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As John F. Kennedy ushered in the 1960s, it also ushered in a sexual revolution, a civil rights revolution, a “counterculture” movement, war in Vietnam,

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Presentation on theme: "As John F. Kennedy ushered in the 1960s, it also ushered in a sexual revolution, a civil rights revolution, a “counterculture” movement, war in Vietnam,"— Presentation transcript:



3 As John F. Kennedy ushered in the 1960s, it also ushered in a sexual revolution, a civil rights revolution, a “counterculture” movement, war in Vietnam, and the start of a feminist revolution The start of the Kennedy presidency was full of hope and enthusiasm John F. Kennedy was the youngest president ever elected Put “the best and brightest” into cabinet positions Robert Kennedy Kennedy put his brother Robert Kennedy in as Attorney General Robert McNamara Robert McNamara, the former head of Ford Motors, became the Defense Secretary

4 Kennedy’s program as president was called the “NEW FRONTIER” Proposed the PEACE CORP that would bring skills to underdeveloped nations Most of Kennedy’s programs stalled in Congress Kennedy also promoted a massive program to land an American on the moon In 1969, the first Americans landed on the lunar landscape!!!! It was during the Kennedy presidency that the BERLIN WALL was built

5 Kennedy replaced the Eisenhower Doctrine of “massive retaliation” with “flexible response” Allowed the US to choose a variety of options depending on the situation Increased spending on military forces Created Special Forces such as Green Berets and Navy Seals to fight guerilla warfare Kennedy also ordered an increase in the number of “MILITARY ADVISERS” in South Vietnam By the time of Kennedy’s death, some 15,000 were in South Vietnam

6 Most of Kennedy’s foreign policy problems involved the USSR and the island nation of Cuba Kennedy ordered the CIA plan for invasion known as the BAY OF PIGS that failed Kennedy pushed the US to the brink of nuclear war with the CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS FIDEL CASTRO was the communist leader of Cuba The US and USSR created a “HOTLINE” for tensions like this in the future

7 Kennedy did little for the Civil Rights Revolution during his presidency Was afraid of losing Southern votes Did call Martin Luther King’s wife when he was in prison Called for Civil Rights legislation, but died before it could happen

8 The Kennedy Presidency came to an end with his assassination on November 22, 1963 Killed by LEE HARVEY OSWALD in Dallas, Texas JACK RUBY killed Oswald days later WARREN COMMISSION studied the assassination and ruled Oswald acted alone LBJ became President

9 In American history, the relationship between the US and Latin American countries has been tense at various times Many of those nations see the United States as the “Colossus of the North” who throws its power around to get what we want!!! When JFK became President, he attempted to create better relationships with Latin America Created the ALLIANCE FOR PROGRESS whose goal was to help poor Latin American nations American assistance had little positive impact though

10 Kennedy also, though, took a tough stance in regards to FIDEL CASTRO’S communist Cuban nation Inherited from Dwight Eisenhower a plan to topple Fidel Castro with Cuban exiles Worked up and planned by the CIA Known as the BAY OF PIGS invasion US was to help exiles overthrow Castro, but invasion went bad and Kennedy did not act Actions like the attempted overthrow of Castro and repeated assassination attempts pushed Castro even more further towards a friendship with the Soviet Union Soviet leader Khurshchev was quick to seize upon the opportunity

11 Khrushchev and Castro made a deal in October of 1962 to place nuclear-tipped missiles in Cuba Cuba just 90 miles away from United States territory Would destroy the concept of “mutually assured destruction” Russians hoped to blackmail JFK into backing down in Berlin Would turn into a game of “nuclear chicken”

12 John F. Kennedy’s first response to the news of Soviet missiles was a “naval quarantine” of Cuba Soviets told they MUST remove all missiles in Cuba All other missiles headed to Cuba must turn back

13 Kennedy also announced that any attack on the US from Cuba would be considered a direct attack from the Soviet Union and the US would launch missiles toward Moscow For weeks, events looked as if the world would be sucked into a nuclear conflict. Neither side was willing to back down President Kennedy CANNOT allow missiles in Cuba…ever Khrushchev can’t publicly back down or he looks weak to Communist leadership In 1991, we learned more information that showed the Soviets already had missiles with nukes and were given permission to launch them if attacked (WOW!!!!)

14 On October 28 th, 1962 Nikita Khrushchev finally flinched Back channel negotiations had been going on continuously Soviets agreed to pull missiles out of Cuba US agreed to end the quarantine and not invade the island US also agreed to remove some missiles pointed at the Soviet Union in Turkey (were going to anyway, but made Khrushchev look like he got something from the US)

15 Khrushchev removed from office Creation of a “HOTLINE” between the two nations Kennedy tried to create a better relationship with the Soviets Soviet Union went even more serious about building military weapons thus pushing the US to catch up


17 Lyndon B. Johnson became president upon the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 When LBJ became President, he pledged to continue JFK’s policies Pushed Kennedy’s stalled Civil Rights Bill and tax cut bills through Congress Began his WAR ON POVERTY by pushing bills through Congress costing billions

18 Johnson nominated by Democrats to run for the presidency in 1964 on the platform known as the GREAT SOCIETY The Great Society was a set of New Deal type economic and welfare measures aimed to transform American society Much of this inspired by the book THE OTHER AMERICA by MICHAEL HARRINGTON which showed much of the population (especially blacks) lived in poverty Johnson ran against Republican BARRY GOLDWATER who is known as the FATHER OF MODERN CONSERVATISM Johnson made Goldwater look like he was a warmonger who might start a nuclear war Johnson defeated Goldwater soundly

19 What programs made up the Great Society initiative??? Prepared educationally disadvantaged children for elementary school Provided medical care for the elderly not covered (Housing and Urban Development)—built housing units for public housing Money to promote culture in the United States Public Broadcasting System

20 Forbid segregation in hotels, motels, restaurants, theaters, and sporting arenas that did business in interstate commerce Discrimination based on race, religion, gender, and national origin in the workplace was illegal Said literacy tests unlawful, allowed President to send examiners where election laws may have been violated Gave preference to minorities to make up for past discrimination


22 1964 and 1973 The major part of the Vietnam War took place between 1964 and 1973 The Vietnam War will span across 5 different presidents and span a total of 25 years

23 America’s interest in Vietnam started when France lost control of Vietnam after the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954 Because of American interest in “containing” communism, US had paid for about 80% of France’s war effort The leader of the communists in North Vietnam was HO CHI MINH At the Geneva Conference in 1954, an agreement reached that divided Vietnam into a north and south section along the 17 th parallel until a unifying election could be held in 1956 In the North—Ho Chi Minh in charge In the South--Diem was in control of Saigon with help and support of the US

24 Vietnam was part of America’s foreign policy known as the “DOMINO THEORY” Was United States belief that if one country in Indochina fell to communism, other surrounding countries would fall also like dominoes!!!!!

25 Although initially supported by the US, South Vietnamese leader Diem was unpopular among the people Eventually, a civil war erupted inside Vietnam led by the Vietcong Vietcong were communist insurgents in the South supported by Ho Chi Minh Were also supported by the Soviet Union and China

26 After Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy escalated slowly the buildup of US personnel in Vietnam He increased military advisors from 652 to 16,000 Kennedy’s goal was to strengthen S. Vietnamese Army with US technology Also hoped to pressure Diem to make reforms Eventually, Diem was removed from power in an overthrow by S. Vietnamese generals Three weeks later JFK was assassinated

27 Lyndon B. Johnson will be the president that will greatly increase US involvement in Vietnam Stated “I’m not going to be the president who saw Southeast Asia go the way China went” ROBERT MCNAMARA –Secretary of Defense under Kennedy and Johnson—pushed for US escalation

28 For the United States, the real beginning of the Vietnam War was the GULF OF TONKIN RESOLUTION in 1964 Johnson told Congress that North Vietnamese boats had attacked two US destroyers on international waters and that the attacks were “unprovoked” Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which gave Johnson more authority to widen the war effort without waiting for Congress to declare war Years later, found out what Johnson said was not absolutely true! Johnson ordered a limited air attack, but did not want a “wider war” Major problem for LBJ’s distrust of military staff so top military officials often were not part of the war policy process Starting in 1965, the United States greatly increased the amount of troops in Vietnam

29 In the air part of the war, the US dropped more bombs on Vietnam than the Allies droppped during all of WWI Vietcong were able to hid in tunnels that were part of the Ho Chi Minh Trail To flush out the enemy Napalm was used to burn out heavy jungle areas AGENT ORANGE used as a defoliant to kill jungle vegetation Later US soldiers exposed developed cancers

30 The beginning of t he end of US involvement in Vietnam was the TET OFFENSIVE in 1968 North Vietnam began a massive coordinated attack Tet Offensive not military successful for N. Vietnam, but psychologically destroyed American hopes of winning Many of the critics against Vietnam policy included the New Left—HANOI JANE Led massive student protests on university campuses—KENT STATE UNIVERSITY Large antiwar movement also begins Lots of anger over draft policy b/c it drafted more lower class Thousands of draft dodgers fled to Canada and others burned their draft cards—BILL CLINTON

31 The press was an important factor in support or nonsupport for the Vietnam War People could see the bodies of American soldiers brought home WALTER CRONKITE, the most famous media person, turned against the war effort Johnson said… “If I’ve lost Walter, then it’s over”



34 The 1960s were a period when long-held values and norms of behavior seemed to break down, particularly among the young Many of these were the driving force behind the Civil Rights and antiwar movements Many others separated themselves from mainstream society by dressing different or a different lifestyle Attitudes toward sexuality also changed Women began to protest the role of housewives and mother that society expected of them

35 One of the earliest cultural movements was the NEW LEFT Lead organization was the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) headed by Tom Hayden Pushed for a “Free Speech Movement” on college campuses Criticized the bureaucracy of American society SDS became more violent during the Vietnam War

36 One of the more memorable cultural movements of the 1960s was called the COUNTERCULTURE Slogan was “SEX, DRUGS, AND ROCK N’ ROLL” Like the New Left, they felt alienated by the bureaucracy, materialism, and the Vietnam War These individuals turned away from traditional society in favor of an alternative society In many ways, they were the heirs of the Beatniks Many of the members of the “counterculture” were known as ‘HIPPIES” Experimented with eastern religions, drugs, and sex Many were involved in urban communities like the Haight- Ashbury District in San Francisco Sometimes referred to as ‘flower children”

37 One of the most famous byproducts of the counterculture was their music Famous artists of the movement included Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Pete Seger Even the famous Beatles of England became influenced by America’s counterculture Famous music event of the period was WOODSTOCK in August 1969 Featured Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Santana Known for unrestrained drug use and sex By 1970s, counterculture movement was shrinking b/c of its excesses or its members becoming more mainstream

38 The SEXUAL REVOLUTION, while part of the counterculture movement, began also in the early 1960s Two main things that promoted the movement were the birth control pill and antibiotics Encouraged freer sexual practices Promiscuity increased among younger Americans Challenged traditional values of pre-marital sex as wrong

39 Another major movement was the WOMEN’S RIGHT MOVEMENT o f the 1960s Women involved in the movement were often referred to as FEMINISTS Sought things like the legalization of abortion and equal employment opportunities and equal pay Eventually will seek the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) The major work that helped form much of the thinking of 1960s women was the book FEMININE MYSTIQUE by BETTY FRIEDAN Friedan and other feminists formed the NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN (NOW) in 1966 Greatest opponent of NOW and feminists movement was PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY ROE V. WADE—legalized abortion in 1973 TITLE IX—guaranteed equal access for girls to programs boys benefited from (high school sports) SALLY RIDE—first female astronaut SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR—first female Supreme Court Justice (appointed by Ronald Reagan) GERALDINE FERRARO—first woman in 1984 to be on a presidential ticket (Democratic VP with Carter)

40 Other movements of the 1960’s included Mexican American rights led by Cesar Chavez

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