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KENNEDY ’ S PRESIDENCY - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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KENNEDY ’ S PRESIDENCY. Kennedy ’ s Background. Came from wealth and politics Family expectation of public service Harvard Graduate Navy in WWII 43 years old Roman Catholic Charismatic, highly appealing to American public. Election of 1960. “ Get America Moving Again ”.

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kennedy s background
Kennedy’s Background
  • Came from wealth and politics
  • Family expectation of public service
  • Harvard Graduate
  • Navy in WWII
  • 43 years old
  • Roman Catholic
  • Charismatic, highly appealing to American public
election of 1960
Election of 1960

“Get America Moving Again”

  • Democratic Nominee: Senator John F Kennedy
  • Republican Nominee: VP Richard Nixon
  • Economy was in recession
  • Cold War: Were we winning?
televised debates
Televised Debates
  • 1st ever televised debate
  • 70 million viewers
  • Kennedy appeared confident and at ease
  • Launched a new area of politics:
    • the television age

Nixon looked like a “sinister chipmunk” in comparison to Kennedy who looked cool, collected, and presidential

journalist russell baker said of the debates
Journalist Russell Baker said of the debates:

“That night, image replaced the printed word as the national language of politics”

the results
The Results

Won by fewer than 119,000 votes

inauguration speech
Inauguration Speech

“And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you-ask what you can do for your country.”

camelot years
Camelot Years
  • JFK’s youth, glamour and young, talented advisors were compared to the mythical court of Camelot and King Arthur
  • Wife, Jacqueline and young children:
    • Caroline and JFK Jr.
  • Called for hope, commitment and sacrifice
  • Invited young artists and celebrities to White House
  • Considered “American Royalty”
civil rights
Civil Rights
  • MLK Jr. arrested at a sit-in
    • sentenced to hard labor
  • Kennedy and his brother, Robert, persuaded judge to release MLK
  • Captured the attention of many African Americans and won their vote
  • Civil Rights Bill

Sit-Ins were non-violent protests over the policy of whites-only lunch counters in the South



new frontier
New Frontier
  • Vision for America
    • Economy
    • Education
    • Rebuild urban areas
    • Medical care for the elderly and poor
    • Space exploration
    • Bolster national defense
    • Increase international aid
  • Hard time passing his proposal through Congress because of a conservative coalition
cold war crisis berlin wall
Cold War Crisis: Berlin Wall
  • Soviets threatened to take over West Berlin
    • In 11 years: almost 3 million East Berliners fled to West Berlin to escape Communist rule
    • City in turmoil
  • JFK reinforced the military presence in the area
    • Result: construction of the Berlin Wall

East Germany begins construction on the Berlin Wall, which becomes a primary symbol of the Cold War and Soviet oppression

berlin wall
Berlin Wall
  • Divided Berlin in half
  • Became an ugly symbol of oppression
building up defense
Building up Defense
  • JFK’s policy of Flexible Response
    • Build-up of the nation’s conventional forces (non-nuclear forces)
  • Created an elite branch of the Army
    • The Special Forces or The Green Berets
peace corps
Peace Corps
    • 1961
    • organization that trained volunteers to help underdeveloped countries by providing social and humanitarian services
  • Asia, Africa, Latin America
alliance for progress
Alliance for Progress
  • Offered economic aid to Latin American countries
  • $12 Billion dollars
  • An attempt to contain Communism.

"millions of men and women suffer the daily degradations of hunger and poverty" and "discontent is growing.”

space race
Space Race
  • Soviet successes:
    • Sputnik in 1957
    • First man in space
  • Kennedy pushed the race to put a man on the moon
    • Nicknamed the “Space Race,”
    • Encouraging growth in the studies of math and sciences in the public education system
bay of pigs
Bay of Pigs
  • April 1961
  • Kennedy learned of a CIA plan to overthrow Castro by Cuban exiles in the Bay of Pigs
  • Failed due to unanticipated military support of the Soviet Union
  • A humiliated Kennedy paid ransom to free exiles
  • Still affects US/Cuban relations today

cuban missile crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
  • 1962
  • U2 spy plane took pics of missile sites
    • USSR built
  • JFK imposed naval blockade
    • Remove missile, destroy bases
    • Intense standoff, nuclear war possible
  • Publically brokered deal
    • USSR remove, US pledge no Cuban invasion
    • Any secrets???
easing tensions 1963
Easing Tensions (1963)
  • Hot line:
    • Direct phone line that linked the White House and the Kremlin.
  • Limited Test Ban Treaty:
    • Barred nuclear testing in the atmosphere
tragedy in dallas
Tragedy in Dallas
  • Assassinated on November 22, 1963
    • Still a source of controversy
    • Lee Harvey Oswald arrested
    • Assassinated too shortly after arrest
  • All work stopped for the funeral
    • The nation mourned
    • As with 9/11, Americans remember where they were when they heard the news

"For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal.”

June, 1963