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The Tumultuous Sixties

The Tumultuous Sixties . Unit 6 – 1960-1968. John F. Kennedy. Democrat from Massachusetts WWII vet (saved his crew in 1943) House of Rep. (1946-1952) Senate (1952-1960) Liberal, blue-collar views Avoided controversial issues (Civil Rights, McCarthy) The image

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The Tumultuous Sixties

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  1. The Tumultuous Sixties Unit 6 – 1960-1968

  2. John F. Kennedy • Democrat from Massachusetts • WWII vet (saved his crew in 1943) • House of Rep. (1946-1952) • Senate (1952-1960) • Liberal, blue-collar views • Avoided controversial issues (Civil Rights, McCarthy) • The image • Family man, physically fit, “Camelot” • The Reality? • Womanizer, diagnosed with Addison’s disease

  3. Election of 1960

  4. Election of 1960 • John F. Kennedy (D – Mass.) vs. Richard Nixon (R – Cal.) • Issues - Kennedy • Kennedy was Catholic • Young • Issues – Nixon • Nixon was VP for Ike • Had to deal with answering for U2 crisis, poor economic figures) • Ike gave Nixon only a “tepid endorsement” • Kennedy/Nixon Debates

  5. The New Frontier “We stand today on the edge of a New Frontier -— the frontier of the 1960's, the frontier of unknown opportunities and perils, the frontier of unfilled hopes and unfilled threats. ... Beyond that frontier are uncharted areas of science and space, unsolved problems of peace and war, unconquered problems of ignorance and prejudice, unanswered questions of poverty and surplus.” - John F. Kennedy, 1960 Democratic Convention

  6. The New Frontier • Became the moniker for the Kennedy admin’s domestic and foreign policies • Goals? • Top priority was waging Cold War • Criticized Ike’s foreign policy as unimaginative, hurt our standing w/ Third World • Domestic goals • Fight poverty, guaranteed healthcare to the elderly, improve schools

  7. The Space Race • April 12, 1961 – Yuri Gagarin (USSR) becomes first man in space • Alan Shepard first U.S. man in space 3 weeks later • May 25, 1961 – Kennedy makes a speech to Congress • “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth”

  8. JFK and Foreign Policy 1961-1963

  9. Foreign Policy Approach • More “cautious and pragmatic” than his predecessors • Was willing to initiate dialog with the Soviets • Alliance for Progress • “Peaceful revolution” • Multi-billion dollar program, designed to spur growth in Latin America • Peace Corps • Success? • Partially, but overall growth in Latin America stagnated and many countries resented “meddling”

  10. Foreign Crises • Bay of Pigs • Planned by Eisenhower admin; executed by Kennedy on April 17, 1961 • CIA-trained Cuban exiles attempted to overthrow Castro in Cuba • Colossal failure • No Cubans rose up in rebellion • Most exiles were either killed or captured • CIA’s role became public knowledge

  11. Foreign Crises • The Berlin Problem • Khrushchev demanded an end to western occupation of W. Germany and W. Berlin • Kennedy refused • Berlin Wall • Built in August 1961 • Meant to stop people from fleeing from East Berlin to West

  12. Cuban Missile Crisis • Khrushchev and Castro believe U.S. invasion of Cuba is imminent • S.U. (secretly) places nuclear missiles in Cuba • Khrushchev believed this would: • Force Kennedy to resolve the German problem • Improve the nuclear “balance of power” • Preempt the U.S. placing nukes in W. Germany • October 1962 – U2 spy plane photographs the missile sites

  13. Cuban Missile Crisis • October 22: Kennedy addressed the nation • At the same time, naval blockade of Cuban was initiated • Khrushchev refused to remove missiles, unless U.S. pledged: • Never to attack Cuba • To remove nuclear missiles from Turkey • October 28: deal was finally reached • U.S. – pledges not to invade Cuba, (secretly) remove missiles from Turkey • S.U. – removed missiles from Cuba

  14. Adlai Stevenson showing missile sites to UN, October 25, 1962

  15. ExComm (Executive Committee) meeting during the crisis

  16. Aftermath • Both nations were rattled after the Cuban Missile Crisis • “Hot Line” installed • Both Kennedy and Khrushchev took steps towards bilateral relations • “One could argue that, by the autumn of 1963, the Cold War in Europe was drawing to a close.” • Arms race and Space Race continued • U.S. continued to fight the spread of communism

  17. Legacy of Kennedy’s Foreign Policy • Critics charged… • Alliance for Progress was mostly a failure • Bay of Pigs was a disaster • Cuban Missile Crisis was closest world had come to war • Critics charged it had been started by his anti-Cuban stance • Arms race continued • Proponents argue… • Alliance for Progress spread U.S. ideals • The Soviet/American relationship had improved greatly by late 1963 • War with Soviets had been averted • Handling of Cuban Missile Crisis was Kennedy’s finest hour

  18. Kennedy’s Assassination • November 22, 1963 – Visiting Dallas to meet with civic leaders of the city • LBJ’s home state • Riding in open-top limousine • Shot in the head at 12:30pm • Was rushed to the hospital, pronounced dead at 1:00pm • Announced live to the nation by Walter Cronkite

  19. Kennedy’s Assassination • Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested as the suspect later that day • Former marine (dishonorably discharged), defected to the USSR, came back to the U.S. • Oswald was shot on live TV by Jack Ruby • Ruby claimed he was upset at Oswald for assassinating Kennedy • But was there a larger conspiracy….? • Warren Commission – Oswald acted alone

  20. Kennedy’s Legacy • 46 when killed • Remembered more for his inspirational rhetoric, and the romance he brought to political life • Many will say that the “age of innocence” that existed post-WWII died with Kennedy • 1960-1963 are really an extension of the “Happy Days” of the 50’s • Lyndon B. Johnson will use Kennedy’s memory to push through the most ambitious program of reforms since the Great Depression

  21. The Civil Rights Movement 1960-1964

  22. Marching for Freedom • Sit-ins • February 1, 1960: four black college students sit at an all-white lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina • Movement spreads • Within 1 year, more than 70,000 had participated in a sit-in • SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) • CORE (Congress of Racial Equality)

  23. Freedom Riders • 1,500 bus trip from Washington D.C. to New Orleans • Meant to show that, despite Supreme Court’s rulings, segregation still ruled in South • Violently attacked multiple times • Kennedy’s actions • Sent federal marshals to protect Freedom Riders in Alabama • Allowed Freedom Riders to be arrested in Mississippi, bowing to white Southern pressure

  24. Kennedy and Civil Rights • Generally sympathetic to C.R. movement • Realized it hurt America’s image in Cold War • Also realized he needed conservative white Democrats • James Meredith • First black student at Ole Miss • Kennedy sent 500 federal troops to protect him • Attacked by white mob • 2 killed

  25. Birmingham • Flashpoint for the Civil Rights movement • The “Children’s Crusade” • MLK and parents of Birmingham put about 1,000 black children at the front of a march (May 2, 1963) • Police used fire hoses and dogs to break up the march • Was televised • Kennedy was forced to act • Demanded a settlement; was a complete victory for MLK

  26. Kennedy’s Address • In response to Governor Wallace refusing to desegregate U. of Alabama • A few hours after the speech, Medgar Evers, a civil rights activist, was murdered in his driveway in Mississippi • The next week, Kennedy asked for a comprehensive civil rights bill • This was a turning point in Kennedy’s commitment to the C.R. movement

  27. March on Washington • Over 250,000 people • There to support Kennedy’s C.R. bill • Behind the scenes the movement was beginning to splinter • SNCC thought CR bill was too little, too late • MLK urged moderation • “I Have a Dream” speech

  28. Freedom Summer • Over 1,000 white and black volunteers • Voter registration in Mississippi • June 21 – James Cheney, Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman were murdered • Walter Cronkite focused attention on Mississippi

  29. The Great Society

  30. Lyndon Baines Johnson • Very different from Kennedy • From Texas, raised of modest means, “colorful” language • Would often bully people around • Served as Senate majority leader from 1954-1960 • Became adept at making back-room deals • Old New Deal Liberal • Believed government must work actively to improve the lives of its citizens

  31. Civil Rights Under Johnson • Civil Rights Act of 1964 • Ended legal discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, and sex in federal programs, voting, employment, and public accommodations • Made the election of 1964 very controversial • Many felt like it was not the government’s job to end racial discrimination or end poverty

  32. Election of 1964 • LBJ (D) v. Barry Goldwater (R – Arizona) • Goldwater championed conservative vision • Opposed CR Act of 1964, as well as Social Security • Believed America needed to reassert its military power • Suggested U.S. should use tactical nuclear weapons against its enemies • “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice” • Daisy Ad

  33. Election of 1964 • Democratic Convention of 1964 • Two delegations showed up from Mississippi • One exclusively white, one racially mixed • Johnson tried to broker a compromise, but it didn’t work • White delegation was seated; Johnson lost the Deep South to the Republicans • Still, Johnson won the election by a landslide

  34. Reasons? - JFK’s legacy - Unemployment below 4% - Economy was growing at 6% - Civil Rights Act of 1964

  35. Civil Rights in the Spotlight • March 6, 1965: protestors in Selma, Alabama are attacked by police with electric cattle prods, tear gas, and chains • March 15, 1965: LBJ asks congress to pass the Voting Rights Act • Outlawed practices which had kept blacks from voting in the South • Poll taxes, literacy tests

  36. War on Poverty • Primary initiative of the Great Society • Johnson administration believed it was possible to eradicate poverty completely • Focus: • Education – Head Start (elementary), Upward Bound (high school), Job Corps (young adults) • Urban areas – Model Cities (federal funds for education, housing etc.), Community Actions Programs (funds to organize at the grassroots level) • Economic Safeguards – Medicare (65+) and Medicaid (poor)

  37. War on Poverty • Controversial • Leftists – Too little • Conservatives – Creating a “dependency state” • Programs were vastly underfunded, poorly implemented • Historical judgment? • Mixed success • Improve quality of housing and education, increased spending on Social Security, healthcare, welfare, and education • Did little to actually address the root causes of poverty, economic growth was more responsible for declining poverty than G.S. • Also got lost once Vietnam expanded

  38. Achievements of the Great Society Source: A People & A Nation, p.870

  39. LBJ and Vietnam 1964-1968

  40. The French in Vietnam • 1880s – France establishes control in Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia) • 1930s – Ho Chi Minh • Established Communist party in Vietnam • Leads revolts against French; fails and flees • 1940 – Japan takes control of Vietnam • 1945 – France attempts to reestablish control in Vietnam

  41. French Indochina War • Ho Chi Minh declares Vietnam free • France fights from South • U.S. – enters in 1950 • 1954 – French defeated • Geneva Accords • Elections in 1956 • Enter: Ngo Dinh Diem • Refused to participate in 1956 election

  42. Vietcong • Communist opposition in South • Kennedy (1961) – increased aid to Diem • May 1961: 400 Green Berets sent to train South Vietnamese • By 1963, Diem assassinated • Lost support in Vietnam • Persecuted Buddhism

  43. Gulf of Tonkin • USS Maddox • Fired on by N. Vietnamese patrol ship • Returned fire; 2 separate events • LBJ asked for Congressional support to fight N. Vietnamese • Only 2 senators voted against • June 1965: 50,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam • End of 1965 – 180,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam • Why? • Containment • Fighting Communism • Domino Theory

  44. The War in Vietnam • Escalates rapidly • End of 1966: 385,000 troops • 1968: 536,100 troops • Almost all U.S. allies were against escalation • LBJ feared failure, from a personal and political standpoint • Working-class war • College deferment • 80% of soldiers in Vietnam were lower-middle class or poorer

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