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Overview of the 1960's for US history


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The 1960’s:

The 1960’s

JFK’s Military Policy:

JFK’s Military Policy Kennedy built up the conventional and nuclear weapons systems to deter the USSR and to close the missile gap with the Soviets Between 1960-1962 military spending increased 30%, $43 billion to $56 billion The Special Forces or Green Berets were created Kennedy expanded the CIA and Black Operations

Cuba-Castro takes Power:

Cuba-Castro takes Power Fidel Castro took over Cuba and created a communist government in 1959 Before JFK got to office, there was a plan to overthrow Castro

Bay of Pigs Invasion:

Bay of Pigs Invasion CIA secretly trained a group of exiled Cubans called La Brigada to invade Cuba Kennedy sent them to land at the Bay of Pigs , but their boats hit coral reefs and Kennedy cancelled the air support because he wanted to keep US involvement secret Bay of Pigs was a disaster – exposed American plot to overthrow Castro and made US look weak & disorganized

Southeast Asia:

Southeast Asia Kennedy sent in hundreds of Green Berets when the Vietcong Communist Guerrillas attacked South , Vietnam and the US supported Ngo Dinh Diem By 1963 16,000 US troops had been sent to South Vietnam Diem lost the support of the people and protest erupted (Ex. Buddhist Monks) Upon approval from the CIA, Diem was assassinated by his Generals Americans witnessed the protests through TV, US causalities increased

The Berlin Crisis:

The Berlin Crisis In 1961 Khrushchev and JKF met in Vienna, Austria JKF felt he looked weak and second best Khrushchev threatened to force the Western powers out of West Berlin 3 million East Germans had fled to West Berlin since the end of WWII JFK told Americans we stay in Berlin August 13 th , 1961 Khrushchev responded by allowing East Germany to construct The Berlin Wall

The Cuban Missile Crisis:

The Cuban Missile Crisis In the summer of 1962 the Khrushchev began shipping Soviet Offensive Nuclear Missiles to Castro In Cuba The US had Offensive Missiles in Turkey In October 1962 U-2 Spy planes took pictures of the weapons that could reach the US in minutes and destroy American cities

Kennedy’s Options:

Kennedy’s Options Invade Cuba? Soviet Troops were present Bomb the Sites? Sneak Attack? Naval Blockade around Cuba, or a “Quarantine”

Brink of Nuclear War:

Brink of Nuclear War The US was on DEFCON 3, 100,000 US troops readied in Florida to invade Cuba The Naval Blockade was in place around Cuba The Soviet Cargo Ships stormed to the blockade, but then turned around Days later Khrushchev pledged to remove the missiles if we pledged not to invade Cuba, and secretly months later we removed our missiles from Turkey RFK was instrumental in dealing with the Soviet ambassador

Outcomes of the Crisis:

Outcomes of the Crisis Khrushchev prestige was damaged, JFK looked stronger, but he was criticized for brinksmanship The Hot-line was established between Washington/Moscow JFK wanted to relax Cold War Tensions In 1962 the US and the USSR agreed to the Limited Test Ban Treaty which banned nuclear testing in the atmosphere

Kennedy Assassinated:

Kennedy Assassinated Then JFK and his wife traveled to Dallas, TX On November 22, 1963, JFK was shot in his motorcade and died at a nearby hospital

Oswald is Primary Suspect:

Oswald is Primary Suspect Lee Harvey Oswald was accused of killing JFK Suspected communist who spent time in USSR

Oswald Shot:

Oswald Shot However, Oswald himself was assassinated by nightclub owner, Jack Ruby , 2 days after JFK

The Warren Commission:

The Warren Commission A commission headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren looked into the JFK assassination to see if Oswald was the only killer = Warren Commission A year later, Chief Justice Earl Warren concluded Oswald was the lone assassin Conspiracy theories persist to this day about JFK’s death


Johnson Lyndon B. Johnson became the next president Took the oath of office on Air Force One at 2:38 p.m. on Nov. 22, 1963

Johnson :

Johnson Johnson was a true politician Where JFK could not get anything done, Johnson could He was able to push bills through Congress that Kennedy could not Civil Rights Tax Cut Anti-poverty program

Civil Rights Act of 1964:

Civil Rights Act of 1964 Proposed by President John F. Kennedy on June 6, 1963 in a civil rights speech Signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson July 2, 1964 Johnson used “bully pulpit” of the presidency to push legislation through the House. Goal was to guarantee equal treatment of every American regardless of race. Both MLK and Malcolm X listened to Senate debate (only time the two met )

President Johnson signs bill July 2, 1964 :

President Johnson signs bill July 2, 1964 Johnson’s Quote— “ We believe that all men are created equal -- yet many are denied equal treatment. We believe that all men have certain inalienable rights. We believe that all men are entitled to the blessings of liberty -- yet millions are being deprived of those blessings, not because of their own failures, but because of the color of their skins. The reasons are deeply embedded in history and tradition and the nature of man. We can understand without rancor or hatred how all this happens. But it cannot continue. Our Constitution, the foundation of our Republic, forbids it. The principles of our freedom forbid it. Morality forbids it. And the law I sign tonight forbids it....”

Voting Rights Act of 1965:

Voting Rights Act of 1965 President Johnson proposed to Congress on March 17, 1965 Signed into law by President Johnson August 6, 1965 MLK and Rosa Parks in attendance for the signing

Key Facts and Statistics:

Key Facts and Statistics Poll taxes and literacy tests are permanently banned. Other parts are temporary and to be renewed to remain in force. Other sections of the law renewed in 1970, 1975, 1982, and 2006

Voting Rights Act of 1965:

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Signatures of President Johnson, Speaker of the House, John McCormack , and President of the Senate, Hubert Humphrey President Johnson and Martin Luther King Jr. after the bill is signed into law

President Johnson and the War in Vietnam:

President Johnson and the War in Vietnam Lyndon B. Johnson becomes president in 1964, after assassination of JFK August 1964: US Navy ships had been patrolling North Vietnamese coast In Gulf of Tonkin Incident, Vietnamese fired on these ships (details of if this really happened are still unclear) Congress passed GULF OF TONKIN RESOLUTION: Gave president full powers to use whatever force he saw necessary in Vietnam Increased troops and bombing raids of North Vietnam

President Johnson Combats Communism:

President Johnson Combats Communism Sent troops to stop Communist takeover in Dominican Republic In Vietnam, Vietcong rebels had attacked an American airbase Johnson orders bombing raids of North Vietnam and sent more troops to South Vietnam to root out the Vietcong (VC).

Johnson’s Escalation of US Involvement in Vietnam:

Johnson’s Escalation of US Involvement in Vietnam The more troops we sent to Vietnam, the more troops the North sent as well. Fighting was becoming increasingly Americanized, no longer just about us helping the South Vietnamese End seemed nowhere is sight

Vietnam Vexations:

Vietnam Vexations Public opinion increasingly against US involvement in Vietnam Middle-East relations worsened after Israel took more Palestinian land with “Six Day War” PROTEST: Anti-war demonstrations, teach-ins, resistance to military draft Televised Senate hearings against war in Vietnam “Credibility gap” between government and people widening War seemed costly and futile Johnson ordered CIA and FBI to spy on anti-war protestors

The Tet Offensive:

The Tet Offensive Johnson kept assuring that North Vietnam was getting weaker This was disproved in 1968 with Tet Offensive: savage attacks on key South Vietnamese cities American public demanded an end to the war Meanwhile military leaders requested 100,000 more soldiers

The End of Johnson:

The End of Johnson Democrats gaining political momentum March 1968: Johnson announced he would not run for re-election Stunned the nation Diplomatic negotiations with North Vietnam slowly began Democratic candidate Robert Kennedy assassinated Election of 1968: Republican Richard Nixon won Minority candidate, won because of deep divisions in country Third party candidate George Wallace won third party popular vote in history (“Segregation now, segregation forever!”)

King’s Assassination:

King’s Assassination April 4 th , 1968 Killed in Memphis (probably) by James Earl Ray Massive riots in many American cities Bobby Kennedy pleads for peace in DC only major US city not to have riots

Bobby Kennedy’s Assassination:

Bobby Kennedy’s Assassination June 5, 1968 Had just won the California Democratic Primary Was running for president as the peace and civil rights candidate Many saw him as the best chance to unify the country

Democratic Convention in Chicago:

Democratic Convention in Chicago August, 1968 Anti-war protesters fill the streets Mayor Daley’s police attack the protesters TV cameras pick up the violence IS THE WHOLE COUNTRY FALLING APART ?

Space Race:

Space Race 1961, Yuri Gagarin, Soviet astronaut, becomes 1 st person to orbit earth Again, USSR beat US in space race Kennedy wanted US to be 1 st to put man on moon 1962, John Glen – 1 st American to orbit earth July 16, 1969, Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin , and Michael Collins lifted off; July 20, 1969, Armstrong became 1 st human being to set foot on moon

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“one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”

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