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Standard USHC-8: The student will demonstrate an understanding of social, economic and political issues in contemporary America .
Standard USHC-8: The student will demonstrate an understanding of social, economic and political issues in contemporary America. USHC-8.2 Compare the social and economic policies of presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, including support for civil rights legislation, programs for the elderly and the poor, environmental protection, and the impact of these policies on politics.
John F. Kennedy • New Frontier: Kennedy’s domestic programs • Included money for poor urban areas, an increase in the minimum wage, and an increase in Social Security benefits • Kennedy also introduced the civil rights bill, which President Lyndon Johnson passed through Congress. • Kennedy vowed to put a man on the moon, but this was not accomplished until Nixon was president. • Less than a year after Kennedy’s challenge, NASA sent John Glenn into orbit • July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon
Kennedy was much more successful in foreign policy: • Peace Corps: addressed the problems of Third World countries and won the hearts of citizens there • Kennedy was able to prevent disaster in the Cuban Missile Crisis, despite the Bay of Pigs fiasco and the building of the Berlin Wall • Kennedy called for a treaty banning nuclear tests after the Cuban Missile Crisis • Although Kennedy increased US involvement in Vietnam, the US was not fully involved at the time of his assassination
President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 by Lee Harvey Oswald.
Lyndon B. Johnson Lyndon B. Johnson was Kennedy’s Vice President, so he became the 36th president after Kennedy’s assassination. President Johnson was able to push Kennedy’s Civil Rights Act of 1964 through Congress. He also set out to implement “Great Society” which in addition to civil rights, consisted of various social programs and centered around Johnson’s declared “War on Poverty”.
“Great Society” Programs: • Economic Opportunity Act: combated poverty • VISTA (Volunteers in Service of America): mobilized volunteers to work in poorer communities within the U.S. • Job Corps: education and training for inner-city youth for gainful employment • Medicare and Medicaid: to ensure medical care for the elderly and poor • Head Start: to ensure better education for children of low-income families
National Endowment for the Humanities: gives grants and funding for arts and scholarships • HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development): oversees housing needs, rehabilitates urban communities, and provides rent assistance to those living in low-income housing. • Robert C. Weaver, the first African American to be appointed to a presidential cabinet, headed the HUD program
While the Great Society had noble intentions, and some successes, it also required large amounts of funding. • Government spending increased • Many middle class citizens began to resent the cost of the programs • Middle class citizens also criticized them for yielding what they viewed as limited results • As a result, political conservatism began to increase towards the latter half of the 1960’s.