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John F. Kennedy 1961-1963. The Election of 1960. The election of 1960 was the closest since 1884 . Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon by fewer than 119,000 votes. Kennedy Facts.

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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.

Kennedy Facts

  • • He was a decorated naval officer in World War II.• He received the PulitzerPrize 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 RomanCatholic 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.”


The Camelot Years

With JFK’s

youthful glamour,

beautiful family,

and talented

advisors, the

Kennedy White

House reminded

many of a modern-

day Camelot, the

mythical court of

King Arthur.


Crisis Over Cuba

  • The first test of Kennedy’s
  • foreign policy came in Cuba,
  • just 90 miles off the coast of
  • Florida.
  • Revolutionary leader, FidelCastro, openly declared himself a communist and welcomed aid from the SovietUnion.

The Bay of Pigs

  • On the nights of April 17,1961,
  • some 1500 Cubanexiles
  • supported by the U.S. military
  • landed on the island’s
  • southern coast at 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.
  • The U.S. paid $53 million in food and medicine for their release.

Cuban Missile Crisis

In October, 1962,

photographs taken

by American planes

revealed Soviet

missilebases in

Cuba – some with

missiles ready to launch

and reach U.S. cities

in minutes.




  • On October 22,
  • Kennedy ordered
  • a navalblockade
  • 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.”

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.This much we pledge and more.” -- JFK Inaugural Address


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.


Suddenly, on October 24, many of the Sovietships stopped short

  • of the blockade line, turned, and sailedhome.
  • “We’re eyeball to eyeball,” said Secretary of State DeanRusk, “and I think the other fellow just blinked.”
  • On October 28 Khrushchev agreed to dismantle the missilebases in response to Kennedy’s promise not to invade Cuba & to remove U.S. missiles in Turkey.

The New Frontier

President Kennedy’s

legislative program to

provide medical care

for the elderly….

To rebuild blighted



To aid education….

To bolster the national



To increase


To expand the space



To provide volunteer

assistance to developing

nations in Asia, Africa,

and Latin America through

the Peace Corp.

And to promote




in Dallas

  • In the fall of 1963, public opinion polls showed that Kennedy was losing popularity because of his support of civilrights.
  • On November22, 1963, President and Mrs. Kennedy went to Dallas, Texas to mend
  • political fences with members of the state’s Democratic
  • Party.

The Motorcade

Crowds lined the

streets of Dallas

to greet the

President. In front

of him 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.


November 22,


  • Kennedy was shot in the throat, then the head.
  • His car raced to a nearby hospital, where doctors
  • frantically tried
  • to revive him.
  • It was too late – President Kennedy was dead.

The Assassin?

In 1963, the Warren

Commission investigated

and concluded that


had shot the president

while acting on his own.


More Shock!!

On Sunday, Nov. 24,

as millions watched livetelevision coverage of Oswald being transferred

between jails, a nightclub owner named JackRuby

broke through the crowd and shot and killedOswald.