|John F. Kennedy through Nixon Review
1960 election- John Kennedy narrowly defeated Richard Nixon; the televised debates helped JFK win “Ask not what your country..”- famous quote from JFK’s inaugural address that encouraged Americans to volunteer (Peace Corps etc.)
New Frontier- JFK’s domestic agenda for the United States. He made changes in the Social Security System, fought poverty, fought racial discrimination and spurred the space race. The New Frontier sought to improve economy, education, healthcare and civil rights in the United States. He pushed for improvements in the welfare system, an extension of social security and an increased minimum wage.
The Other America was a best-selling book by Michael Harrington that exposed the graphic poverty in America. This booked shocked President Kennedy and other politicians, such as VP Lyndon Johnson.
Equal Pay Act-there was a glaring difference between the pay of men and women who had "equal jobs." The Equal Pay Act of 1963 required employers have "equal pay" for "equal work" in commerce industries. This was a a major step on the road to fair and equal employment.
Deficit spending-Kennedy advocated deficit spending to stimulate the economy. (EX FDR Pump Priming)
Space race- JFK challenged Americans to have a man on the moon and have him safely return by the end of the decade. The Space Race was a term used to describe the competition between the Soviet Union and the United States to develop technology to land on the moon.
Alan Sheppard 1961 becomes the first American to make a space flight.
John Glenn 1962 becomes the first American to orbit the Earth.
In 1967 Apollo mission has 3 astronauts killed due to fire.
Apollo 11 astronauts successfully land on the moon July 1969.
Third World countries- also known as underdeveloped countries or developing countries; poor countries (most of Africa, parts of Mexico and China, SE Asian countries) where we feared communism could spread; the US developed the Peace Corps and Alliance for Progress to combat poverty in these areas while also hoping to contain the spread of communism
Green Berets- special forces in the Army trained in guerilla warfare
Peace Corps- organization created in 1961 to sends volunteers to Third World countries to help these areas fight poverty and receive basic services like clean drinking water, basic medical care, education, technical assistance , etc. The Peace Corp were on "missions of freedom" to support developing countries.
Alliance for Progress- the US gave Latin American countries millions of $ in exchange for the promise that the countries would have democratic governments; few, if any, countries kept their promise. This was to resurrect FDR's Good Neighbor Policy.
Flexible Response Doctrine: this was a defense policy that prepared the United States to fight any type of war. Kennedy gave increased funding to the military, as well as the Special Forces, such as Green Berets. This was partially as a response to Fidel Castro taking power in Cuba.
Bay of Pigs- April 17,1961 John F. Kennedy implemented a CIA plan to free Cuban exiles. The CIA led the Cuban exiles in an attack on Cuba. The forces landed poorly equipped and had no cover. 300 out of 1400 were not captured by Cuba. This failed attempt by the US to overthrow Cuban dictator Fidel Castro only strengthened his hold and John Kennedy looked "foolish."
Berlin Wall- 1961; built by the Soviets to keep East Berliners (communist controlled) from fleeing to West Berlin (not communist); stood until 1989
Nikita Khrushchev-leader of the Soviet Union
Cuban Missile Crisis- 1962; Soviet response to the Bay of Pigs; Soviets were building missile sites in Cuba when they were discovered by the US; JFK’s response was a naval blockade around Cuba; Soviet ships turned around and headed home; the closest the world has ever come to nuclear war JFK’s assassination- JFK was shot by
Hotline: Khrushchev and Kennedy stood on the brink of a nuclear war. To prevent a war and to calm "cold war" tensions a temporary phone line was placed between Washington DC and Moscow to improve communication.
Nuclear Test Ban Treaty 1963- USA, Great Britain and USSR signed the first agreement to limit above ground test on nuclear weapons. 36 other nations eventually signed this treaty.
John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 while in Dallas, Texas. Lee Harvey Oswald was at the Texas School Book Depository and fired three shots. The third shot hit Kennedy in the back of the head and killed him. 30 minutes later Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as President of the United States. Lee Harvey Oswald was jailed and killed while in police custody. Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby when police officers were escorting him to a different jail; the Warren Commission was established to investigate the assassination and found that Oswald acted alone in killing JFK.
Gideon vs. Wainwright 1963 was a Supreme Court case that dealt with "can a person get a fair trial."Gideon was charged with burglary but was to poor to hire an attorney. The case went forward and Gideon defended himself and was found guilty. Gideon claimed he had been denied his rights to an attorney and this violated his due process. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Florida should have provided him an attorney.
War on Poverty- President Lyndon Johnson’s plan to eliminate or reduce poverty in the US. He had taught school before politics and was determine to address poverty of the United States. He created change in American educational systems.
Head Start- pre-kindergarten program for low income children that will give them a “head start” with their education so they won’t enter school at an educational disadvantage. This was a program enacted by President Johnson.
Great Society- Lyndon Johnson’s (LBJ’s) domestic agenda that included Medicare (government subsidized health care for the elderly), Medicaid (govt. subsidized health care for low income families), Elem. and Sec. Education Act (gave millions of $ to poor areas for schools), and HUD (Housing and Urban Development)
Economic Opportunity Act of 1964-created the Job Corps to train young men and women between the ages of 16 and 21 in work skills they needed to acquire better jobs and move out of poverty.
Medicare - this was a feature of the Great Society that provided basic hospital insurance for Americans in the Social Security System who were 65 and older
Medicaid- this was a feature of the Great Society that provided basic hospital insurance services to the poor and disabled citizens who were NOT part of the Social Security System.
Elementary and Secondary Education Act 1965- this part of the Great Society gave aid to schools that were in poor communities. It provided federal funds to improve libraries, learning centers, language laboratories, and services in impoverished school districts across America. This act drastically increased funding for Indian, inner city and Mexican-American schools.
Rachel Carson and Silent Spring 1962- Silent Spring was a book written by Rachel Carson that detailed how chemical fertilizers and pesticides were damaging the fragile ecosystem. Her book raised American awareness about the environmental and consumer problems. Ralph Nadar's book Unsafe at Any Speed was written in 1965 and attacked the automotive industries in their lack of passenger safety.
Both Raplh Nadar and Rachel Carson's books urged Congress to pass legislation to protect consumers and the environment. The Water Quality Act 1965 and Clean Water Restoration Act 1966 aimed at improving water and air standards in our country. The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act 1966 established safety standards for automotive vehicles.
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 altered America's quota system. Once again America's doors were open to immigrants from around the world. Immigrants came from the eastern and western hemispheres, Latin America, Asia, etc.
The Warren Court-- became the term tagged to the "liberal" United States Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren. This court took on controversial issues such as religion, social and political issues. It's decisions supported civil rights, civil liberties, voting rights and personal privacy.
The following important Supreme Court Cases from the Warren Court:
1. Baker vs. Carr 1962-the Supreme Court ruled in favor of
reapportionment on the basis of "one man one vote." Electoral
districts had to reflect the numbers of people within those districts.
2. Reynolds vs. Sims 1964- the Court reaffirmed its decision adding that
anything other that the "one man one vote" would violate the "Equal
Protection Clause" of the 14th Amendment.
3. Mapp vs. Ohio 1961-this ruling stated that any evidence obtained
"illegally" would violate the 14th Amendment and could not be used in
court. This ruling was a "protection of the rights of the accused."
4. Gideon vs. Wainwright 1963-established that everyone had a "right" to
any attorney even if they could not pay for one (14th Amendment)
5. Escobedo vs. Illinois 1964-this expanded the Gideon ruling by stating
that the accused had a right to an attorney before questioning and any
evidence obtained from a suspect who had not been advised of his
rights would not be admissible in court.
Warren Court Rulings considered Liberal for 1960's:
6. Miranda vs. Arizona 1966-the court ruled that the accused criminal
had to be informed of his/her 5th and 6th Amendment rights before
they are questioned. Miranda Rights: you have the right to remain
silent, you have the right to an attorney, etc.
7. Engle vs. Vitale 1962-this case dealt with whether a public school could
require students to recite a state-sanctioned prayer. The Court ruled
that school prayer was a violation of the First Amendment and a
attempt by a body of government to promote religion.
8. Abington vs. Schempp ruled that Bible reading in public schools also
violated the First Amendment rights.
United Farm Workers and Cesar Chavez- Hispanic American Cesar Chavez led a successful strike of migrant workers out west in the 60’s
American Indian Movement (AIM) and occupation of Alcatraz- American Indians formed AIM and fought to regain land that had been taken from their ancestors by the government; AIM occupied Alcatraz and offered to buy it with some beads and cloth (early settlers bought Manhattan Island from the local Indians with beads and cloth)
National Organization for Women (NOW)- feminist organization founded by Betty Friedan (author of Feminine Mystique) and Gloria Steinam; fought for women’s rights and the Equal Rights Amendment which did not pass
Some Civil Rights Highlights from 1960's:
Greensboro and Nashville sit-ins- SNCC and other groups fought to integrate downtown lunch counters by staging sit-ins; they sat quietly and were refused service… they continued to sit peacefully and were beaten/arrested
Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee- SNCC; college age students who organized non-violent protests
Freedom Riders- civil rights workers who hoped to integrate bus terminals; they rode buses from city to city in the South and often faced fierce crowds when they arrived at their destinations
Bull Conner and Birmingham- Racist police commissioner of Birmingham, AL who ordered the police/firefighters to use dogs and fire hoses on children during a protest; it was videoed and shown world wide on news stations; Birmingham was known as “Bombingham” due to the number of bombs used and violent acts that occurred
March on Washington- 1963; largest march in DC at that time with 250,000 marchers; purpose was to draw attention to the Civil Rights Act that was before Congress; MLK gave his “I Have A Dream” speech
Civil Rights Act of 1964- signed by Lyndon Johnson that outlawed discrimination in public facilities; ex. no more separate restrooms, water fountains, restaurants, etc.
Medgar Evers- state leader of the NAACP in MS; murdered in his driveway by Byron De La Beckwith in 1963; had organized successful boycotts in Jackson, MS
James Meredith- first African American to enroll at the University of MS (Ole Miss); violent protests occurred
Ms Freedom Democratic Party- new political party formed that allowed all races to represent the state at the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City in 1964; the National Committee refused to recognize the MFDP and offered them two seats at large at the convention; the MFDP refused them and left Fannie Lou Hamer- MFDP delegate who was very critical of the Democratic party for not recognizing the MFDP and her speech was nationally televised
Ms Summer Project or Freedom Summer- organized by the NAACP to recruit volunteers from across the country to come to MS in the summer of 1964 and help register African Americans to vote; local police arrested 3 volunteers and their bodies were recovered months later in an earthen dam; inspired the movie “MS Burning”
Selma March- 1965; purpose was to draw attention to the lack of voting rights for African Americans; the first march ended as state troopers on horseback stopped protestors on the outskirts of Selma; troopers used tear gas on the peaceful protestors; the second march was successful because the president ordered the state troopers to protect the marchers
Voting Rights Act of 1965- signed by Lyndon Johnson and allowed the federal govt. to supervise voting in the south; eliminated all barriers to voting (poll tax, literacy tests, etc.)
Malcolm X- civil rights leader who was impatient with the slow progress that had been made and believed that African Americans should fight “eye for an eye” for their rights; did not want to integrate into the white man’s society
MLK Assassination- shot on the balcony of a hotel in Memphis, TN in 1968; was in Memphis to help a group of garbage workers who were on strike
Vietnam War Key Terms that impacted culture:
Domino Theory- belief that if one country in SE Asia fell to communism others would follow; would fall like dominoes
Gulf of Tonkin incident- an American ship was supposedly fired upon by the North Vietnamese; this led Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that allowed LBJ to take “any necessary measures” to protect Americans in Vietnam (gave him unlimited powers in escalating the war)
Ho Chi Minh Trail- supply route of the Vietcong that went into neighboring Laos and Cambodia
Guerilla Warfare- type of fighting used in the jungle; sneak attacks, ambushes, man to man combat
Napalm/agent orange- chemicals used to kill vegetation so that the VC could not hide
“Five O’clock War”- also called the “Six O’clock war” depending on your time zone; name given to the war because Americans could go home and watch footage of the war every night on the evening news; first war to be “televised”
Hawks and doves- hawks supported the war and doves wanted peace. The HAWKS support President Johnson's war policies and believed strongly in containing communism and domino theory regardless of war cost and casualties. The DOVES broke with President Johnson's war policies. The DOVES were a group of pacifist, liberal politicians, student radicals, and civil rights leaders. DOVES questioned the war both on moral grounds and strategic grounds.
Draftees were young men who were drafted to serve in the Vietnam War. The Selective Service System required young men to register when they turned 18. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out against the use of the Selective Service System stating that in put the burden on African American and poor whites shoulders.
Lottery System- new method of drafting soldiers based on their birthday; all 366 days of the year were put into the “hat” and drawn; young men were drafted in the order in which their birthday was pulled .
My Lai Massacre- tragedy where American soldiers killed over 200 innocent Vietnamese after they had been given false info that the My Lai village was a Vietcong stronghold; this angered Americans and fueled protests at home
Tet Offensive- 1968; major offensive by the VC where they attacked numerous key cities/ locations on the same day ( ex. US embassy in Saigon); huge embarrassment to the US and had an enormous negative impact on public opinion.
The Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)was founded in 1960 at the University of Michigan. This group was originally formed around a campaign to fight racism and poverty. The focus modified and they started to fight to bring an end to the Vietnam War. The SDS organized "sit-ins" and "demonstrations" against the war. They started the Famous" Hell No We Won't Go" protest. The University at Berkley had numbers of student protest.
Credibility Gap- due to TV coverage of the war, HAWKS and DOVES protest, student demonstrations and organized protest there became a credibility gap between what Lyndon B. Johnson Administrations statements made regarding the war. The gap widened when journalist were writing different accounts from what the Johnson Administration actually stated. This caused the American people to stop supporting the war effort. President Johnson steps down and decides to not run for reelection in 1968.
presidential elections- 1964: Lyndon Baines Johnson won;
1968 election Richard Nixon won (LBJ didn’t run for re-election);
1972: Nixon won by a landslide b/c he was withdrawing troops
The 1968 election- Lyndon Johnson elects to not run. Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy both sought the Democratic Seat as candidate to replace President Johnson. Robert Kennedy is killed in 1968. Martin L. King Jr. was killed in 1968. King was shot in TN by a racist. Robert Kennedy was killed by a Palestinian immigrant named Sirhan Sirhan in California. The Democratic National Convention did not select Eugene McCarthy as their candidate. He had received campaign donations from "anti-war" protestors. The Democratic Party voted for Herbert Humphrey to be the candidate to run against Richard Milhouse Nixon for President.
As soon as votes were cast for Humphrey violence broke out in Chicaago where the delegates where meeting. The Mayor of Chicago had to call in police.
Chicago Riot- war protestors gathered outside the Democratic National Convention and began throwing rocks, taunting police, chanting; protestors were “attacked” by police and arrested; televised world-wide.
Richard Nixon (republican) wins the presidential election of 1968. He called his supporters the "silent majority." The Silent Majority were especially strong in the south and west. They were patriotic veterans of World War II and the Korean War. They were also blue-collar workers, middle-class, conservatives and young Americans.
Nixon brings an end to the Vietnam War. He starts a plan called Vietnamization allowing U.S. forces to withdraw as the ARVN assumed more combat duties. Nixon order a secret bombing of the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Cambodia. He was trying to reduce the flow of communist and help South Vietnam end the war. Nixon had inherited LBJ's unpopularity of the war and a vocal America. +
Kent State and Jackson State protests-
(1) Kent State antiwar protestors argued that Nixon was widening the scope of the war in Cambodia. Demonstrations and protest erupted across the college and the National Guard was called in. Demonstrators threw rocks and bottles at the National Guard and violent erupted. One guardsmen also fired into a group of protestors killing 4 students. This demonstration led to demonstrations on other campuses.
(2) Jackson State University, a traditionally African American College in MS, had eruptions of student protest. Two students were shot and killed by Jackson police.
Pentagon Papers- classified documents stolen by Daniel Ellsberg from the Pentagon that contained top secret information about our early involvement in Vietnam; Nixon tried to stop the NY Times from publishing them but the Supreme Court sided with the Times right to “free press”
Plumbers- group formed in the Nixon White House to “stop leaks”; Nixon wanted to prevent another Pentagon Papers incident
26th amendment- changed the voting age from 21 to 18; Americans argued that if you could fight and die for your country then you should be able to vote (Vietnam)
Fall of Saigon- communist in North Vietnam took control over South Vietnam
War Powers Act- passed by Congress over Nixon’s veto to “prevent another Vietnam”; limits the number of days soldiers can be deployed without a Congressional declaration of war.
Deployed free press draft Ideology
Congress veto time zone Domestic
Mass Media classified National Security political party
Push/Pull Factors Retaliation guerilla warfare civil rights
non-violent protest sit-in boycott riot
assassination first world nation second world nation commerce
third world nations ecosystem Eastern Hemisphere
Western hemisphere Reapportionment
Equal Protection Clause