John F. Kennedy (D)● Won 1960 Election Against Richard Nixon (R) ○ First Roman Catholic to be nominated since Al Smiths losing campaign in 1928 ○ Youngest elected president ○ First Election with televised debates● Peace Corps program● Space program ○ MOON!
New Frontier ● Set of domestic reforms ● GAME PLAN: ○ Stimulate Economy ○ Attack Poverty ● Congress = Frustration ● Successes: ○ Tariff Reductions ○ Building legislation that calls for significant tax cuts to promote economic growth
JFKs Assassination● A lot of people loved Kennedy● November 22, 1963, Dallas, TX● Warren Commission: ignored evidence of wider conspiracy behind murders of suspected assassinators
Lyndon B. Johnson (D) ● Got a lot of support due to JFK assassination ● "Great Society" ● Won 1964 Election against Arizona Rep. Barry Goldwater ● Democratic majority in both houses = Easy passage of legislature
Medicare and Medicaid● Debate: National Health vs. Socialized Medicine● Medicare - Middle class constituency ○ Not need based ○ Eg Social Security● Medicaid - federal medical assistance to welfare
Community Action● Involving poor people in the administration of the programs designed to help them● Gave political and administrative experience to workers● Could not be sustained ○ Administrative faults ○ Lack of funding ■ WHY?● Ideally sound, but failed to give significant, nationwide results
Cities, Schools, ImmigrationHousing● Housing Act of 1961 - preserve open spaces, develop mass transit, subsidize middle-income housing● Department of Housing and Development● Model Cities ProgramSchools● Elementary and Secondary Education Act (1965) - extend aid to private and parochial schools, based on student needsImmigration● Immigration Act of 1965 - eliminated national origins system
Great Society● Enhance social welfare = increase in federal spending● Education and job training to escape poverty cycle● Achievements ○ Civil Rights Act of 1964 ○ Voting Rights Act of 1964 ○ Medicare and Medicaid ○ War on Poverty ○ Federal aid to education
Protests, protests, protests!● John F. Kennedy won the hearts of many African Americans ○ He helped win the release of MLK in Georgia prison● SNCC- was formed by the people who had participated in sit-ins against segregation● CORE- an interracial group of students started the “freedom rides.” They traveled around in buses and forced desegregation of bus stations.● SCLC- created citizen-education which mobilized the black workers● University of Mississippi enrolled a black student- whites protested and JFK sent troops to restore order.● MLK launched nonviolent demonstration in Birmingham, Alabama.
Battle for Voting Rights● “Freedom Summer” - campaign that worked on behalf of black voter registration and participation. ○ produced the MFDP● King organized a major demonstration in Selma, Alabama– demanded for the rights of blacks to register to vote● Johnson proposed and won the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1965 (Voting Right Acts)
The Battle for Racial Equality● Tensions worsened because school desegregation was already legal (de jure), but it reached de facto (accepted by society), bringing fights to the north.● AA leaders were demanding that employers adopt positive measures that would compensate for past injustices.● Johnson supported "affirmative action" which extended to all institutions supported by the government.● Chicago Campaign: organizers hoped to direct national attention to discrimination in N. industrial cities in the same way campaigns exposed racism in the South but instead evoked violent opposition from whites and failed to trigger national conscience.
Urban Violence● Poverty gained national attention through outbreaks of violence in black neighborhoods and major cities.● Watts Riot: white police officer struck a black bystander which caused a week of violence (showed how AAs disliked treatment from police)● 34 dead (28 were black)● Summer of 1966: 43 additional outbreaks (most serious Chicago and Cleveland)● Summer of 1967: 8 major outbreaks (Detroit-43 deaths; 33 black)● Violence=sense of urgency
"Black Power"● Gave people a sense of racial distinctiveness.● Instilled pride in blacks who were seen as inferior to whites.● Encouraged growth in academics, literary and artistic movements and produced interest in African roots.● "Afro" hairstyles replaced straightened ● Interracial organizations- SNCC ● Established Black Leaders hair. ● Black Panther Party- promised to defend black rights even if that required violence ● Blacks were more confident
Malcolm XMalcolm X the ● Most celebrated of Black Muslims.● Originally Malcolm "Little" but adopted "X" to symbolize his lost African surname. ● Was a drug addict and pimp in prison, but rebuilt himself when he became Muslim. ● Did not advocate violence, but insisted that blacks had the right to defend themselves. ● Died in 1965 when black gunmen assassinated him in NY.
Expanding American Influence● Kennedy favored peaceful means of expanding American influence.● ALLIANCE FOR PROGRESS● Agency for International Development (AID)● Peace Corps
Foreign Affairs Bay of● Disastrous assault of Kennedy in Cuba– on the Castros government● April 17, 1961- 2,000 exiles arrived at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba.● Castro forces crushed the invaders and in two days the entire mission collapsed. Cuban Crisis● Krushchev and Kennedys views did little to reduce tensions between their nations > creation of Berlin Wall on Aug. 13, 1961 to stop the mass withdrawal of residents from Germany to the West● October 14, 1962: Aerial photos reveal that Soviets were constructing nuclear weapon sites in Cuba.● Soviets believed it was a way to counter the presence of American missiles in Turkey, but Kennedy saw it as an act of aggression.● October 22: Kennedy publicly announced that he will order a naval and air blockade around Cuba against all offensive weapons.● October 26: Kennedy received a message from Khrushchev proposing the removal of missile bases in exchange for America to promise not to invade Cuba.
America during the Vietnam War● Student protest movement ○ Free Speech Movement ○ Antiwar● Reporters from Vietnam ○ helped sustain the movement with their franks revelation about the brutality and futility of the war.
Americas economy during the War ● The American economy was beginning to suffer. ○ The inflation rate remained at 2% through most of the early 1960s, rose to 3% in 1967, 4% in 1968, 6% in 1969. ○ Johnson asked Congress for a tax increase– a 10% "war tax". ○ $6 billion reduction in funding for Great Society programs.
The Political Challenge● Allard Lowenstein tried to mobilize support behind an antiwar candidate who would challenge Lyndon Johnson in the 1968 primaries.● Kennedy declined the invitation. ○ They turned Sen. Eugene McCarthy – nearly defeated the president. ○ Robert Kennedy entered the campaign and embittered McCarthys supporters.● March 31, Johnson went on television and announced withdrawal from the presidential election.● Public animosity toward the president was that Johnson did not leave the White House to campaign.
MLK Assassination● On April 4 1968, MLK was shot and killed while standing on the balcony of his motel.● James Earl Ray was captured days later in London and was convicted.● Kings tragic death produced an outpouring grief among African Americans.● Few days after, major riots broke out.
Robert Kennedy Assassination● June 6, Sirhan Sirhan shot him in the head.● Kennedy died the next morning.● "Kennedy legacy"- set of ideas that would for a time become central to American liberalism: the fervent commitment to using government to help the powerless.
The Conservative Response● The events in 1968– American society was in the throes of evolutionary change.● George Wallace was a third party candidate who was successful because he based his campaign on conservative grievances.● American responded conservatively● “Silent majority”– in favor of order and stability that was within the Republican Party.