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John F. Kennedy 1960-1963. The Election of 1960. The election of 1960 was the closest since 1884; Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon by fewer than 119,000 votes. Clip Debate. Did You Know?.

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John F. Kennedy


The Election of 1960

The election of 1960

was the closest since

1884; Kennedy

defeated Richard

Nixon by fewer than

119,000 votes.

Clip Debate

Did You Know?

  • • He was a decorated naval officer in World War II.• He received the Pulitzer Prize for his book, "Profiles in Courage."• He served exactly 1,000 days in office.• He was the first president born in the 20th century and the youngest president ever elected.

  • He is the only Roman

  • Catholic president

  • He could read 1600 words a minute.

Kennedy’s Inaugural Address

Kennedy was the youngest person ever to be elected president. His

youth helped provide the theme to his inaugural address:

“Let the word go forth…

That the torch has been

passed to a new

generation of Americans…

The energy, the faith, the

devotion which we bring

to this endeavor will light

our country and all who

serve it…And so, my fellow

Americans-ask not what

your country can do for

you-ask what you can do

for your country.”

Ask not...speech

The Camelot Years

With JFK’s

youthful glamour

and his talented

advisors, the

Kennedy White

House reminded

many of a modern-

day Camelot, the

mythical court of

King Arthur.

Kennedy and the Cold War

During the Kennedy Administration, ongoing tensions with the Soviet Union led to crises over Cuba and West Berlin. To contain communism and stay ahead of the Soviet Union in technology,

President Kennedy created aid programs for developing nations and expanded

the space program.

John Kennedy meeting with Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna, June, 1961

Crisis Over Cuba

The first test of Kennedy’s

foreign policy came in Cuba,

just 90 miles off the coast of

Florida. Revolutionary leader,

Fidel Castro, openly declared

himself a communist and

welcomed aid from the

Soviet Union.

The Bay of Pigs

On the nights of April 17,1961,

some 1500 Cuban exiles

supported by the U.S. military

landed on the island’s

southern coast at Baja de

Cochinos, the Bay of Pigs. The

CIA and the exiles hoped it

would trigger a mass uprising

that would overthrow Castro.

It didn’t! Cuban forces, backed

by Soviet tanks and jet aircraft,

easily repelled the exile invasion.

Some of the exiles were killed,

others imprisoned.

Cuban Missile Crisis

In October, 1962,

photographs taken

by American planes

revealed Soviet

missile bases in

Cuba-and some

contained missiles

ready to launch.

They could reach

U.S. cities in


Kennedy Addresses the Nation

On October 22,

Kennedy ordered

a naval blockade

of Cuba to prevent

further deliveries

of Soviet weapons.

He also demanded

that the Soviets

remove the missiles.

Khrushchev promised to

challenge the blockade,

calling it “outright banditry.”

For a few days, nuclear war and massive destruction was a

distinct possibility for every American. In schools, children

practiced air raid drills, a common occurrence during the Cold

War. People who had built bomb shelters began stocking

them with food and other provisions. Even the president called

his family to the White House where they could be protected in

the presidential nuclear shelter. Do it Yourself Fallout Shelter

Suddenly, on October 24, many of the Soviet ships stopped short

of the blockade line, turned, and sailed home. “We’re eyeball to

eyeball,” said Secretary of State Dean Rusk, “and I think the

other fellow just blinked.” On October 28 Khrushchev agreed

to dismantle the missile bases in response to Kennedy’s promise

not to invade Cuba.

Kennedy and Berlin short

One of the high points

of Kennedy’s foreign

travels was a trip he

made to Berlin in 1963

to dramatize America’s

commitment to West

Berlin and West Germany.

In a speech at the Berlin

Wall, Kennedy electrified

an audience of about 150,000

Germans by stating , “Ich bin

ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner),

thus declaring the solidarity of

all free people with the people

of West Berlin.

Ich bin ein Berliner Speech

Kennedy and the New Frontier short

Can Government Fix Society?

President John F. Kennedy and

President Lyndon B. Johnson

supported programs intended

to end poverty and racism at

home and promote democracy

abroad. The War on Poverty

and the Great Society programs

marked the greatest increase in

the federal government’s role

in society since the New Deal.

Kennedy’s aid programs for

developing nations also marked

a dramatic shift in American

foreign policy towards promoting

economic development abroad.

President Kennedy shakes hands with future President of the United States Bill Clinton

The New Frontier short

President Kennedy’s

legislative program to

provide medical care

for the elderly….

To rebuild blighted

urban areas….

To aid education…. short

To bolster the national


To increase short

international aid….

To expand the space


JFK and Moon Landing

To provide volunteer short

assistance to developing

nations in Asia, Africa,

and Latin America.

And to promote civil rights.

Warren Court Reforms short

Under Chief Justice Earl Warren,

the Supreme Court issued a number

of decisions that altered the voting

system, expanded due process, and

reinterpreted aspects of the First


  • A sampling of major decisions of the Warren Court

  • Civil Rights

  • Brown v. Board of Education (1954) Declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional

  • Due Process

  • Mapp v. Ohio (1961) Ruled that unlawfully seized evidence cannot be used in a trial

  • Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) Established suspect’s right to court-appointed attorney if

  • suspects were unable to afford one

  • Escobedo v. Illinois (1964) Affirmed right of the accused to an attorney during police

  • questioning

  • Miranda v. Arizona (1966) Required police to inform suspects of their rights during the

  • arrest process

  • Freedom of Speech and Religion

  • Engel v. Vitale (1962) Banned state-mandated prayer in public schools

  • Abington School District v. Schempp (1963) Banned state-mandated Bible reading in public schools

Tragedy in Dallas short

In the fall of 1963, public opinion polls showed that Kennedy was losing popularity because of his advocacy of civil rights. On November 22,

1963, President and

Mrs. Kennedy went

to Texas to mend

political fences with

members of the

state’s Democratic


Crowds lined the short

streets of Dallas

to greet the

President. In front

of them sat Texas

Governor John

Connally and his

wife Nellie.

As the car approached a state building known as the Texas State Book

Depository, rifle shots rang out.

Kennedy was State Book

shot in the head.

His car raced to

a nearby

hospital, where


frantically tried

to revive him,

but it was too

late. President

Kennedy was


News of Kennedy Assassination

In 1963, the Warren State Book

Commission investigated

and concluded that

Lee Harvey Oswald

had shot the president

while acting on his own.

Lee Harvey Oswald

Chief Justice Earl Warren presenting the Warren Report to President Johnson

On Sunday, Nov. 24, State Book

as millions watched

live television

coverage of Oswald

being transferred

between jails, a

nightclub owner

named Jack Ruby

broke through the

crowd and shot and

killed Oswald.


Jack Ruby is Shot