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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.

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the political scene of the 1960 s
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
Of Irish descent, he was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29, 1917. Graduating from Harvard in 1940, he entered the Navy.

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.

nixon background
Born in California in 1913, Nixon had a brilliant record at Whittier College and Duke University Law School before beginning the practice of law.

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 1960

Nixon Background
the road to the white house
In 1956 Kennedy almost gained the Democratic nomination for Vice President, and four years later was a first-ballot nominee for President.

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”


The Road to the White House
the election
Both candidates used television as a means for campaigning.

The Democrats spent more than $6 million in television and radio spots while the Republicans spent just over $7.5 million

Kennedy Campaign

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
their thoughts
JFK was deeply concerning about the Soviet Union

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
the results
The Results
  • The election of 1960 was one of the closest elections in the history of the United States.
  • John F. Kennedy went to bed at his Cape Cod, MA home called Hyannis Port when there still was no winner declared.
  • When he awoke the next morning he found himself to be the next President of the United States.
  • He won the popular vote by 119,000 votes and the electoral college 303 to 219. In some states, only a few votes would have completely changed history.
the kennedy mystique
People were absolutely taken with JFK.

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:

Kennedy Inauguration

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 today

The Kennedy “Mystique”
jackie kennedy

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
more on jackie
As a Vassar student she traveled extensively, and she spent her junior year in France before graduating from George Washington University.

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.

Kennedy Marriage

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
more on jackie12
After the sadness of a miscarriage and the stillbirth of a daughter, Caroline Bouvier was born in 1957; John Jr. was born between the election of 1960 and Inauguration Day. Patrick Bouvier, born prematurely on August 7, 1963, died two days later.

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
more on jackie13
More on Jackie
  • Mrs. Kennedy's gallant courage during the tragedy of her husband's assassination won her the admiration of the world. Thereafter it seemed the public would never allow her the privacy she desired for herself and her children.
  • She moved to New York City; and in 1968 she married the wealthy Greek businessman, Aristotle Onassis, 23 years her senior, who died in March 1975.
  • When her former brother-in-law Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated three months earlier, Jacqueline decided that Kennedys were being "targeted" and she and her children had to leave the States. So, marriage to Onassis made sense: he had the power to give the protection she wanted; she had the social cache he craved
kennedy s policies
When Kennedy went to the White House he wanted to implement a new legislative program called The New Frontier

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
more policies
JFK also adopted supply-side tactics and pushed for a cut in tax rates

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 slums

More Policies
women s rights and the warren commission
Kennedy helped women to make strides in the 1960’s

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 textbook

Women’s Rights and the Warren Commission
extending due process and beyond
The US Supreme Court decided to use the 14th Amendment in regard to the Bill of Rights

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 necessary

Extending Due Process and Beyond
church and state
Church and State
  • The Warren Court also made rules about this saying:
    • States could not compose official prayers and require those prayers to be recited in state public schools
    • There could be no state-mandated Bible readings in public schools
    • Finally, prohibiting the sale and use of birth control devices violated citizen’s constitutional rights
kennedy global challenges
The major issue when Kennedy came to office was the relationship between The USA and The Soviet Union

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
latin america
JFK was worried about Latin America because the conditions were so bad

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 control

Latin America
the peace corps
The Peace Corps
  • The Peace Corps was designed to help fight poverty
  • It sent young Americans to perform humanitarian services in poorer countries
  • The participants were trained and then they were to spend 2 years in the countries that needed assistance
  • They laid out sewage systems in Bolivia and trained medical technicians in Chad.
  • Some taught English or built roads
  • By late 1963 1,000s of Americans were in 30 countries
  • The Peace Corps is still alive and well today as one of JFK’s best legacies
  • The Peace Corps today
crises of the cold war bay of pigs
The first crisis was in Cuba which is only 90 miles outside of the American shores

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 Castro

Crises of the Cold War: Bay of Pigs
When JKF became President his administration okayed the mission.

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 disorganized

the creation of the berlin wall
The Creation of the Berlin Wall
  • In June of 1961 Kennedy went to Vienna, Austria to meet with Khrushchev; he would be tested again
  • Khrushchev wanted to stop the amount of people leaving Communist East Germany for West Germany
  • He thus demanded that the Western powers recognize East Germany and that the USA, Great Britain and France get out of Berlin which was a city located in East Germany
  • Obviously JFK refused, so Khrushchev responded by building a wall through Berlin placing guards on the wall so that those trying to escape East Berlin could be shot.
  • It lasted for 30 years there afterward, a visible symbol of the Cold War
  • The story of the Berlin Wall
the cuban missile crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis is one of the most intense in the history of the USA

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

JFK responds

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 Union

The Cuban Missile Crisis
more on the crisis
The Soviet Union ignored the USA

“Nuclear Holocaust seemed evident”

The crisis

part 2

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 war

More on the Crisis
“Only lunatics…who themselves want to perish and before they die destroy the world, could do this”
    • Khrushchev
the impact
The Impact
  • The Cuban Missile Crisis brought the world the closest it had ever been to nuclear war
  • It also pushed the two countries to learn to work together
  • In August of 1963 the USA and the Soviet Union finally came together to ban the testing of nuclear weapons
  • The backing down of the Soviets lead to the fall of Khrushchev and a new leader who was adamant about building up military and weapons by the Soviets
  • This also showed the Soviets that they didn’t want to negotiate with the West
  • The USA also engaged in a weaponry build up which lasted until the 1980’s
the assassination
By the fall of 1963, President Kennedy and his political advisers were preparing for the next presidential campaign.

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
A month later, the President addressed Democratic gatherings in Boston and Philadelphia. Then, on November 12, he held the first important political planning session for the upcoming election year. 

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.

the trip to texas
Nonetheless, JFK seemed to relish the prospect of leaving Washington, getting out among the people and into the political fray.   

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 last stand
The presidential party left the hotel and went by motorcade to Carswell Air Force Base for the thirteen-minute flight to Dallas. Arriving at Love Field, President and Mrs. Kennedy disembarked and immediately walked toward a fence where a crowd of well-wishers had gathered, and they spent several minutes shaking hands.

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 motorcade

The Last Stand
the president has been shot
The President has been shot!!
  • The procession left the airport and traveled along a ten-mile route that wound through downtown Dallas on the way to the Trade Mart where the President was scheduled to speak at a luncheon. Crowds of excited people lined the streets waving to the Kennedys as they waved back.
  • The car turned off Main Street at Dealey Plaza around 12:30 p.m. As it was passing the Texas School Book Depository, gunfire suddenly reverberated in the plaza. Bullets struck the President’s neck and head and he slumped over toward Mrs. Kennedy. The Governor was also hit in the chest.
pronouncing him dead
Pronouncing Him Dead
  • The car sped off to Parkland Memorial Hospital just a few minutes away. But there was little that could be done for the President. A Catholic priest was summoned to administer the last rites and at 1:00 p.m. John F. Kennedy was pronounced dead. Governor Connolly, though seriously wounded, would recover. 
  • Cronkite Tells the Country
  • People React to JFK's Assassination
lee harvey oswald
The President’s body was brought to Love Field and placed on Air Force One.  Before the plane took off, a grim-faced Lyndon B. Johnson stood in the tight, crowded compartment and took the oath of office, The brief ceremony took place at 2:38 p.m.

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
jack ruby
On November 24, 1963, Dallas, Texas, police were transferring Lee Harvey Oswald, who had been arrested for assassinating President John F. Kennedy two days earlier, from one jail to another.

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
laying jfk to rest the eternal flame
Laying JFK to Rest The Eternal Flame
  • On Monday, November 25, 1963 President Kennedy was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. The funeral was attended by heads of state and representatives from more than 100 countries, with untold millions more watching on television.
  • Afterward, an eternal flame was lit at the grave site by Mrs. Kennedy and her husband’s brothers, Robert and Edward. Perhaps the most indelible images of the day were the salute to his father given by little John F. Kennedy, Jr. (whose third birthday it was), daughter Caroline kneeling next to her mother at the President’s bier, and the extraordinary grace and dignity shown by Jacqueline Kennedy.
  • JFK Funeral and John John
zapruder film
The Zapruder Film

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
the warren court
The Warren Court
  • After Kennedy was killed, Vice President Lyndon Johnson became president, and he appointed the President's Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Chaired by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, the Commission investigated circumstances surrounding the shootings of Kennedy and Oswald.
  • In September 1964, the commission reported it had found no evidence that Oswald and Ruby were involved in a conspiracy to assassinate the president.
the conspiracy theories
Secret Service Standoff

Conspiracy Theory part 1

Part 2

part 3

What do you think? Assassination? Conspiracy?

The Conspiracy Theories
jfk will always be remembered
JFK Will Always be Remembered
  • “. . . don't let it be forgot that for one brief shining moment there was Camelot”