revitalize the stagnant economy and enact reform legislation in education, healthcare, and civil rights
Kennedy promoted a “flexible response” to the cold war. an assortment of weapons and strategies were developed to fight whatever problem was at hand. that would be necessary to fight whatever problem arose from the war at hand.
US supported a military government in the south as opposed to the communist north vietnam (was afraid free elections in the south would result in a total communist vietnamese country)
Because of the protests against the vietnamese leader Diem (due to his catholic religion and the want of buddhist representation) kennedy increased the number of military advisers to help stabilize his regime
Also pressed for the vietnamese government to “clean house” to starts political and economic reforms
Kennedy planned with the CIA to overthrow Fidel Castro in cuba
Ised USA trained exiled cubans as an army
Intended to invade and start an uprising with the people
April 17 1961, Kennedy ordered the Bay of Pigs invasion
by april 19, all the invaders were captured and Kennedy had to bargain for their lives. set them free in return for $53 million in food and medicine
made castro wary of the US
Cuban Missile Crisis
October 14, 1962, photographs of missiles were photographed being built in cuba by the soviets
These posed an immediate nuclear threat
Kennedy tried to talk to the soviet leader, wanted him to dismantle the building sites
Neither country would back down
After another soviet ship was stopped, the soviets agreed to dismantle their building sites in cuba if the US took their missiles promised never to invade Cuba again
Kennedy met with soviet leader Khrushchev, mainly to discuss the divided country of germany, and the amount of germans that were moving from east germany into west germany
Khrushchev was agressive, kennedy felt threatened and stated to the american people that they might have to defend their rights to be in berlin militarily
In response to all of this, President Kennedy ordered substantial increases in American intercontinental ballistic missile forces, added five new army divisions, and increased the nation's air power and military reserves.
Berlin wall construction
August 13, 1961
Building of the berlin wall started
Went through cemeteries, city streets, all dividing west berlin from east berlin.
Visual representation of the iron curtain of communism and the hold the soviets had on east Germany
Kennedy chose not to challenge the building of the wall
Instead, he resumed nuclear testing research as the soviets resumed their studies
Kennedy and Civil Rights
Pro civil rights
Talked to MLK’s wife and ensure his safe release from jail when he was arrested for his peaceful protests
Spoke out in favor of school desegregation, praised those that integrated races
Appointed several african americans to high level administration jobs to strengthen the civil rights movement
Put his vice president (lyndon b johnson) in charge of the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity.
Had a hand in integrating Ole Miss and Alabama
Assassination of Kennedy
November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated as he rode in a car parade through Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas, Texas.
The parade was for Kennedy’s democratic speakings tour that he was holding all across the country for his re-election
Kennedy was aware that there was a group of extremists that could jeopardize his chances of a successful campaign, but went ahead with his speech
He was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald from a window as he drove past
The next day as Oswald was being moved to the county jail, he was murdered by Jack Ruby, a local nightclub owner
- President Kennedy was laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia