President Kennedy

Shri Karri

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Election of Kennedy

Election: November 9th, 1960

Democratic Party

  • close competition
  • Kennedy: 303 electoral votes 34,220,984 popular votes
  • Nixon (republican): 219 electoral votes with 34,108,157 popular
  • Kennedy gained since there was an economic recession
  • 17 million more registered Democrats than Republicans
  • new votes that Kennedy gained among Catholics almost neutralized the new votes Nixon gained among Protestants

The New Frontier


  • advocated by Kennedy in the 1960 election
  • revitalize the stagnant economy, enact reform legislation in education, health care, and civil rights

The Cold War

Flexible Response
  • a buildup of conventional troops and weapons to allow a nation to fight a limited war without using nuclear weapons
  • implemented by Kennedy in 1961
  • Kennedy's admin. skeptic of Eisenhower's New Look Policy of Massive Retaliation.


Kennedy and Vietnam

  • fervent believer in containing communism
  • follow the former policy of Eisenhower and support the government of Diem in South Vietnam
  • "Domino Theory"
  • convinced that if South Vietnam fell to communism, other states would also as a consequence


Kennedy and Cuba

Cuban Missile Crisis


  • October 1962 - American U-2 spy plane photographed Soviet nuclear missiles being built on Cuba
  • Kennedy didn't want Soviet Union and Cuba to know he discovered them
  • placed a naval blockade (ring of ships) around cuba
  • "quarantine" to prevent Soviets from bringing in more supplies
  • Bay of Pigs - American attempt to overthrow the newly established communist government in Cuba by training and sending cuban rebels
  • ended in a disaster due to the lack of support by Americans
  • embarrassment for US and led to Castro pleading for Soviet aid


Kennedy and Berlin Crisis

Construction of the Berlin Wall

  • Physical barrier of political struggles
  • prevent East Germans from escaping to West Berlin
  • one of the most visible signs of the Cold War and the Iron Curtain
  • Berlin wall was constructed as a barrier during the 1961 Berlin Crisis

Berlin Crisis of 1961 was the last major politico-military European incident of the Cold War about Berlin.

  • JFK and Kruschev met in the Vienna summit on June 4th, 1961
  • Kennedy conveyed US acceptance to the permanent division of berlin

Kennedy and Civil Rights

  • black population's vote gained when he promised to pass civil rights legislation
  • in 1960, groups of Freedom Riders spread out across the South to end segregation
  • Kennedy family and King family (Martin Luther King Jr.) had a good relationship
  • SNCC & other civil rights groups inaugurated a Voter Education Project to register the South's historically disfranchised blacks


Civil Rights Act of 1964 - outlawed segregation of public accommodations

  • established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to enforce
  • made the federal government responsible for finding instances of discrimination
  • illegal to discriminate based on race, religion, ethnic origin, or gender
  • voting rights not adequately addressed

Kennedy's Assasination: Nov, 22,1963

  • Dealy Plaza, Dallas, Texas
  • shot by a sniper while traveling with his wife Jacqueline, Texas Governor Connally, and Connally's wife Nellie
  • assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone
  • Jack Ruby killed Oswald before he could stand trial