Kennedy In Office

1960-1963

Election of Kennedy

when, what party he belonged to, how close was the election, etc… The New Frontier

  • John F. Kennedy ran in the election of 1960 as a Democrat against former vice-president Nixon
  • the Nixon-Kennedy debates were four televised debates; watched by over 60 million people; Kennedy held his own
  • Kennedy supported the New Frontier, the countries full potential
  • electoral vote: Kennedy won 303 to 219
  • popular vote: incredibly close, margin of only 118,574
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THe Cold War

“Flexible Response,” Kennedy and Vietnam, Cuba, Berlin Crisis and construction of the Berlin Wall

  • construction of the Berlin Wall started in August 1961
  • adopted "flexible response"- developing multiple military options that the US could use depending on how severe the situation is
  • Kennedy in Vietnam included sending more "military advisers", U.S. troops, in late 1961; US supported an overthrow of their current leader, Diem; 15,000 Americans in Asia
  • Kennedy attempted to indirectly overthrow Fidel Castro by utilizing anti-Castoites to return to Cuba and begin a revolution in the Bay of Pigs but it quickly failed
  • Khrushchev then placed nuclear-tipped missiles in Cuba, 90 miles away from Florida
  • The next week was later called the Cuban missile crisis; the US and Cuba played "nuclear chicken" because the US would retaliate on the USSR should they strike from Cuba; Khrushchev finally backed down thus humiliating himself to his country

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Kennedy and Civil Rights

  • An anti-Freedom Ride riot in Montgomery ended w/ the Attorney Generals personal representative beaten unconscious; Southern government refused to help aid the Freedom Riders
  • Kennedy backed the SNCC that inaugurated a Voter Education Project to register the otherwise restricted blacks in the South
  • committed to desegregating universities, as was proven by the 3000 troops Kennedy was willing to use in order to enroll black former air force veteran James Meredith into the University of Mississippi
  • After peaceful civil rights demonstrators were horrifyingly swept away with firehoses and attacked by police dogs, Kennedy made a memorable speech in which he was committed to finding a solution
  • MLK Jr. led 200,000 black and white demonstrators in the peaceful "March on Washington" to show they support of his new legislation; August, 1963
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Kennedy's assassination


  • assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald
  • November 22, 1963
  • Kennedy was riding in an open limousine in Dallas, TX when shot by the rifleman
  • Oswald was then killed by Jack Ruby, a self-appointed avenger
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