Election of 1960
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Election of 1960. Eisenhower was not able to transfer his popularity to another Republican His VP, Richard Nixon, had gained a reputation as a statesman in his diplomatic travels to Europe and South America.

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Election of 1960

  • Eisenhower was not able to transfer his popularity to another Republican

  • His VP, Richard Nixon, had gained a reputation as a statesman in his diplomatic travels to Europe and South America

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He was seen standing up to Nikita Khrushchev in the “kitchen debate” in a visit to Moscow

The Republican candidate was known to be a though and seasoned campaigner

Election of 1960

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Many Democrats wanted to nominate Adlai Stevenson again or Lyndon B. Johnson

In the primaries, John F. Kennedy defeated his rivals

Election of 1960

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To balance the ticket, MA senator Kennedy chose L.B. Johnson from TX - a choice crucial to getting the southern states

Election of 1960

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Four televised debates took place, the first in American politics

Kennedy used make-up and appeared vigorous and comfortable

Nixon looked sinister, pale and tense

The Debates

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Kennedy attacked the Eisenhower administration for debates

The recent recession

Losing the arms race to the Soviets

A losing gap in the space race - not true by 1960

The Debates

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When polled after the debates, the majority of people who listened to the debates on the radio, said Nixon won

Those who watched on TV thought Kennedy won

Appearances make a difference

The Debates

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Kennedy won by a little over 100,000 votes but a wider electoral college margin 303-219

Republicans charged Democrats of stuffing ballot boxes with “votes” of deceased people

The Results

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Election of 1960 electoral college margin 303-219

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Kennedy was the youngest candidate to ever be elected president

Kennedy spoke of “the torch being passed to a new generation” and promised to lead the nation to a “New Frontier”

Domestic Policy

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JFK moved to the White House with the first lady, Jackie. to ever be elected president

She brought style, glamour and an appreciation of the arts

The press loved the Kennedys and referred to their administration as Camelot and the Court of King Arthur


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Kennedy called for aid to education, health care, urban renewal and civil rights

Some of them became law in his 1,000 day administration, most were passed on to LBJ

New Frontier Programs

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With his lack of progress domestically, JFK turned to foreign policy issues

1961 – Peace Corps

Foreign Policy

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JFK approved the CIA use of Cuban exiles to overthrow Fidel Castro’s regime in Cuba

In April 1961, the CIA trained exiles landed at the Bay of Pigs

It failed to set off a general uprising

Bay of Pigs Invasion, 1961

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The exiles, trapped on the beach, had no choice but to surrender after JFK rejected the idea of using US forces to save them

Castro used the invasion to get more aid from the Soviet Union

Bay of Pigs Invasion, 1961

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The Bay of Pigs invasion will be remembered as JFK’s biggest mistake in his administration

Bay of Pigs Invasion, 1961

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JFK agreed to meet with Khrushchev in Vienna in 1961 biggest mistake in his administration

Khrushchev took the occasion to threaten the US, renewing demands that US troops be pulled from Berlin

Berlin Wall

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In Aug 1961, the East Germans, with Soviet backing, built a wall around West Berlin

The purpose was to stop E. Berliners from fleeing to W. Berlin

Berlin Wall

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American and Soviet tanks faced each other and Kennedy called the reserves, but there was no move to stop the construction of the wall

Berlin Wall

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When JFK visited Berlin in 1963 he said, “Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put up a wall to keep our people in…As a free man, I take pride in the words, ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’” (I am a Berliner)

Berlin Wall

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The Berlin Wall stood until it was torn down in 1989 has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put up a wall to keep our people in…As a free man, I take pride in the words, ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’” (I am a Berliner)

Berlin Wall

1962 1989

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The most dangerous challenge from the came in Oct 1962

US reconnaissance planes discovered that the Russians were building underground sites in Cuba for launching missiles that could reach the US in minutes

Cuban Missile Crisis

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JFK announced to the world that he was setting up a naval blockade of Cuba until the weapons were removed

A full-scale nuclear war seemed likely if Soviet ships challenged the US blockade

Cuban Missile Crisis

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After days of tension, Khrushchev agreed to remove the weapons in exchange for Kennedy’s promise not to invade Cuba

Cuban Missile Crisis

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Soon after, a telecommunications hotline was established between DC and Moscow to make it possible for the leaders to talk directly during a crisis

Cuban Missile Crisis

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In 1963, the Soviets, the US and almost 100 other nations signed the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty to end the testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere

This first step in control the testing of nuclear arms was offset by a new round in the arms race for weapons superiority

Cuban Missile Crisis

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The policy reduced the risk of using nuclear weapons but increased the temptation to send in elite special forces, such as the Green Beret, into combat in places like South Vietnam

Other Conflicts

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On Nov. 22, 1963, JFK was killed while riding in a motorcade

Lee Harvey Oswald was charged with the crime

Oswald was killed by Jack Ruby before going to trial

Assassination in Dallas

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JFK was loved by people around the world and at home

Young people especially were inspired by his idealistic outlook and took his message seriously, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

JFK Remembered

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The first televised presidential funeral drew millions of viewers as the nation mourned this great man

JFK Remembered

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LBJ started in politics during FDR’s New Deal and wanted to follow that lead

His program, the Great Society, would expand social reforms

Great Society

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LBJ knew how to get things done after 30 years in DC to follow that lead

He persuaded Congress to

Pass an expanded version of Kennedy’s civil rights bill

Cut income taxes

Great Society

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The tax cut sparked an increase in consumer sending and a long period of economic expansion

LBJ signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Great Society

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Like the New Deal Programs, some of LBJ’s programs were successful and reduced the number of families living in poverty

They all faced funding problems as the war in Vietnam took more funds

War on Poverty

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LBJ and Hubert Humphrey went into the election with a clearly liberal agenda

Election of 1964

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Election of 1964 with a clearly liberal agenda

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Rep. nominated Barry Goldwater, AZ who advocated ending the welfare state, including the TVA and Social Security

TV ads depicted him as a dangerous extremist who would be quick to involve us in war

Election of 1964

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LBJ won re-election with 61% of the popular vote – higher than FDR’s landslide in 1936

Democrats also controlled both houses of Congress by more than a 2/3s margin with a mandate to pass the economic reforms of Truman

Election of 1964

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Medicare than FDR’s landslide in 1936 – health care for those over 65

Medicaid – health care for poor and disabled

Elementary and Secondary Education Act – provided aid to poor school districts

Great Society Reforms

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New Immigration than FDR’s landslide in 1936 law – abolished quotas based on national origins and increased numbers from Asia and Latin America

National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities – provided funding for creative/scholarly projects

Great Society Reforms

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Dept of Transportation (DOT) than FDR’s landslide in 1936

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Increased funding for education

Increased funding for public housing and crime prevention

Great Society Reforms

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LBJ has been criticized for his unrealistic goals in the war on poverty, being very costly

LBJ hurt his own programs by escalating the war in Vietnam

Defenders credit him for giving needed assistance to millions of ‘forgotten’ Americans

Historical Perspective

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Called the most important civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, LBJ convinced Dems and some Reps to pass this

It made segregation illegal in public facilities, including hotels and restaurants

Civil Rights Acts, 1964

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It gave the federal government additional powers to enforce school desegregation

It set up the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to end racial discrimination in employment

Civil Rights Acts, 1964

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Abolished poll taxes that had been accepted for decades as a method to keep poor, blacks from voting

24th Amendment, 1964

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The 1965 violence against the voting rights marches in Selma, AL led by Martin Luther King moved Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act.

This ended literacy tests and provided federal registrars in black areas

Voting Rights, 1965

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The close election in 1960 caused JFK not to press the issue of civil rights so as to not alienate white voters

The defiance of the governors in Alabama and Mississippi changed that

Civil Rights

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In 1962, James Meredith, a young African American veteran attempted to enroll in the Univ. of MS

A federal court guaranteed his right to attend

Civil Rights

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Kennedy sent in 400 federal marshals and 3,000 troops to control mob violence

Gov. George Wallace, AL, tried to stop a black student from entering the U of A

JFK sent in troops again

Civil Rights

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Throughout the Deep South, civil rights activists and freedom riders traveled through the South registering African-Americans to vote and integrating public places

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Often they were met with beatings, bombings, and murder freedom riders traveled through the South registering African-Americans to vote and integrating public places

MLK remained committed to non-violent protests against segregation

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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He was arrested in Birmingham, AL which would prove to be a turning point in the civil rights movement because most Americans believed that King was arrested unjustly

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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From his jail cell, King wrote of his commitment to protest but to do so by non-violent means

The episode inspired JFK to support a tougher civil rights bill

Letter from a Birmingham Jail

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In Aug 1963, King led one of the most successful demonstrations in US history

About 200,000 blacks and whites took part in the peaceful march in DC to support a civil rights bill

March on Washington

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The highlight was went King delivered the “I Have a Dream” speech appealing for the end of racial prejudice

The rally ended with the crowd singing “We Shall Overcome”

March on Washington, 1963

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A voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, AL was met with police beatings

Pres. Johnson sent in troops to protect King and the other demonstrators

March to Montgomery, 1965

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Johnson sponsored a powerful voting rights bill with police beatings

Young African-Americans were losing patience with the slow progress toward equality and continued violence against them by white extremists

March to Montgomery, 1965

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Seeking a cultural identity based on Africa and Islam, Muslim leader, Elijah Mohammad (Malcolm X), preached black nationalism, separatism and self-improvement

He was considered the movement’s most controversial voice

Black Muslims

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Malcolm X called King an ‘Uncle Tom” and advocated black violence – “by any means necessary”

Le left the Black Muslims to found the Organization of Afro-American Unity

Malcolm X

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The radical ideas of Malcolm X spread to other groups such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)

Black Power

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Stokely Carmichael, chairman of the SNCC, repudiated non-violence and advocated for “black power” (especially economic) and racial separatism

In 1966, Huey Newton, Bobby Seale and other militants advocated self-rule for blacks

Black Power

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The Panthers frequently shouted “Get Whitey” and “burn, baby, burn” – making whites suspicious that they were behind the riots that erupted in black neighborhoods from 1964-68

The Kerner Commission looked into the allegation but found the charges to be unfounded


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In 1964, 34 dead and 1000 woundedMLK received the Nobel Peace Prize

He met with Pres. Johnson because the war was draining funds from social programs

His attempts to use peaceful marches lacked his initial successes

Murder in Memphis

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In April 1968 King was shot and killed while standing on a hotel balcony

Massive riots broke out in 168 cities, leaving 46 dead

The violence did not reflect the leader’s ideals but anger and frustration

Murder in Memphis

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First major university protest in 1964 – UC Berkeley students demanded an end to university restrictions on student political activities

By the mid 1960s, students across the country were protesting

Social Revolutions

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Student demonstrations grew with escalation of the US involvement in Vietnam

The SDS promoted violence and vandalism in their attacks on US institutions

Social Revolutions

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Hippies and flower children wore beads, long hair and jeans; listened to Bob Dylan and Joan Baez and used drugs

Some lived in communes


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Rock music from Beatles, Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison

“Never trust anyone over 30”


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The baby boom generation that came of age in the 1960s believed fervently in the ideals of a democratic society

They saw the older generation as unresponsive when dealing with poverty, racism, authority, sexism and war

Counterculture in Retrospect

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Alfred Kinsey’s report of sexual activity in the 1940’ – 1950s reported more sexual activity: premarital, homosexual and infidelity, were more common that anyone suspected

Sexual Revolution

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The introduction of the birth control pill and antibiotics to fight venereal disease (STD) played a role in casual sex with a number of partners

Sexual Revolution

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Overtly sexual themes in advertising, music and movies made sex just another consumer product

The impact this revolution had on society is still open to question but…

Sexual Revolution

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There is no doubt that new mores weakened earlier restrictions on premarital sex, contraception and homosexuality

In the 1980s this was slightly reversed with the rise in illegitimate births and AIDS

Sexual Revolution

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Betty Friedan – restrictions on premarital sex, contraception and homosexualityThe Feminine Mystique gave the movement new direction by encouraging middle class women to seek professional careers rather than confining themselves to roles and wives and mothers

Women’s Movement

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Betty Friedan – organized the National Organ. for Women (NOW)

Women’s Movement

  • They pushed for equal treatment for women

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Congress passed the ERA in 1972 and sent it to the states for ratification

It failed to pass because

Conservative reaction to feminists

Fear of women serving in military

Equal Rights Amendment

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Even without the ERA, women made substantial gains – usually through court actions

Women moved into professions usually dominated by men – medicine, law and politics

Today, women still make only 76 cents for $1 a man makes

Equal Rights Amendment

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Adopted Domino Theory usually through court actions

Sent in 16,000 advisors by 1963

Diem govt unpopular – overthrown with JFK’s knowledge

JKF assassinated 3 weeks later

Vietnam - Kennedy

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Tonkin Gulf Resolution usually through court actions – N, Vietnam fired on US warship in Gulf of Tonkin

Johnson used as aggressive act to justify escalating war

Resolution gave LBJ a blank check to take “all necessary measures to protect US interest in Vietnam

Vietnam - Johnson

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LBJ had support to contain communism but took dollars from his social programs

War of attrition – bombing alienated peasants

Did not understand the enemy or nature of the war

Vietnam - Johnson

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Hawks – believed war was justified his social programs

Doves – saw war as a civil war and opposed based on lives and money

Boys registered for the draft and were sent to war after graduation

Vietnam – Divided the Nation

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Nov 1968 – surprise attack by Viet Cong his social programs

American victory but decreased morale because the VC were supposed to be weakened

LBJ supported limiting troops and declined to run again

Vietnam – TET Offensive

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Robert Kennedy is assassinated after winning the CA primary his social programs

George Wallace

Richard Nixon

Hubert Humphrey

1968 Election

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Democratic Convention – Chicago his social programs

Mayor called out police to put down anti-war protesters

TV cameras rolled as young people were beaten and tear-gassed

1968 Election

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George Wallace ran as an Independent attracting the anti-segregation whites

1968 Election

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Richard Nixon and his VP Spiro Agnew ran as a “hawk” and ran with slogans such as “peace with honor” and “law and order”

Nixon won 301 electoral votes

1968 Election

Protesters at 1968 Convention

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Why didn’t the US win? ran with slogans such as “peace with honor” and “law and order”

Misunderstood the enemy

We wanted to stop communism, they wanted independence

Military was restricted in tactics and weapons

War on daily TV

Legacy of Vietnam

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Why didn’t the US win? ran with slogans such as “peace with honor” and “law and order”

Attempting to impose an unsatisfactory regime on a country with no US importance

No US vital interests at stake

No support of US population

Legacy of Vietnam

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Beatlemania ran with slogans such as “peace with honor” and “law and order”John Glenn


Ouija board

Troll doll

Lava lamp

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Berlin Wall ran with slogans such as “peace with honor” and “law and order”MLK funeral

Castro and Khrushchev

Charles Manson

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Woodstock ran with slogans such as “peace with honor” and “law and order”