John F. Kennedy

By: Allie McKee

Election of Kennedy

Election of 1960

Republican- Richard Nixon Democratic- John F. Kennedy


  • Had experience (Vice President)
  • Not good health


  • Young, handsome, well spoken, war hero
  • Healthy and optimistic

Television helped both parties during the election to televise debates about more than just issues.

The two candidates did not have dramatically different opinions.

Viewers made majority of their decisions based on characteristics like personality and allure.

  • Neither candidates won the debates, but voters favored Kennedy
  • Concerns with Kennedy's religion as a part of the Roman Catholic Church
  • Kennedy stated that the members of the Catholic Church would not expect him to influence America as a Catholic president

Kennedy's Two-Fold plan:

  • Selected Texas Lyndon B. Johnson as running mate
  • Pursued the black vote by developing a special committee to gain African American support
  • Increased the number of registered black voters
  • Critical to the tight presidential race

Kennedy Electoral Vote: 303

Kennedy Popular Vote: 34,227,096

Nixon Electoral Vote: 219

Nixon Popular Vote: 34,107,646

"New Frontier"

  • Increased patriotism
  • Proposal of the Peace Corps
  • Despised by Southern Democrats and Republicans
  • Revitalizing the economy
  • Curb inflation
  • Cut taxes
  • More money to private hands
  • Land an American on the moon

The Cold War

"Flexible Response"

  • African Congo received independence from Belgium and became violent and...
  • Laos received independence from France and became violent therefore...
  • Secretary Robert McNamara
  • Developing many military options
  • Any could match the necessities of the crisis
  • Increase of spending on military forces
  • Lowered the level at which diplomacy would give way to shooting
  • Mechanism for a progressive stepping-up of the use of force

Kennedy and Vietnam


  • Used "flexible response"
  • Increased "military advisors" in South Vietnam to protect Diem from the communists
  • Political disintegration
  • Ordered more than 15,000 American men into Vietnam

Kennedy and Cuba


  • Alliance for Progress (Marshall Plan for Latin America)
  • Help Latin American countries rid the gap between rich and poor
  • Stopped communist agitation
  • Not very successful

April 17, 1961

  • Exiles came to Cuba's Bay of Pigs, but forced to surrender
  • Plan to overthrow Fidel Castro in Cuba
  • Kennedy against direct intervention
  • Failed
  • Failure caused Castro to be liked more by Soviets

October 1962

  • Nuclear missiles in Cuba installed by Soviets
  • Kennedy declined air force for bombing against missiles
  • Kennedy orders naval "quarantine"
  • Demanded immediate removal of weapons

October 28, 1962

  • Khrushchev compromises
  • Pulls out missiles in Cuba
  • Kennedy agrees to compromise also


  • Prohibition trial of nuclear explosions signed
  • Kennedy prompts Americans to not look at USSR negatively
  • Peaceful coexistence

Berlin Crisis/Berlin Wall

  • One of the most intense face offs of the Cold War
  • Khrushchev did not take Kennedy seriously
  • Threatened to limit U.S. access to Berlin
  • Kennedy called Army Reserves and National Guard to protect Berlin
  • Soviets build the Berlin Wall (tore families apart and stopped economic exchange)
  • Divided German city into East and West Berlin (showed USSR's power)
  • Kennedy gave speech to Berlin
Big image

"Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a will up to keep our people in, to prevent them from leaving us" -John F. Kennedy

Civil Rights

Black Vote

  • Gained black vote that he would pass civil rights legislation
  • Freedom Riders in the South
  • End segregation in facilities for interstate bus passengers
  • White mob attacked Freedom Ride Bus
  • Good relationship between Kings and Kennedys


  • Voter Education Project
  • Register South's historically disfranchised blacks
  • MLK's campaign against discrimination in Birmingham (very segregated)
  • Stopped by dogs and high-pressure water hoses

*Kennedy was dedicated to solving racial problems

  • "March on Washington": new civil rights legislation led by Kennedy

Kennedy's Assassination

November 22, 1963

  • Dallas, Texas
  • Drum up support for the election of 1964
  • Lee Harvey Oswald
  • Pronounced dead at Parkland hospital
  • Oswald was killed by self-appointed avenger, Jack Ruby
  • Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was brought into office