President Kennedy

Anvita Devineni - Furnish - 1

Election of John F. Kennedy

Date of Election: November 9th, 1960


Political Party: Democratic


Election Details:


  • the election was close
  • Kennedy had 303 electoral votes with 34,220,984 popular votes
  • Republican candidate Nixon had 219 electoral votes with 34,108,157
  • Kennedy gained since there was an economic recession
  • He also had the advantage of 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

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

The Cold War

Flexible Response (ID)


  • a buildup of conventional troops and weapons to allow a nation to fight a limited war without using nuclear weapons
  • defense strategy implemented by Kennedy in 1961
  • address the Kennedy administration's skepticism of Dwight Eisenhower's New Look and its policy of Massive Retaliation


Kennedy and Vietnam



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



Kennedy and Cuba


Cuban Missile Crisis (ID)


  • October 1962 - American U-2 spy plan photographed Soviet nuclear missiles being built on Cuba
  • Kennedy didn't want Soviet Union and Cuba to know he discovered them
  • met in secret with advisors
  • decided to place a naval blockade (ring of ships) around cuba
  • "quarantine" to prevent Soviets from bringing in more supplies
  • incident where Soviet missiles were
  • Bay of Pigs (ID) - 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


  • made of concrete and barbed wire
  • 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

The Ongoing Struggle

  • JFK gained the black population's vote 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.) (ID) 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 (ID) - outlawed segregation of public accommodations

  • established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to enforce the law
  • made the federal government responsible for finding instances of discrimination
  • made illegal discrimination based on race, religion, ethnic origin, or gender
  • did not effectively address problems with voting rights

Kennedy's Assasination

November 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