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1960's: the decade of cold war and counterculture

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Brianna Rauenzahn

on 17 May 2016

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Transcript of 1960's: the decade of cold war and counterculture

John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Importance of Television!

Foreign Policy Highlights:
Bay of Pigs Invasion 1961
failed CIA operation
Berlin Crisis 1961
building of the wall
Cuban Missile Crisis 1962
nuclear war averted
Vietnam Crisis 1963
Bay of Pigs
CIA finances and trains a group of Cuban refugees
Began in 1960 by President Eisenhower and passed on to JFK
1,200 Cuban exiles wade ashore at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba, armed with American weapons with the goal of inciting a revolt against Fidel Castro's regime
Miserable failure: forces met with immediate counterattacks. The US does not provide necessary air support and the expected uprising never happened. Most of the exiles are captured or killed
Cuban Missile Crisis
1962: 13 day political and military standoff

Many people fear the brink of nuclear war: one of the most tense moments of modern history
Disaster was avoided when the US agreed to the removal of USSR missiles in exchange for the US promising not to invade Cuba
Secret agreement not released to public: US would also remove missiles from Turkey
Kennedy's famous inaugural address
creates peace corps
declares war on poverty
promises foreign aid, especially to Latin America
importance of sciences and space exploration
CIA discovered nuclear missile sites in Cuba with spy plane
Aerial photos detected at least 9 Soviet missile sites under construction
Sources report Soviet ships carrying nuclear warheads heading for Cuba
JFK decides to enact a naval blockade of Cuba rather than an invasion or bomb the missile sites

1960's: the decade of cold war and counterculture
Election of 1960: Guess who wins (hint one of Miss R's favorites)
first televised debates
those who listened on radio said Nixon won
those who watched said Kennedy won
(in other words, Nixon looked like crap!)
“ask not what your country can do for you;
ask what you can do for your country”

installation of nuclear-armed Soviet missiles in Cuba, just 90 miles from US shores
hotline installed in oval office: direct link from Washington to Moscow
Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Signed: bans testing in air, underwater, and in space
Assassination of JFK
November 22, 1963: Dallas, TX
Texas is a key electoral state
JFK and Jackie O are on a "fence mending trip" due to civil rights tensions
Three shots fired from the Texas School Book Depository in Dealey Plaza at 12:30 pm
New President:
Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn in (JFK's VP)
LBJ is known for his bullying tactics: he pushes a great deal of legislation through Congress
Most notably: The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which had been created by JFK
LBJ's Great Society
Cities, Countryside, Classroom
Escalation of Vietnam War
In 1954, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia gain independence from French colonial rule
Vietnam divided between anti-Communist South and Communist North
South Vietnam, backed by America, refuses to have unification elections (for fear that Communism would win)
Conflicting American ideals of Self-Determination and Anti-Communism
By 1958, Communist led guerrillas, known as the Viet Cong, began to battle the South Vietnamese Government
US sends 2,000 military advisers to support the South's government
that number grows to 16,300 by 1963
In 1965, LBJ escalates the war, beginning airstrikes on North Vietnam and committing US ground forces-- 536,000 in 1968
First Televised War: becomes extremely unpopular!
Richard Nixon takes over in 1970
Nixon adopts a strategy of Vietnamization: withdrawing American troops and giving South Vietnam more responsibility
Attempts to slow flow of North Vietnamese solders and supplies by sending American forces to destroy a Communist supply base in Cambodia
This act violated Cambodian neutrality and provoked anti-war protests on the nation's college campuses
from 1968-1973 efforts were made to end the conflict through diplomacy
US forces withdraw from Vietnam and US prisoners of war are released
In April 1975, South Vietnamese forces surrender to the North and Vietnam was reunited under a Communist Government
Implications of Vietnam War
Impossible to separate from the larger context of the Cold War-US commitment to stopping further spread of Communism
US and USSR use proxy war to avoid direct conflict, thus avoiding the possibility of nuclear war
Unfortunately for the US, the government of the North was a fiercely proud group of nationalists, willing to fight endlessly against foreign dominance. The South was weak and corrupt.
By end of war: US had used 7 million tons of bombs on Vietnam- more than all bombs dropped on Europe and Japan in WWII.
2 million Vietnamese civilians
1.1 million North Vietnamese soldiers
2000,000 South Vietnamese soldiers
58,000 US soldiers
Estimated casualties:
Tremendous impact on American Society
American press plays a significant role in the arena of public opinion:
gruesome footage coupled with the fact that young Americans were dying on foreign soil against an enemy that did not threaten the US directly turned much of the American opinion against the war
Tet Offensive: 1968
Marks Turning Point in War and begins the slow withdrawal of the US from the region
North Vietnamese offensive: attack of over 100 cities and towns in South Vietnam. Further dismays American public and erodes support for war
Kent State
After President Nixon appears on TV to announce the invastion of Cambodia and the need to draft 150,000 more soldiers, massive protests erupt throughout college campuses
At Kent State University in Ohio, protesters launched a demonstration that included setting fire to the ROTC building, prompting the governor of Ohio to dispatch 900 National Guardsmen to the campus
During an altercation on May 4, twenty-eight guardsmen opened fire on a crowd, killing four students and wounding nine.
Following the killings, the unrest across the country escalated even further. Almost five hundred colleges were shut down or disrupted by protests.
Full transcript