John F. Kennedy

35th President of USA (1960-1963)

Presidential Election

  • John F. Kennedy (Democrat) v. Richard Nixon (Republican)
  • Kennedy won with 303 electoral votes and 34,226,731 popular votes
  • Main opponent - 219 electoral votes, 34,108,157 popular votes
  • Vice president - Lyndon B. Johnson

Cold War

  • Kennedy met with Khrushchev in August 1961 to build trust, but failed and caused more tension between the U.S. and U.S.S.R.
  • American U-2 plane discovered secret missiles in Cuba, makes agreement with Soviets to remove missiles from Turkey if they do the same with missles in Cuba after Cuban Missile Crisis in Oct. 1962
  • Kennedy visited Berlin, Germany a second time in summer of 1963 and gave his famous "Let Them Come to Berlin" speech
  • President Kennedy and Defense Secretary McNamara created idea of "flexible response." multiple military options to fit the needs of each situation for the African Congo
  • American troops originally wanted to provide aid to Vietnam, but encouraged a coup against Vietnamese leader Diem by Nov. 1963
  • Policy was created to encourage segregation of politics, but resulted in the exact opposite

Civil Rights

  • very vocal about his support for blacks and ending racial discrimination
  • support from the south was necessary to implement his economic and political agenda
  • Groups, such as Freedom Riders, began leading events, and soon needed protection from the federal government
  • Kennedy supported civil rights for all races

Kennedy's Assassination

  • November 22, 1963
  • shot on Nov. 22, 1963 while riding a limousine through downtown Dallas, TX
  • assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, who was then killed by Jack Ruby
  • Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as soon as possible on an airplane waiting to go back to the capital