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The Cold War (JFK)

early 1960s, JFK
by

Tim Kanak

on 14 March 2013

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Transcript of The Cold War (JFK)

The Cold War (1960s) 1960 Presidential Election The "Processed Politician" The 1960 election centered around improving the economy and winning the Cold War. Both candidates portrayed themselves as "Cold Warriors" dedicated to containing the advancement of communism. Kennedy voiced concern the United States was lagging behind the Soviets in weaponry, now we know this was wrong and the United States was vastly superior, this fear was known as the missile gap. Nixon argued the nation was on the right track and Kennedy's fiscal policy would only lead to inflation. The Kennedy Mystique Kennedy came under fire about his Catholic beliefs, to this point the United States never had a Catholic president, only protestants. This fear nearly led to defeat in one of the closest Presidential races in U.S. history. Kennedy answered to the scrutiny of his beliefs stating, "I believe in an America where the separation between church and state is absolute." Kennedy's strong television presidency carried him to victory in one of the closest elections in U.S. history. JFK Background Info In 1943 John F. Kennedy commanded PT-109, a small patrol-torpedo boat in the Pacific. Japanese Destroyer Amagiri rammed the small boat, cutting it in two and killing two of Kennedy's men. After injuring his back, Kennedy swam to five of his men, saving them, towing them back to the wreckage and later to an island. He then saved one of his men by swimming three miles (five hours) with the man unconscious in a life jacket in tow. Kennedy pulled him by the life jacket strap with his teeth. The remaining men survived on an island for one week until saved. Kennedy became a national hero, serving in the House of Representatives and the Senate from 1946 to his presidency in 1960. Kennedy Politics Kennedy's youth, optimism and charisma captured the imagination of the public. Kennedy's agenda was known as the New Frontier - He hoped to increase funding to education, provide health insurance to the elderly and create a Department of Urban Affairs. Even though Democrats had the majority in both the House and the Senate, Kennedy had trouble putting his programs into action. The New Frontier was seen as too radical and costly. Kennedy was able to create more jobs through increases in space and defense spending. JFK and civil rights Kennedy advanced women's rights by creating the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women - called for action against gender discrimination and equal pay. Kennedy appointed Esther Peterson assistant Secretary of Labor and Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor - creating upward momentum for women in high government positions. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act for women in 1963. Kennedy won favor with African-Americans when campaigning after his brother and campaign manager, Robert, persuaded a judge to release Reverand Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) after he was arrested for sitting in a "white-only" diner. Warren Court Reforms Earl Warren - A popular Chief Justice in the U.S. Supreme Court took an active stance in changing national policy. Reapportionment - the way states draw up political districts for representation changes based upon current population. Due Process - no law, state or federal, may treat people unfairly and courts must follow proper procedures and rules during trials. Miranda vs. Arizona - Stated authorities must give suspects a warning and state they are allowed a lawyer and the right to remain silent. Now Police must read suspects the Miranda Rights upon arrest. Privacy of Prayer - Public schools can't force students to read the bible or pray in school. Berlin Wall The Soviets wanted to test the resolve of young President Kennedy and stop the flood of Germans racing out of Soviet Germany. Kennedy became the youngest elected President at the age of 43. The Berlin Wall was built on the border of East and West Berlin, blocking the Soviet sector from the rest of the city. Guards posted along the wall shot at many of those attempting to escape the east. The Space Race Space Race - Competition between the United States and the Soviet Union vying for dominance of space to enhance competitive positions on Earth. On April 12, 1961, the Soviets launched Yuri Gagarin into orbit around the earth on Vostok 1, making him the first cosmonaut and human to leave the atmosphere and orbit the Earth. Three weeks later, on May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard became the first astronaut and American to traverse space, lifting off from Cape Canaveral. The U.S. responded with the Mercury Program. On May 25, Kennedy committed to the Apollo Program in a race to landing the first man on the moon. On February 2, 1962, almost one year after the Soviets, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth in Friendship 7. Conspiracy: Was Gagarin really the first man in space? Kennedy Doctrine on Nuclear Weapons Kennedy felt Eisenhower relied too heavily on nuclear weapons, which he believed should only be used in extreme situations. The Soviet Union actively supported "wars of national liberation" abroad, especially in East Asia and Central/South America. To allow for a more "flexible response," JFK pushed for a buildup of conventional troops and weapons. This support led to the creation of the U.S. Special Forces units, the first of which being the "Green Berets," eventually leading to the creation of the Navy SEALs. The Peace Corps Established by JFK on March 1, 1961, the Peace Corps is aimed at helping less developed nations fight poverty. Volunteers spend two years in a nation, assisting in any way possible. The Peace Corps pays volunteers for all living expenses and gives scholarships to college students. The organization sent young Americans to perform humanitarian services in developing nations, formerly known as third world nations, primarily in Central/South America. The corps is currently in orange nations and used to be in purple nations. U.S. Presence in Latin America Conditions in Latin America were not good. Governments were in the hands of the wealthy few and citizens lived in extreme poverty. This spurred the growth of radical left-wing (Communist) movements aimed at overthrowing their governments. The U.S. took the stance of helping the existing government in order to contain communism. Latin Americans resented the U.S. for this intrusion. Latin Americans also resented the American corporations with business operations in their country - resembled imperialism. Improving Relations JFK wanted to renew diplomatic focus in Latin America and improve relations with Latin nations. Kennedy proposed Alliance for Progress - A series of cooperative aid projects with Latin American governments. The United States pledged $20 billion to help Latin American nations establish better schools, housing, health care and fairer land distribution. The Bay of Pigs Kennedy's effort to combat Communist influence led to an intense crisis in Cuba. Communist Fidel Castro overthrew the corrupt Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959 and established ties with the Soviet Union. Only 90 miles from American shores, the Soviet-Cuban alliance was too close for comfort. The CIA trained and armed Cuban exiles, known as La Brigada, to invade Cuba. On April 17, 1961, 1,400 armed Cuban exiles landed at the Bay of Pigs on the south coast of Cuba, the invasion was a complete disaster, La Brigada's boats ran aground on coral reefs and the U.S. was forced to cancel planned air support. The CIA vs. Fidel Castro The Cuban Missile Crisis Vasili Arkhipov Virtually unknown story of the man who saved the world - Prevented all out nuclear war by disagreeing with his commander on Soviet nuclear submarine B-59 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) - A doctrine in which full scale use of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)s by two opposing sides would result in the complete annihilation of both the attacker and the defender. On October 22, 1962, JFK announced American spy planes had taken aerial photos showing the Soviet Union placed long-range missiles in Cuba. Kennedy ordered a naval blockade of Cuba to stop Soviets from delivering more missiles. The closest the world has come to nuclear apocalypse. On October 28, the leaders reached an agreement. The United States would not invade Cuba and privately remove (out-of-date) missiles from Turkey if the Soviets removed their missiles from Cuba. The deal was offered by Khrushchev. 2/3 for vid. Assassination of JFK On November 22, 1963, Kennedy and his wife traveled to Dallas, Texas campaigning for the next election. Kennedy, riding in a motorcade through the crowded streets, was shot twice by a sniper and killed instantly. Warren Commission - Concluded Lee Harvey Oswald, who was himself assassinated two days after the shooting while in police custody, was the lone assassin. JFK was only in office for a little more than 1,000 days, but made a profound impact on the U.S. in contemporary times. Thrown into Presidency Lyndon B. Johnson became the 36th president of the United States on November 22, 1963, where he was sworn into office on Air Force One next to the former First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy. The United States and the majority of the world went into mourning after the assassination. New President, LBJ, was known throughout the country as a man who got things done. Johnson always sought to find consensus, or general agreement in every decision made. LBJ Politics Johnson viewed himself as a champion of the people. "Unfortunately, many Americans live on the outskirts of hope, some because of poverty and some because of their color..." Only seven weeks after becoming the President, Johnson declared an "unconditional war on poverty in America." Economic Opportunity Act - Established a wide range of programs aimed at creating jobs for young Americans living in the inner city . VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) - Domestic Peace Corps, put young people with skills in poor or rural neighborhoods to help people overcome poverty. The Great Society Johnson almost immediately had to begin campaigning for re-election, winning in a landslide against Republican Barry Goldwater in 1964. The Great Society - Johnson's vision of the more perfect and equitable society he believed the U.S. should become. Civil Rights Act of 1964 - Barred discrimination of many kinds. Voting Rights Act of 1965 - Ensured African-Americans' right to vote. Medicare and Medicaid - Health care reform, health insurance for the elderly. Project Head Start - Directed at disadvantaged children, offered an improved preschool program. Robert Weaver - The first African American to serve in a cabinet, as the Secretary of Urban Development.
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