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JFK and the Cold War. 1960 Election. Democratic nominee John Fitzgerald Kennedy = Senator from Mass. Republican nominee Richard Nixon = Vice President under Ike Two factors that helped JFK win – t.v. and civil rights. Kennedy the Candidate. Well-organized campaign

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1960 election
1960 Election

  • Democratic nominee

    • John Fitzgerald Kennedy = Senator from Mass.

  • Republican nominee

    • Richard Nixon = Vice President under Ike

  • Two factors that helped JFK win – t.v. and civil rights

Kennedy the candidate
Kennedy the Candidate

  • Well-organized campaign

  • $ backed by large, wealthy family

  • Obstacles:

    • Age: only 43

    • Religion: Roman Catholic

Televised debate
Televised Debate

  • 1st televised debate ever between presidential candidates

  • Nixon: expert on foreign policy

    • Wanted to use the debate to expose JFK’s weakness.

  • JFK – cool and calm

  • “Image replaced the printed word.”

Election outcome
Election Outcome

  • The Presidential election of 1960 was the closest in American history. John F. Kennedy won the popular vote by a slim margin of approximately 100,000 votes. Richard Nixon won more individual states than Kennedy, but it was Kennedy who prevailed by winning key states with many electoral votes.

Kennedy and the king
Kennedy and the King

  • MLK and 33 demonstrators arrested in Atlanta at a segregated lunch counter

    • No concern from Ike

  • JFK showed concern

  • Bobby K. convinced the judge to have MLK released on bail


  • JFK, wife Jackie, son John Jr., daughter Caroline

    • Represented a Camelot mystique

The best and the brightest
The Best and the Brightest

  • McGeorge Bundy (Dean of Harvard): Nat. Sec. Advisor

  • Robert McNamara (President of Ford): Sec. of Defense

  • Dean Rusk(President of the Rockefeller Foundation): Sec. of State

  • Bobby Kennedy: Attorney General

Jfk takes command
JFK Takes Command

  • Warned against supporting the French in Indochina

  • 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

The berlin crisis
The Berlin Crisis

Citizens from E. Berlin flocked into W. Berlin

- Better economy

N.K. constructed the Berlin Wall to separate the two (Aug. 1961)

- Sign of Communist oppression

Crisis over cuba
Crisis Over Cuba

  • Fidel Castro: self declared Communist who welcomed Soviet aid

  • Took control of 3 oil refineries operated by the U.S. and British

  • Took control of U.S. sugar plantations

Bay of pigs
Bay of Pigs

  • Ike gave permission to the CIA to train Cuban exiles for a Cuban invasion

  • JFK – doubts but approved it

  • April 17, 1961 1400 Cuban exiles landed at the Bay of Pigs

Bay of pigs1
Bay of Pigs

  • A huge failure

  • No airstrike prior to the invasion

  • No help from a diversionary unit

  • 20,000 v. 1,400

  • Huge embarrassment for the U.S.

Cuban missile crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis

  • N.K. promised to defend Cuba w/Soviet Arms

  • Summer of ’62 – increased #’s of Soviet weapons (including nukes)

  • Oct. 4 – U.S. spy planes capture the activity

  • Soviet Union said it was not a 1st strike strategy

Cuban missile crisis1
Cuban Missile Crisis

  • JFK quarantined any ships heading to Cuba

  • N.K. promised to remove the missiles in exchange for a promise of no invasion by the U.S.

Easing tensions
Easing Tensions

  • Hot line: Direct phone line that linked the White House and the Kremlin.

  • Limited Test Ban Treaty: barred nuclear testing in the atmosphere.