John F. Kennedy

1960-1963

Election of Kennedy

  • John F. Kennedy & Lyndon B Johnson - Democrat
  • Richard Nixon & Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. - Republican
  • Nixon-Kennedy Debates - Kennedy claimed Soviets had gained superiority over America; Nixon left to defend American prestige had not slipped
  • Kennedy Victory 303 electoral votes to Nixon's 219

The Cold War

  • "Flexible response" - strategy of developing an array of military options that could be matched to crisis at hand
  • Bay of Pigs - 1.2k exiles, Kennedy against direct intervention in overthrowing of Castro - pushed Cuba to Soviets. Exiles forced to surrender
  • Cuban Missile Crisis - discovery of Soviets secretly installing nuclear missiles in Cuba

Kennedy & Civil Rights

  • JFK had won the black vote during campaign by stating he would pass civil rights legislation
  • Kennedy & King family had overall good relations
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. - led peaceful protest of 200k black and white demonstrators "March on Washington"

Kennedy's Assassination

  • November 22, 1963
  • Downtown Dallas, Texas
  • Kennedy assassinated while riding in limousine
  • Alleged gunman Lee Harvey Oswald