1961- “It was a mean year.”• 1. Space Program• 2. Bay of Pigs• 3. Berlin Crisis
1. Space Program • 1957-USSR won space race with Sputnik • April 12, 1961 • Yuri Gagarin (USSR) completes first orbit of the Earth • May 5, 1961 • Alan Shepard is first American into outer space • JFK’s Goal-To land a man on the moon and bring him back by the end of the decade.
2. Bay of Pigs-April 17, 1961• JFK criticized Ike for being soft on Cuba • Afraid Communism might spread • Ike called for invasion worked in Guatemala • JFK hoped that the invasion would foster a revolution
Results of the Bay of Pigs• Unlike Ike, JFK took full responsibility • Popularity rose to 83% • JFK sent $53 million to Cuba for 1100 prisoners • Cuba became top US priority• Operation Mongoose • 10 million set aside to kill Castro • By 1975, US tried to kill Castro 24 times
Vienna Conference-June 1961• JFK & Khruschev met for the 1st time• Khruschev thought that he could push JFK around • Bay of Pigs • 3 Days of meetings
3. Berlin Crisis (June-August 1961)• Khruschev wants Berlin to be a “free city” • “If JFK wants a war, he’ll be the last President of the US” • Real Problem-2000 people leaving Berlin every day • US Tanks faced off against USSR tanks • "Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in." • “Ich bin ein Berliner.”
Results of Berlin Crisis• Berlin Wall constructed by USSR • Began August 12, 1961 • JFK- “A wall is a hell of a lot better than a war” • Wall seen as a failure • 89 people killed trying to cross the wall
Vietnam (1961-1963)• Vietnam is the Cornerstone of the Free World in SE Asia• Assassination of Diem-Nov. 1, 1963• 16,000 Advisors• Aid-$1.5 Billion