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 John F. Kennedy (D) v. Richard Nixon (R)  Closest election since 1884 ◦ Less than 120,000 votes difference  Kennedy wins ◦ Television debate helped.

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Presentation on theme: " John F. Kennedy (D) v. Richard Nixon (R)  Closest election since 1884 ◦ Less than 120,000 votes difference  Kennedy wins ◦ Television debate helped."— Presentation transcript:



3  John F. Kennedy (D) v. Richard Nixon (R)  Closest election since 1884 ◦ Less than 120,000 votes difference  Kennedy wins ◦ Television debate helped him win; Kennedy also gain African American vote when he showed sympathy for MLK in 1960

4  New Frontier ◦ “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” ◦ Creates Peace Corps  Kennedy mystique was known as “Camelot”

5  Kennedy adopts new idea of “flexible response” ◦ Used conventional forces; not nuclear ◦ Created Green Berets

6  Eisenhower had cut relations w/ Cuba in Jan.61 ◦ Fidel Castro took over as communist leader ◦ Eisenhower’s administration creates plan to overthrow Castro w/ trained Cuban exiles  Kennedy backed CIA plan to invade Cuba w/ exiles  Plan failed miserably; Kennedy publicly took blame  Never trusted CIA/military leaders again


8  Soviets sent nuclear missiles into Cuba ◦ Kennedy planned to remove missiles; could lead to WWIII ◦ Crisis avoided when Soviets offered to remove missiles in exchange for US promise to NOT invade Cuba  After Cuban Missile Crisis ◦ Many Cuban exiles upset; switch allegiance to Republicans ◦ US & Soviets also put in hotline between Washington & Moscow


10  Berlin Wall (1961) ◦ West Germany & West Berlin are flourishing w/ capitalism ◦ Many in East Berlin try to flee to W. Berlin ◦ Khrushchev sees those leaving hurting image of communism ◦ Builds a huge wall to keep people in communist East Germany/East Berlin ◦ Wall seen as oppressive symbol of communism


12  Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas  Lee Harvey Oswald is arrested for murder ◦ Oswald killed by Jack Ruby before any trial  Vice President Lyndon Johnson takes over as President ◦ Pushes for many of the bills Kennedy wanted passed (ie Civil Rights Act) ◦ ◦ JFK & Lincoln Coincidences

13  Background Info ◦ French controlled Vietnam after WWII ◦ Push for independence, led by communist Vietminh & Ho Chi Minh ◦ N.Vietnam controlled by communists, S.Vietnam controlled by French (US supports w/ money) ◦ Dien Bien Phu- French forced out of Vietnam (lost battle) ◦ Geneva Conference & Geneva Accords- Vietnam divided at 17 th parallel; to have free elections  US supports democratic S.Vietnam

14  ARVN-Army of the Republic of Vietnam (S. Vietnam)  Vietcong- Communist forces in South Vietnam and Cambodia  NVA-North Vietnamese Army


16  Domino Theory- US afraid all South Asia will fall to communism if we don’t support S.Vietnam  Special Forces sent as military advisors during early 1960s  Gulf of Tonkin incident, 1964 ◦ N.Vietnamese boat “attacks” US ship in Gulf of Tonkin ◦ US uses “attack” to promote escalation ◦ Congress passes Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (LBJ can assist any Southeast Asian Country that is threatened by communism)

17  US started bombings of N.Vietnam in early 1965 (Operation Rolling Thunder)  US begins escalation, sending more troops ◦ 180,000 by end of 1965  American troops commanded by William Westmoreland ◦ Unhappy w/ ARVN troops; continues requesting more US troops ◦ 500,000 US troops in Vietnam by end of 1967

18  Fighting difficult (in jungles) ◦ Vietcong use guerilla attacks, hit-and- run tactics, etc. ◦ Difficult for US to know difference between enemies and friends ◦ Vietcong supplied by N.Vietnam thru Ho Chi Min Trail ◦ Vietcong used threats on civilians, booby traps, tunnels, etc. ◦ US counters with “Hearts and Minds” approach (help out Vietnamese citizens in order to gain support)

19  US uses napalm & Agent Orange to help with jungle fighting ◦ Problem of hitting innocent people  Troop morale gets low ◦ Troops engage in drug use/alcoholism ◦ TV coverage sends footage home  Protest of war begins ◦ Mainly led by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) ◦ Civil Rights leaders also call for change (disproportionate numbers of Af.Americans in service)



22  Tet Offensive – turning point of the war (1968) ◦ North Vietnamese (Communists) attack US throughout S.Vietnam ◦ Temporarily take over US bases, US Embassy ◦ US kills more NVA; turns back attack ◦ Public opinion changes against the war ◦ LBJ decides not to run for re-election  Richard Nixon wins 1968 election; promises withdrawal of US troops

23  Nixon withdraws 1 st US troops in 1969 ◦ Calls policy “Vietnamization” – having S. Vietnamese troops take more active combat role  My Lai massacre by US Soldiers, 26 put on trial.  Nixon bombs & invades Cambodia ◦ Goes against promise to reduce war ◦ Leads to Kent State Tragedy  (Student protest that gets violent, 4 students shot and killed by Nat’l Guard)

24  Massacre As the "search and destroy" mission unfolded, it soon degenerated into the massacre of over 200 apparently unarmed civilians including women, children, and the elderly. Calley ordered his men to enter the village firing, though there had been no report of opposing fire. According to eyewitness reports offered after the event, several old men were bayoneted, praying women and children were shot in the back of the head, and at least one girl was raped and then killed. For his part, Calley was said to have rounded up a group of the villagers, ordered them into a ditch, and mowed them down in a fury of machine gun fire.

25  Nixon wins re-election in 1972, says “peace is at hand” ◦ Paris Peace Accords of 1973  US signs agreement to withdraw troops in 1973  All troops gone by March 29, 1973  S.Vietnam falls to communists in April 1975




29 ◦ Major concern at home was poverty ◦ Johnson’s plan called Great Society (fights a “War on Poverty”) ◦ Medicare & Medicaid ◦ Head Start- provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families. ◦ H.U.D. - United States Department of Housing and Urban Development –administer federal housing programs

30  Mapp v. Ohio, 1961 – illegally seized evidence  Gideon v. Wainwright, 1963 – free legal counsel for underprivileged  Miranda v. Arizona, 1966 – legal rights of accused  Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg BOE, 1971 – school districts can use busing for integration

31  More conservative; “New Federalism”  Gives more power back to state gov’ts  Nixon too paranoid; uses power illegally ◦ FBI – wiretapped liberals ◦ CIA – list of anti-gov’t people ◦ IRS – tax audits of antiwar & civil rights activists ◦ Had an “enemies list”  Economy suffers during Nixon’s presidency ◦ Stagflation – unemployment & inflation rise, economic growth slows down  Cold War Strategy ◦ Détente (using diplomacy to ease Cold War tensions) ◦ Visits China and Soviet Union in 1972 ◦ SALT I – talks to limit ICBMs

32  5 men caught breaking into Democratic National HQ’s  Men were members of Committee to Reelect the President (CRP)  Nixon uses cover-up to keep top aides from being fired or dismissed ◦ Documents destroyed ◦ $500,000 in bribes handed out ◦ CIA pressures FBI to stop investigation  Tape recordings of conversations  Story cracked by newspaper reporters – Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein  Nixon v. US, 1974 ◦ Nixon forced to surrender taped phone conversations ◦ 18 minute gap on tape (had been destroyed)  Congress begins impeachment process  Nixon resigns before being impeached; Gerald Ford takes over as President; Ford pardons Nixon soon after taking office


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