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The Turbulent Sixties 1960-1969

Flexible Response

First goal of JFK admin was to build up nation's armed forces warning that the Soviets were opening a missile gap. Already, the US had a great nuclear arsenal but the new admin wanted to put the Sovieys on the defensive so they increased their arsenal which created, if it ever happened, a successful first strike. JFK admin augmented conventional military strength. Sec of Defense McNamara developed plans to add 5-combat ready army divisions and JFK started to like coutnerinsurgency. JFK wanted to build up the nuclear weapons so the US could call on a wide spectrum of force for a communist threat. Only danger was that the US could test its strength against Soviet Union.

Crisis Over Berlin

The first confrontation came in Germany when Soviet Premier Khrushchev threatened to sign a peace treaty that would put access to isolated western zones of Berlin under the control of East Germany when there was a steady flight of workers to West Germany that weakened the E. Germany regime. Soviet Premier wanted a peace treaty but the US would not give up West Germany because it was a crucial defense point for West Europe. A "superpower" stalemate that developed in Berlin left Germany divided with the construction of the Berlin Wall. Kennedy ordered further military spending for weaponry and called 150,000 reservists to active duty to demonstrate American determination to honor its international commitments.

Containment in Southeast Asia

The soviet premier declared Soviet support for war of national liberation aimed at China who was competeing with Soviet Union for influence in 3rd World but JFK thought the US and Russia were locked in struggle for Asia, Africa, and Latin America. JFK advcated financial and technical assistance to 3rd world nations to acheive economic modernization. Problems arose in Asia when Ngo Dinh Diem, a French Roman Catholic who was backed up by US, prevented the holding of free elections wanting to get more assistance from the US. JFK gave economic aid to Diem but denied troops from going over. Kennedy gave financial aid, technical assistance, and counterinsurgency in order to build strong, stable, Western democracies in the less-developed areas of Asia. The most obvious result of this support was the increase of American advisors to South Vietnam from less than 1,000 in 1961 to more than 16,000 in 1963. JFK knew that the fate of S. Vietnam would be determined by the Vietnamese. The intensified struggle in Saigon made American involvment certain.

Containing Castro: The Bay of Pigs Fiasco

Kennedy gave his approval to a CIA plan developed under Eisenhower to topple Castro by using Cuban exiles as invasion troops. April 17, 1961: 1400 cuban exiles moved onto the shore at Bay of Pigs. JFK stopped a airstrike that would of helped the exiles. The Bay of Pigs landing proved to be an utter disaster, and Kennedy took full responsibility for the failure.

Containing Castro: The Cuban Missile Crisis

In 1962, the United States faced a much more serious issue regarding the installation of nuclear missiles in Cuba. When JFK found out Cuba was getting missiles, he said that the US would blockade Cuba and if Russians did not remove missiles, US would invade Cuba and dismantle the missiles. Kennedy refused to bargain on the missiles and boldly ordered a quarantine of Cuba as the world braced for a possible nuclear showdown. Premier Khrushchev eventually backed down, but the Russians went on a crash nuclear buildup to achieve parity with the United States. Some positive results followed: a limited test ban treaty was signed in 1963; a hot line to speed communication between the nuclear antagonists was installed, and a policy of conciliation replaced that of confrontation. Those gains were offset by a dramatic escalation in the arms race.

The Congressional Obstacle

JFK could not break the logjam in Congress due to to coalition of conservative North Republicans and South Democrats that would not accept the reform bills. Because the conservative coalition stood firmly against education and health care proposals, much of the New Frontier languished in Congress. Kennedy did win approval of a trade-expansion program and a slight increase in the minimum wage, however.

Economic Advance

Economic growth slowed to 2% and unemployment grew with each new recession. Kennedy made the sluggish American economy one of his highest priorities, but received conflicting advice on how best to stimulate it. Some wanted training to modernize and others wanted federal spenind to rebuild nation's public facilities. Ultimately, the greatest stimulus to economic growth came from Kennedy's increased appropriations for defense and space. In 1963, Kennedy, following the advice of his chief economic advisor, Walter Heller, pushed through major tax cuts to stimulate consumer spending. Personal income and corporate profits increased dramatically, and the economy did well throughout the 1960s.

Moving Slowly on Civil Rights

JFK, through his campaign, described himself as a crusader for civil rights but the threat of southern democrats forced him to downplay his legislation. He focused instead on executive leadership. His brother and Attorney General, Robert Kennedy, continued the Eisenhower administration's efforts to achieve Black voting rights in the South while Vice President Lyndon Johnson headed a presidential Commission on Equal Employment Opportunities. The Justice Department worked with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the South. Kennedy also appointed a number of African Americans to high government positions and supported the attempt by James Meredith to gain admission to the University of Mississippi over Governor Ross Barnett's opposition. Not satisfied with the scope of Kennedy's support for Black equality, the Congress of Racial Equality pushed the issue by initiating the first "freedom ride" in 1961 to test the Supreme Court's order to desegregate all bus and train stations used in interstate travel.

"I Have a Dream"

Responding to Dr. King's campaign for racial justice in Birmingham and his eloquent speech from the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, Kennedy finally decided to take the offensive and push for civil rights legislation in Congress. By the time of the president's death, his civil rights bills were on their way to passage. Though Kennedy's record on civil rights was hesitant, he did throw the weight of the presidency behind the civil rights movement, something that had never been done before.

The Supreme Court and Reform

The Warren-led Supreme Court was the most active force for social change, making far-reaching decisions that improved the rights of accused criminals, and brought about more equitable reapportionment in legislative redistricting. The activism of the Court stirred a storm of criticism. Key Court Casses were Gideon v Wainwright, Escobedo v Illinois, and Miranda v Arizona which improved the rights of accused criminals. In Baker v Carr, Tennessee had to redistribute its legislative seats to gove citizens in Memphis equal representation. In Engel v Vitale, this banned school prayer which incensed many conservatives who saw the Court undermining moral values.

Johnson In Action

After JFK was assassinated in Dallas by Lee Harvey Oswald, Lyndon B Johnson became president. Although lacking Kennedy's charm and charisma, Johnson possessed far greater ability than his predecessor in dealing with Congress. He sought consensus rather than confrontation. He succeeded in achieving the passage of Kennedy's civil rights measures, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made segregation illegal, was a landmark in the advance of American freedom and equality.

The Election of 1964

Convinced of the detrimental societal effects of poverty, Johnson declared an unconditional "war on poverty" and empowered the new Office of Economic Opportunity to set up a variety of programs to provide assistance to the poor in America. In 1964, Johnson and his "Great Society" program soundly defeated the hawkish Republican Barry Goldwater. The Democrats also achieved huge gains in Congress, breaking the conservative stranglehold.

The Triumph of Reform

Upon inauguration, Johnson began pushing his "Great Society," making health care and educational reforms his top priority. The establishment of Medicare and Medicaid realized Truman's 1949 goal of universal health insurance while the Elementary and Secondary Education Act provided federal monies to school districts throughout the nation. The passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 encouraged massive increases in African-American voter registration. Within nine months of being elected in his own right, Johnson achieved the entire Democratic reform agenda, but difficulties abroad soon stole his attention from domestic concerns.

The Vietnam Dilemma

LBJ's obsession led to his downfall. Diem's overthrow prevented LBJ from conducting a review because of the vacuum of power in Saigon. LBJ kept undercover activities alive that led to the Gulf of Tonkin affair where 2 American ships were destroyed, giving LBJ a reason to make the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution to take any armed attack against US to prevent further agression not fully declaring war. Congress responded with alacrity. LBJ did not look like he wanted to widened the conflict, but the Resolution gave him unlimited power.

Escalation

Refusing to call for an invasion of the North, Johnson opted for steady military escalation after the attack on Pleiku that killed 9 Americans. As his "open-ended commitment" to force a diplomatic solution on Hanoi intensified, American combat missions in the South and air strikes against the North increased. This air strike was ineffective. Johnson refused to admit, however, that he had committed the United States to full-scale military involvement, and the situation in Southeast Asia worsened. LBJ opted for large scale limited military fearing that a pullout would cause a backlash at home.

Stalemate

Despite massive American escalation, the war remained stalemated in 1968. American bombing proved uneffective Westmoreland's wanton use of American firepower to destroy the Vietnamese countryside, wiping out villages and killing civilians, discredited the American cause and increased criticism of the war on the homefront. North Vietnam used the bombings as a propaganda tool. Search-and-destroy tactics proved to be uneffective. Vietcong was main threat with the use of guerilla style fighting.

The Student Revolt

1st sign of student rebellion started at University of California at Berkley. Student radicals on campuses across the nation created unrest over free speech, war, racism, poverty, and a variety of other issues. The Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) were the most active of these student groups. At first experiencing phenomenal growth and success, SDS was dead by 1970, destroyed by inner turmoil and a penchant for violence. Older Americans thought nation's family traditions wer under attack with the uprising of the youthe going beserk with experimentation.

Protesting the Vietnam War

Opposition to the war in Vietnam was a central theme for many students. "Teach-ins" became the main response in trying to end the war for students. A great irony of the war was the draft deferments where people with money could buy their way out of the war. To students the war seemed to symbolize all that was wrong with America. Students held sit-ins and marches demanding an end to the war. Though they failed to end the war, they did change American life.

The Cultural Revolution

Combined with the issues of war and race, the youth of the country seemed to be rejecting all the cultural values of middle-class, middle-aged Americans. Along with opposition to the war and the draft, rock music and drug experimentation were key elements of this counterculture movement that climaxed at the legendary Woodstock concert in Bethel, New York

"Black Power"

The civil rights movement became more militant and less concerned with racial harmony as the 1960s wore on. Despite the movement's legislative successes, its failure to solve the economic problems of the race along with continued racial discrimination inspired a rejection of King's non-violent tactics. When King was assassinated, urban riots erupted in 125 cities across the nation. The Black Power movement went hand in hand with a movement celebrating pride in Black culture and history and the rejection of the term Negro in favor of Afro-American or Black

Ethnic Nationalism

The pride in ethnicity that emerged from the Black Power movement inspired other groups including Mexican Americans and Native Americans to celebrate their own heritage and history. Language classes and programs celebrating ethnic heritage began almost overnight at many colleges and Congress acknowledged the trend with the passage of the Ethnic Heritage Studies Act of 1972.

Women's Liberation

Young women involved in the various civil rights movements of the era found to their dismay that many of their male colleagues saw them only as people to fix the food. Such sexism inspired many to join a growing movement for women's liberation. Recognizing that the condition of women in America created a sense of grievance and discrimination, the work of such authors as Betty Friedan argued that many women were not satisfied with a life that consisted solely of housework and child rearing. The 1964 Civil Rights Act helped women combat employment inequalities while groups like the National Organization for Women emerged to push for full equality for women with the 1972 Equal Rights Amendment. Turned off by some of the more radical views of the feminist movement, the Amendment was not ratified by American voters

Vietnam Undermines Lyndon Johnson

As a result of the Viet Cong's surprise offensive during Tet, the lunar New Year, American political and popular support for the war declined rapidly. LBJ for many years said that the US was winning but when a news reporter went over to see how well the war was doing, he wrote back saying it looked like ruins and we were losing. In March of 1968, President Johnson refused to authorize further military escalation, declared a peace initiative, and announced that he would not run for another term. American policy went in a huge circle with Vietnam with French support to military involvment to inconclusive fighting eventually leading up to Johnson's downfall.

The Democratic Divide

Without a clear candidate, the Democratic party divided between Eugene McCarthy, Robert Kennedy, and Johnson's Vice President Hubert Humphrey. After the assassination of Robert Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey became the heir apparent of the party, but divisions over the war deeply divided the party. These divisions became hardened at the tumultuous Democratic convention in Chicago. Humphrey seemed to be winning until a massive riot outside of the Chicago convention hall by Radicals. The cops useage of tear gas and the hits upon the heads led to the Democratic downfall. The Democrats were another Victim in the Vietnam War.

The Republican Resurgence

With the wounded Democratic party foundering, and George Wallace, a third-party candidate running on White supremacy, running away with much of the Southern vote, the Republican nominee Richard Nixon easily won the presidency. Nixons election ended the liberal reform impulse and was clear sign of strong reaction against federal power. The Viet War ended activist foreign Policy which started with the entrance of WW2. Containment proved to be disastrous when applied to world wide. The last 30 years of the 20th century would mark a change in outdated liberal internationalism into new policies at home and abroad.

Baker v Carr

the Supreme Court ended unequal representation in state and local legislative bodies by establishing the rule of "one man, one vote." Its effect was to diminish the power of rural areas and increase the representation of cities in state legislatures.

Bay of Pigs

In 1961, an American-backed effort by anti-Castro Cuban exiles to invade Cuba at this place and force the overthrow of Fidel Castro's government was a dismal failure. It was an embarrassment to the United States and to President Kennedy personally, although the invasion had originally been planned while Eisenhower was president.

Black Panthers

headed by black radical Huey Newton, was a violently militant black organization that demanded compensation for the historical legacy of injustice toward blacks in America

Stokely Carmichael

was chairman of SNCC when, in the mid-1960s, it turned radical and opposed further cooperation with white liberals in the civil rights movement. He believed integration was a subterfuge for white supremacy

Cesar Chavez

organized Mexican immigrant farm laborers into the United Farm Workers union in the 1970s. He used strikes, boycotts, and nonviolent resistance to protest unfair labor practices by the growers

Civil Rights Act of 1964

made illegal the segregation of races in public facilities, lessened discrimination in employment, and protected the voting rights of racial minorities

Cuban Missile Crisis

In 1962, the United States and Soviet Union came close to nuclear war when the United States insisted that the Soviets remove their missiles from Cuba. The Soviets eventually did so, nuclear war was averted, and the crisis passed.

Richard Daley

In 1968, this Chicago mayor surrounded the Democratic National Convention hall with police. During the convention, Chicago police rioted in response to antiwar demonstrations and hundreds of protestors were beaten and arrested

Ngo Dinh Diem

was the president of South Vietnam from 1954 to 1963. He was a Catholic in a largely Buddhist nation and an intense anticommunist. The United States backed his increasingly ineffective government until Diem was killed during a coup in 1963

Equal Rights Amendment

In 1967, the National Organization for Women (NOW) advocated this to the Constitution that would outlaw discrimination on the basis of sex. Congress proposed the amendment in 1972, but it was never ratified by the states

The Feminine Mystique

feminist Betty Friedan attacked the cultural assumptions about women's "proper" place being in the home in this book. Friedan argued that the assumed domesticity of women robbed them of the capacity to use their intelligence and their talent for creativity.

Flexible Response

President Kennedy revised the Eisenhower military doctrine of massive retaliation that relied on nuclear threats to this new doctrine that put more emphasis on conventional forces and counterinsurgency warfare

Free Speech Movement

The first student protest of the 1960s came at the University of California at Berkeley, in 1964. There, veterans of the civil rights movement staged sit-ins to protest university policies that restricted political advocacy on the campus

Freedom Rides

sponsored by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), were bus trips taken by both black and white civil rights advocates in the 1960s. They rode buses through the South to test the enforcement of federal regulations that prohibited segregation in interstate public transportation

J. William Fulbright

This Arkansas senator was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the 1960s. He was an opponent of adventurous foreign policy initiatives by President Kennedy in Cuba and President Johnson in Vietnam

Gideon v Wainwright

In 1962, the Supreme Court enlarged the rights of those accused of crime by its ruling in this case that poor defendants were entitled to free legal counsel

Barry Goldwater

leader of the extreme conservative wing of the Republican party, was the party's nominee for president in 1964. He was defeated in a landslide victory for Democrat Lyndon Johnson

Great Society

This was President Johnson agenda to fight poverty, promote social welfare legislation, and advance civil rights

Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

At President Johnson's request, Congress passed this in 1964. It gave the president authority to deploy U.S. troops to repel aggression in Southeast Asia. President Johnson accepted its passage as a license to conduct war in Vietnam.

Head Start

In 1964 Congress created this program to prepare children for elementary school. It also improved the health of children by providing medical examinations and good meals. It was one of the most successful Great Society programs

Ho Chi Minh

North Vietnam's leader during the Vietnam War. He was an intense nationalist and a communist. He died in 1970

Hubert Humphrey

LBJ's VP-was the Democratic Party candidate for president in 1968. He had a lengthy record of support for social-welfare and civil-rights legislation. His support for Johnson's war policies cost him some liberal Democratic votes, and he narrowly lost the 1968 election to Richard Nixon

JFK

was elected president in 1960. He had trouble getting cooperation from Congress on his domestic policy and faced multiple and complex problems in the conduct of foreign policy in Cuba, Europe, and Vietnam. He was assassinated in 1963

Robert Kennedy

was attorney general in his brother's administration, where he vigorously pursued civil-rights cases. He was later elected senator from New York, and he campaigned as an antiwar presidential candidate in 1968. He was assassinated just prior to the 1968 Democratic National Convention

Eugene McCarthy

ran against President Johnson for the Democratic nomination for president in 1968. He challenged Johnson's Vietnam war policy and was supported by many liberal Democrats

Medicaid

From the Medicare Act that gave medical grants to poor people below age of 65

Medicare

From the Medicare Act that gave funding for hospitalization insurance for retired people

Miranda v Arizona

The Supreme Court rueld in this case that those accused of committing a crime had the right to have a lawyer present while being questioned by authorities

New Frontier

JFK's foreign and domestic policy which hoped to revitalize the national economy, extend the influence of the United States abroad, and "get the country moving again."

Richard Nixon

was elected vice president in 1952 and 1956, but lost the 1960 presidential election to Kennedy. He won the presidency in 1968 and 1972, but resigned in disgrace over the Watergate scandal in 1974

NOW

Feminists calling for equal employment opportunities and equal pay for women founded the National Organization for Women in 1966. They also came to advocate an equal rights amendment, changes in divorce laws, and legalization of abortion.

Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

One consequence of the Cuban missile crisis was the signing (by one hundred nations) of this treaty in 1963. It banned all atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons. Of the major nations, only France and China did not sign the treaty

Lee harvey Oswald

Assassinated JFK

The Other America

This book written by socialist Michael Harrington was to call attention to the problem of poverty in America. It was a stimulus behind President Johnson's War on Poverty

Peace Corps

was an invention of the Kennedy administration. It was designed to mobilize American idealism and technical skills to help developing nations

Port Huron Statement

was the founding document of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). The statement expressed youths' concern with racial bigotry, the atomic bomb, and self-indulgent wealth and power. It advocated "participatory democracy" as a way to make government and corporations socially responsible

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

Became the radical black-rights group that was scornful of integration and interracial cooperation. Its leader, Stokely Carmichael, was an advocate of black separatism

Students for a Democratic Society

It was a popular college student organization, a vehicle to protest the shortcomings of American life from the students' perspective. It advocated political activism and "participatory democracy" to protest the Vietnam War, racial bigotry, and other problems

Tet Offensive

In February 1968, the Viet Cong (communist guerrillas) in South Vietnam launched a major offensive, hoping to provoke widespread rebellion in the country. The effort failed, but the psychological impact on South Vietnam and the United States made it a great victory for the Viet Cong and North Vietnam. The United States thereafter reversed its policy of escalation and began a policy of Vietnamization of the war

Voting Rights Act of 1965

effectively banned literacy tests for voting rights and provided for federal registrars to assure the franchise to minority voters

George Wallace

was an avowed segregationist and a leading spokesman against the civil rights movement. He ran for president in 1968 on the American Independent party ticket. He was critically wounded in an assassination attempt in 1972 while campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Watts

In 1965, the first of what was to be many black ghetto riots in the following decade broke out in this ghetto in Los Angeles. The National Guard had to be called to restore order, and after six days of rioting, thirty-four people had been killed

William Westmoreland

was the commander of U.S. troops in Vietnam from 1964 to 1968. He devised and pursued an unsuccessful strategy of attrition

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