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John F. Kennedy The “King of Camelot” part 1 part 2 part 3. Two vivacious candidates looked to become the next President of the United States during the election of 1960.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, grandson of Boston’s former mayor, Honey Fitz and son of the previous Ambassador to England, Joseph Kennedy, looked to move his seat from the United States Senate to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.The Political Scene of the 1960’s
In 1943, when his PT boat 109 was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer, Kennedy, despite grave injuries, led the survivors through perilous waters to safety.
Back from the war, he became a Democratic Congressman from the Boston area, advancing in 1953 to the Senate.
He married Jacqueline Bouvier on September 12, 1953.
In 1955, while recuperating from a back operation, he wrote Profiles in Courage, which won the Pulitzer Prize in history.Background
In 1940, he married Patricia Ryan; they had two daughters, Patricia (Tricia) and Julie.
During World War II, Nixon served as a Navy lieutenant commander in the Pacific.
On leaving the service, he was elected to Congress from his California district.
In 1950, he won a Senate seat. Two years later, General Eisenhower selected Nixon, age 39, to be his running mate.
As Vice President, Nixon took on major duties in the Eisenhower Administration. Nominated for President by acclamation in 1960Nixon Background
Millions watched his television debates with the Republican candidate, Richard M. Nixon.
The Kennedy/Nixon debates were the first ones to occur on television.
People focused very much on what they candidates looked like and how they reacted.
People felt like the two candidates were right there with them.
As was stated, “You can hear each man directly”, “Nothing is between you and what he says” and “You can see which man gets rattled easily”
DebatesThe Road to the White House
The Democrats spent more than $6 million in television and radio spots while the Republicans spent just over $7.5 million
Nixon Campaign Ad
There were clearly two completely different tactics at used by two completely different people
However, both focused on issues of the Cold War, calling themselves “Cold Warriors”
However, they both preached different things in regard to the Cold War.The Election
He was also worried about the country of Cuba that was aligning itself with the Soviet Union
He also talked about a “missile gap” stating that the USA was behind the Soviets in regard to weaponry
Many had their doubts about the fact that he was Catholic. Protestants were afraid that Catholicism would run his Presidency instead of his governmental policies.
Nixon thought that the USA was on the right track thanks to IKE.
He warned that Democrats would bring inflation and that JFK had little knowledge about foreign affairs.Their Thoughts
They loved his youth and optimism.
On Inauguration Day, January 20th, 1961 Kennedy once again pulled at the heart strings of Americans when he said:
The day was cold and the Inauguration almost canceled.
The problem with the weather
Scenes from the day
People were freezing but still they came all bundled up just to see him speak.
The Kennedy Mystique still is carried into todayThe Kennedy “Mystique”
The inauguration of John F. Kennedy in 1961 brought to the White House and to the heart of the nation a beautiful young wife and the first young children of a President in half a century.
She was born Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, daughter of John Vernon Bouvier III and his wife, Janet Lee.
Her early years were divided between New York City and East Hampton, Long Island, where she learned to ride almost as soon as she could walk.
Jacqueline was dubbed "the Debutante of the Year" for the 1947-1948 season, but her social success did not keep her from continuing her education.Jackie Kennedy
These experiences left her with a great empathy for people of foreign countries, especially the French.
In Washington she took a job as "inquiring photographer" for a local newspaper
Her path soon crossed that of Senator Kennedy, who had the reputation of being the most eligible bachelor in the capital.
Their romance progressed slowly and privately, but their wedding at Newport in 1953 attracted nationwide publicity.
With marriage "Jackie" had to adapt herself to the new role of wife to one of the country's most energetic political figures. Her own public appearances were highly successful, but limited in number.More On Jackie
Jackie's Feelings about Patrick's Death
To the role of First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy brought beauty, intelligence, and cultivated taste.
Her interest in the arts, publicized by press and television, inspired an attention to culture never before evident at a national level.
She devoted much time and study to making the White House a museum of American history and decorative arts as well as a family residence of elegance and charm.
A Tour of the White House
She defined her major role as "to take care of the President" and added that "if you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much."More on Jackie
He wanted to increase aid to education, provide health insurance to the elderly, create a department of Urban Affairs and help migrant workers
Kennedy found out that it was difficult to pass legislation especially when Kennedy was not beloved by most democrats or republicans in the Congress
Congress defeated many of Kennedy’s policies: health insurance for elderly, a Department of Urban Affairs, and federal aid to education.
Kennedy worked to lower the unemployment rate and to keep the economy on the upswing
He pushed businesses to to increase productivity and he asked Union leaders to keep the wage increases down.
When he met opposition from the steel workers he threatened by have the government by steel from some of the other countries.
His tactics worked by weakened his relationships with the countries business owners.Kennedy’s Policies
Some people were afraid that a tax cut would only help the wealthy
Kennedy thought that a tax cut would give businesses more money to expand.
Congress refused the tax cut
Some members were afraid of inflation
They did support an Area Redevelopment Act and a Housing Act
Both these things would help the poor living in slumsMore Policies
Kennedy had some women in prominent positions such as Esther Peterson who was the assistant secretary of labor and director of the Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labor
In 1961 he created the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women
This promised federal action against gender discrimination and affirmed the right of women to be equally paid in employment
In 1963 he signed the Equal Pay Act for women
Earl Warren was the Chief Justice of the United States.
One of the most important things that the Warren Court did was called “reappointment” or the way in which states draw up political districts based on changes in population
The problem was that sometimes, in some districts the vote of an urban resident was less influential that a rural resident
See page 844 in the textbookWomen’s Rights and the Warren Commission
The 14th Amendment says “that no state shall deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law”
Due Process means that the law may not treat individuals unfairly, arbitrarily or unreasonably, and that courts must follow proper procedures and rules when trying cases”
In the 1960’s the Supreme Court said that this applied to all states when upholding the Bill of Rights
Some changes made:
State courts could not consider evidence obtained in violation of the federal Constitution
Defendants have a right to a lawyer even if they can’t pay themselves
Miranda Warnings: right to remain silent before being questioned by the police, anything said can be used against them, they have a right to a lawyer and one could be provided if necessaryExtending Due Process and Beyond
As a result, Kennedy spent a lot of his time trying to guide the nation through the Cold War
His main focus was to stop the spread of communism using different programs
He looked for what was called the “flexible response” for nations that needed help against communism
Kennedy pushed for a build up of conventional troops and weapons.
He also supported guerilla warfare in limited conflicts.
The soldiers of this became known as “green berets” complete with green berets head gear.Kennedy: Global Challenges
Many were in extreme poverty with the wealthy running the government
The USA wanted to stop communism from coming into Latin America by keeping the existing government in power so military personnel were sent there
The Latin Americans did not like the intrusion of the troops
JFK created Alliance for Progress to help create a “free and prosperous Latin America”
Over a 10 year period the USA promised $20 billion to help Latin American countries establish schools, housing, health care, and fairer land distribution
The money was not always used in a positive way but instead to keep some of the same governments in controlLatin America
Fidel Castro established ties with the Soviet Union, instituted land reforms, and seized foreign-owned businesses, many of them were American.
The Cuban alliance with the Soviets and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev was disturbing.
Khrushchev wanted to strengthen Cuban militarily
When IKE was President he was also afraid of the Soviet/Cuban relationship so he gave the CIA permission to start training and arming Cuban exiles known as La Brigada. Their job would be to invade the island. This would hopefully begin an uprising against CastroCrises of the Cold War: Bay of Pigs
The Bay of Pigs Invasion
On April 17th, 1961, only three months into JFK’s Presidency, 1,400 armed Cuban exiles landed at the Bay of Pigs on the South of Cuba.
The invasion was a disaster
La Brigada’s boats ran into coral reef
The USA canceled air support
The point was to keep the USA involvement a secret
The uprising against Castro never happened
Within 2 days Castro had captured or killed almost all the members of La Brigada
This was a dark moment for the JFK administratio, the USA looked weak and disorganizedMore
This occurred in 1962
Over the summer, American intelligence agencies learned that Soviet technicians and equipment had landed in Cuba
To top it off, military expansion was beginning.
October 22nd, 1962 President Kennedy announced on TV that American spy planes had taken photos showing that there were long range missile placed in Cuba
These obviously posed a dangerous threat
This was mostly because they were capable of reaching the USA
JFK ordered a naval blockade to stop the Soviets from delivering more missiles
He also demanded that they dismantle the weapons and that any weapons used against the USA would be responded to against the Soviet UnionThe Cuban Missile Crisis
“Nuclear Holocaust seemed evident”
There were many letters that were issued between Khrushchev and JFK
The Soviets offered a deal
If the USA would promised not to invade Cuba and to remove it’s missiles from Turkey near the Soviet border the Soviets would remove their missiles as well
On October 28th, 1962 an agreement was made and the missile were removed
The truth being that neither side wanted a nuclear warMore on the Crisis
Although he had not formally announced his candidacy, it was clear that JFK was going to run and he seemed confident—though not over-confident— about his chances for re-election.
At the end of September, the President traveled west speaking in nine different states in less than a week. While the trip was meant to put a spotlight on natural resources and conservation efforts, JFK also used it to sound out themes -- such as education, national security, and world peace -- for his run in 1964. In particular, he cited the achievement of a limited nuclear test ban, which the Senate had just approved and which was a potential issue in the upcoming election. The public’s enthusiastic response was encouraging.The Assassination
At the meeting, JFK stressed the importance of winning Florida and Texas and talked about his plans to visit both states in the next two weeks. Mrs. Kennedy would be accompanying him on the swing through Texas, which would be her first extended public appearance since the loss of their baby, Patrick, in August.
On November 21, the President and First Lady departed on Air Force One for the two-day, five-city tour of Texas. JFK was aware that a feud among party leaders in Texas could jeopardize his chances of carrying the state in 1964, and one of his aims for the trip was to bring Democrats together. He also knew that a relatively small but vocal group of extremists was contributing to the political tensions in Texas and would likely make its presence felt—particularly in Dallas, where UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson had been physically attacked a month earlier after making a speech there.Again….!!!
The first stop was San Antonio. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, Governor John B. Connally and Senator Ralph W. Yarborough led the welcoming party
Continuing on to Houston, he addressed a Latin American citizens’ organization and spoke at a testimonial dinner for Congressman Albert Thomas before ending the day in Fort Worth.
A light rain was falling on Friday morning, November 22, but a crowd of several thousand stood in the parking lot outside the Texas Hotel where the Kennedys had spent the night.
A platform had been set up and the President, wearing no protection against the weather, came out to make some brief remarks. “There are no faint hearts in Fort Worth,” he began, “and I appreciate your being here this morning. Mrs. Kennedy is organizing herself. It takes longer, but, of course, she looks better than we do when she does it.”The Trip to Texas
The First Lady was presented with a bouquet of red roses, which she brought with her to the waiting limousine. Governor John Connally and his wife, Nellie, were already seated in the open convertible as the Kennedys entered and sat behind them. Since it was no longer raining, the plastic bubble top had been left off. Vice President and Mrs. Johnson occupied another car in the motorcadeThe Last Stand
Less than an hour earlier, police had arrested Lee Harvey Oswald, a recently-hired employee at the Texas School Book Depository. He was being held for the assassination of President Kennedy as well as the fatal shooting, shortly afterward, of Patrolman J.D. Tippit on a Dallas street.
Lee Harvey Oswald
On Sunday morning, the 24th, Oswald was scheduled to be transferred from police headquarters to the county jail.
Viewers across America watching the live TV coverage suddenly saw a man aim a pistol and fire at point blank range. The assailant was identified as Jack Ruby, a local nightclub owner. Oswald died two hours later at Parkland Hospital.
Oswald is Shot
What really happened to Oswald?Lee Harvey Oswald
A crowd of journalists, photographers, and police crowded around in the jail's basement garage, and watched as Oswald was led out and was about to be placed in a police car.
Suddenly, Jack Ruby, an owner of a Dallas nightclub and admirer of President Kennedy, stepped forward, drew a gun, and killed Oswald. The whole incident was captured on live television, shocking viewers who witnessed the crime
Jack Ruby was found guilty of murder on March 14, 1964, and sentenced to death
In 1967, Jack Ruby died of cancer in prison before a new trial could be held.
A Plot?Jack Ruby
The Zapruder film is a silent Standard 8 mm color home movie of the presidential motorcade of John F. Kennedy through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, filmed by a private citizen named Abraham Zapruder.
The film is the most complete visual recording of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
There were 32 other photographers there that day.
The Warren Commission looked at the Zapruder Film when conducting it’s investigation.
Truth or Hoax?Zapruder Film