|Malcolm X||(Civil Rights Movement) (1952-1956) Malcolm X was a Black Muslim minister in the Nation of Islam and an influential black leader who moved away from King's non-violent methods of civil disobedience. |
• He split with the Black Muslim movement and formed the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU) which attracted thousands of young, urban blacks with its message of socialism and self-help.
• He initially advocated nationalism, self-defense, and racial separation.
• After a pilgrimage to Mecca, he converted to Orthodox Islam and began publicly accepting the idea of cooperation between blacks and whites.
• Malcolm X was assassinated in 1965 while giving a speech in New York City. The assassins were said to be Black Muslims, although this was never proved.
|Civil Rights Act||(Civil Rights Movement)(1957) First civil-rights bill passed since Reconstruction. Although symbolic, it was largely ineffective. It gave the U.S. Attorney General the authority to bring lawsuits on behalf of African Americans denied the right to vote. |
• However, any person found guilty of obstructing someone's right to register barely faced the prospect of punishment because in the South only whites could be jury members.
|Sit-in/ Greensboro||(Civil Rights Movement)(1960) A nonviolent protest tactic first popularized by African American college students seeking civil rights in the South. Four black students took seats at the whites-only lunch counter of a Woolworth's store, intending to "sit-in" until they were served and their actions brought the desegregation of the lunch counter. |
• As protests in the 1960s spread beyond civil rights, many radical groups adopted the sit-in as a tactic.
|Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) 1961/ Stokely Carmichael (1966)||(Civil Rights Movement) SNCC was originally a student branch of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. It ended up breaking with SCLC president Martin Luther King Jr. over his insistence on nonviolence. |
• Stokely Carmichael, SNCC's new leader, told members they should seize power in those parts of the South where blacks outnumbered whites.
Carmichael was one among several African American leaders who called for "black power."
|Freedom Rides||(Civil Rights Movement)(1961) A form of civil rights protest for which the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) organized racially mixed groups to travel by bus through the South to test compliance with federal laws banning racial segregation on interstate transportation. |
• In several southern cities, these activists were attacked by white supremacist and this drew the Kennedy administration, albeit reluctantly, further into the struggle for equal rights.
|University of Mississippi/ James Meredith||(Civil Rights Movement)(1962) When the Governor of Mississippi refused to enforce a federal court order ordering the University of Mississippi to enroll its first black student (James Meredith) and whites in Oxford, Mississippi rioted to protest the court order, President Kennedy sent federal troops to Mississippi to end the violence and enforce the court order. |
• In the early 1960s, the Kennedy administration was being forced, by events such as these, to involve itself in the civil rights movement.
|March on Washington||(Civil Rights Movement)(1963) Two motives lay behind this march of 200,000 civil rights supporters down the mall on Washington. First, to create support for the civil rights legislation introduced by President Kennedy and secondly, to demonstrate the power of the civil rights movement. |
• Martin Luther King delivered his stirring "I have a dream" speech.
• This was the apex of the civil rights movement and the March aided passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
|Birmingham, August- September 1963||(Civil Rights Movement) Birmingham had the reputation of being one of the most segregated places in America and Martin Luther King, Jr. put together a nonviolent campaign to challenge segregation. |
• Network news footage of peaceful protesters being knocked down with fire hoses and attacked by police dogs did much to create additional support among Northerners and the world for civil rights.
• Martin Luther King was arrested and wrote his famous "Letter from Birmingham Jail," in which he argued that people have the right to disobey unjust laws.
• On September 15, 1963, a bomb exploded at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, claiming the lives of four young black girls. Four members of the Ku Klux Klan were accused of the crime. Three men were eventually convicted.
• Both the demonstrations and the bombing helped in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (see below)
|Freedom Summer||(Civil Rights Movement)(1964) A campaign by thousands of black and white civil rights workers to get black voter registration and participation. The campaign involved the entire South, but focused especially on Mississippi. |
• There was a violence response by some southern whites against the campaign and three civil rights workers were murdered by local police and other whites.
|Civil Rights Act of 1964, Public Accommodations section of the act||(Civil Rights Movement) Passed under the Johnson administration, the act outlawed segregation in public accommodations, such as theaters, restaurants, and hotels and withheld federal funds from segregated public programs. Under Title VII employment discrimination based on race, religion, or national origin was prohibited and women were protected as well when another category "sex" (gender) was added. |
• It also created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to prevent discrimination in the work place.
• The 1964 act was the strongest civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.
|23rd Amendment||(Civil Rights Movement)(1961) gave residents in the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.) the right to vote in presidential elections.|
|24th Amendment||(Civil Rights Movement)(1964) prohibited the use of the poll tax or any tax that denied the vote. The amendment gave Congress the power to enforce it with legislation.|
|Selma, Alabama||(Civil Rights Movement)(1965) Major demonstration for black voter registration. The demonstrators were brutally attacked by local police and the violence, just as in Birmingham, received detailed television coverage. |
• Southern police brutality of peaceful demonstrators in Selma and Birmingham outraged many Americans. The national outrage aided President Johnson in his decision to propose and win passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
|Voting Rights Act||(Civil Rights Movement)(1965) The act effectively banned literacy tests for voting rights and provided for federal registration to assure the franchise to minority voters. |
• Passed after demonstrations against measures used to stop African-Americans from voting. The measures used included violence.
• As a result of this act, within a few years a majority of African Americans had become registered voters in the southern states.
|Watts Riot||(Civil Rights Movement)(1965) Black anger over police brutality during a routine traffic stop sparked a week of violence in Los Angeles. |
• Close to 10,000 people took part in the violence. Thirty-four people died and over $200 million worth of property damage resulted.
• The Watts Riot demonstrated to the nation that African-American grievances over racism were not confined to the South.
|Chicago Campaign||(Civil Rights Movement)(1966) Martin Luther King's decision to make housing and job discrimination the targets of his civil rights campaign in Chicago signaled a change in the direction of the civil rights movement from political rights to equal economic opportunity. |
• King encountered deep white opposition and, in contrast to earlier Southern campaigns, the Chicago campaign failed to generate national support. The city government agreed to end housing discrimination, but few tangible results followed.
• The failure of the Chicago campaign demonstrated the difficulty of getting white support for economic opportunity for African-Americans.
|Black Panthers/ Bobby Seale/ Huey Newton||(Civil Rights Movement)(1966) A black rights political organization created in Oakland, California by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton. They urged black armament and direct confrontation with the police. In fact, the group was involved in a series of violent confrontations with the police. |
• The group was internally divided and a major split in the leadership occurred in 1972.
• By the late 1970s the Black Panthers had lost most of their influence in the African-American community.
|Detroit Race riot||(Civil Rights Movement)(1967) The Detroit riot was the largest riot in a year in which the United States saw eight major riots. Forty-three people were killed during the violence.|
|Civil Rights Act|| (Civil Rights Movement)(1968) The Civil Rights Act of 1968 barred discrimination in housing sales or rentals. This act was a part of a series of new legislation that encouraged desegregation of blacks in America. |
• It was a key piece of legislation which ensured blacks more equal rights.
|Black Nationalism aka Black Power||(Civil Rights Movement)(late 1960s) Theory adopted by several African American movements that stressed racial pride, separation from whites and white institutions, and black autonomy. |
• Black nationalism gained in popularity in the 1920s with Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association
• Later the Black Panther Party, Malcolm X, and other participants of the black power movements of the 1960s drew upon Garvey's ideas.
|Martin Assassination||(Civil Rights Movement)(1968) Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in April, 1968 in Memphis by James Earl Ray. African Americans exploded in angry riots in 125 American cities.|
|Election of 1960||(John F. Kennedy's Administration, 1961-1963) John Kennedy (D) v. Richard Nixon (R). Kennedy beat out Adlai Stevens and Lyndon Johnson for the Democratic nomination. A southerner, Johnson was chosen as Kennedy's Vice-President to balance the ticket. Nixon had served two terms as Eisenhower's Vice-President and ran on his expertise in foreign affairs. Kennedy's youth (43) and the fact that he was Catholic became issues. His religion hurt him in rural Protestant areas and helped him in urban areas. |
• Kennedy won in one of the closest elections in U.S. history - by a margin of just over 100,000 popular votes and 303 to 219 electoral votes.
• The televised debates, in which a haggard looking Nixon debated a youthful looking and relaxed Kennedy, were considered instrumental in the outcome of the close election.
|Counterinsurgency||(John F. Kennedy's Administration, 1961-1963)(early 1960s) A military operation using specially trained forces to defend against guerrilla warfare. The U.S. military created the Green Berets in the early 1960s to fight this type of nontraditional warfare, characteristic of the conflict in the Vietnam War.|
|John F. Kennedy/ New Frontier||(John F. Kennedy's Administration, 1961-1963) President John Kennedy's term for his agenda of renewed government activism both at home and aboard. The New Frontier focused foremost on fighting the Cold War and secondarily on public service initiatives such as the Peace Corps. |
• Although his legislative achievements were limited, Kennedy's ideas and personal appeal inspired many, especially the young.
• Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, as his motorcade wound through Dallas, Texas. Vice- President Lyndon B. Johnson succeeded him.
|Flexible response||(John F. Kennedy's Administration, 1961-1963) JFK's policy of "flexible response" called for the preparation of more conventional weapons versus atomic weapons. Kennedy felt that U.S needed both a strong military program and atomic weapons to combat the forces of communism. He reasoned conventional weapons were essential because atomic weapons were never used|
|Berlin Wall||(John F. Kennedy's Administration, 1961-1963)(1961) Soviet Premier Khrushchev had threatened war if the West did not turn over West Berlin to East Germany. When that bluff did not work, in the summer of 1961 East Germany built a wall between West Berlin and East Berlin. The purpose of the wall was to stop the mass exodus of East Germans to West Berlin. The Berlin Wall stood as a physical reminder of the hostility between the communists and noncommunists for the next thirty years.|
|Peace Corps||(John F. Kennedy's Administration, 1961-1963)(1961) A Kennedy program that recruited young Americans to give technical aid to developing countries. It had a small budget, but became one of Kennedy's greatest triumphs, showcasing American idealism and know-how throughout the world.|
|Alliance for Progress||(John F. Kennedy's Administration, 1961-1963)(1961) The Alliance was a "Marshall Plan" for Latin America. Its purpose was to strengthen democracy and give economic aid to help the region resist communism. |
• The program, which provided loans and aid from the United States and the international financial community, built some schools and hospitals, but by the early 1970s it was widely viewed as a failure.
|Bay of Pigs||(John F. Kennedy's Administration, 1961-1963)(1961) Fifteen hundred Cuban exiles, supported by the CIA, landed here in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the new Communist government of Fidel Castro. |
• Planning for the operation was done under the Eisenhower administration, but Kennedy gave his approval early after he assumed the Presidency.
• The operation was a fiasco and it made Kennedy much more cautious about approving a military operation simply because the CIA or military said it was a good operation.
|Trade Expansion Act||(John F. Kennedy's Administration, 1961-1963)(1962) The act gave the president of the United States the power to cut tariffs by as much as 50 percent in exchange for similar reductions by other countries. In order to deal with the Common Market ( a trade association of western European nation promoting open trade among its members) the president could reduce tariffs on industrial products by more than 50 percent or eliminate them completely when the United States and the Common Market together accounted for 80 percent or more of the world export value. This act granted the president far greater authority to lower or eliminate tariffs than had ever been the case in the past.|
|Cuban Missile Crisis||(John F. Kennedy's Administration, 1961-1963)(1962) A major confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union following the discovery of nuclear missile sites in Cuba. Kennedy placed a blockade around the island and the Soviets agreed to remove the missiles rather than provoke a nuclear war. |
• The United States removed nuclear weapons from Turkey as part of the agreement with the Soviet Union to pull their missiles out of Cuba.
• It was the most imminent threat of nuclear annihilation to date and thereafter, a hot line was established between the White House and the Kremlin to prevent accidental missile launches.
• The Crisis led to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (1963) in which the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union agreed not to perform nuclear tests in atmosphere or underwater.
|Rachael Carson/ Silent Spring||(John F. Kennedy's Administration, 1961-1963)(1962) Landmark work that was one of the most controversial books published in the 1960s. Carson raised the warning that the indiscriminate use of pesticides such as DDT was creating chaos with the health of wildlife as well as that of humans. |
• Carson was responsible for raising public awareness of and concern about the effect of pesticides on the environment.
|Kennedy Assasination, 1963/ Lee Harvey Oswald/ Warren Comission||(John F. Kennedy's Administration, 1961-1963) President John Kennedy was assassinated on November 23, 1963 in Dallas by Lee Harvey Oswald. Kennedy was visiting Dallas to start gathering support for the upcoming presidential election of 1964. |
• Kennedy's assassination and funeral became a defining moment for that generation as the nation was caught up in grief and watched Kennedy's state funeral on television.
• His brief presidency was viewed as a high point of the postwar era and cast its influence on American politics during the 1960s and 1970s.
• The Warren Commission, chaired by Chief Justice Earl Warren, was given the task of investigating the assassination. They reached the conclusion that Oswald was a long gunman who acted alone.
• Many Americans, however, supported various conspiracy theories ranging from involvement by Castro, the CIA, organized crime, and the FBI.
|Election of 1964||(Lyndon Johnson's Administration, 1963-1968) Lyndon Johnson (D) vs. Barry Goldwater (R). Johnson finished Kennedy's term after the November 1963 assassination. Johnson ran in 1964 on a clear liberal agenda and the Republicans nominated Goldwater, a conservative who wanted to end the welfare state, including the TVA and Social Security. |
• Democratic TV ads depicted Goldwater as an extremist who would be dangerous in the atomic age.
• Johnson won by a landslide - 61% of the popular vote (higher than FDR in the 1936 election) and Democrats won control of both houses of Congress by over a two-thirds margin.
|Great Society||(Lyndon Johnson's Administration, 1963-1968) President Lyndon Johnson's domestic program, which included civil rights legislation, anti-poverty programs, government subsidy of medical care, federal aid to education, consumer protection, and aid to the arts and humanities. |
• Great Society programs enjoyed some success but were ultimately limited by conflicting interest groups, political infighting, and lack of funds.
• The Great Society was what Johnson wanted as his legacy, but he believed if he pulled out of Vietnam, support for the Great Society would evaporate.
|War on Poverty||(Lyndon Johnson's Administration, 1963-1968)(1964-1965) President Johnson declared war on poverty in his 1964 State of the Union address. A new Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) oversaw a variety of programs to help the poor, including Job Corps and Head Start.|
|Medicare and Medicaid||(Lyndon Johnson's Administration, 1963-1968)(1965) Health care initiatives of President Lyndon Johnson. Medicare provided the elderly with universal compulsory medical insurance financed largely through Social Security taxes. Medicaid authorized federal grants to supplement state-paid medical care for low-income people under sixty-five. Both initiatives were passed as amendments to the Social Security Act of 1935.|
|Elementary and Secondary Education Act||(Lyndon Johnson's Administration, 1963-1968)(1965) The bill overcame the religious barrier on education because it supported a child-benefit approach, and allocated federal money to aid the education of students in religious as well as public schools. The act gave over $1 billion in federal aid, the largest sums going to school districts with the highest percentage of poor students.|
|Dominican Republic||(Lyndon Johnson's Administration, 1963-1968)(1965) President Johnson sent 20,000 troops into the Dominican Republic in order to block the possible emergence of a Castro-type govt. Johnson justified this on the basis of protecting American tourists and argued there were suspected communists among the rebel leaders. |
• The action alienated liberal critics in the United States. As Johnson struggled to uphold the Cold War polices he had inherited from Kennedy, the more alienated he found himself with Congress, the media, and the universities.
|Immigration Reform Act||(Lyndon Johnson's Administration, 1963-1968)(1965) The act kept the ceiling on immigrants to 170,000 per year, but it eliminated the "national origins" system that gave preferential entry to immigrants from northern Europe over those from the rest of the world. I|
• Immigrants from Europe, Asia, and Africa would enter the United States on an equal basis, but the act did retain restriction on immigration from some parts of Latin America.
• This law changed the face of immigration - prior to the act, 90% of immigrants every year came from Europe, after this act was passed, only 10% did.
|Ralph Nader/ Unsafe at any Speed||(Lyndon Johnson's Administration, 1963-1968)(1965) Nader published Unsafe at Any Speed, a best-selling indictment of the auto industry and its poor safety standards. Largely due to Nader's book, Congress passed the 1966 National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. |
• Nader was a pioneer in the emerging consumer protection movement.
• Nader also ran unsuccessfully as a third-party candidate for the United States presidency in 1996, 2000, and 2004.
|Department of Housing and Urban Development||(Lyndon Johnson's Administration, 1963-1968)(1966) Created to give aid to needy families located in poor inner city areas, the Department of Housing and Urban Development passed bills allocating funds to housing development projects under the leadership of Robert Weaver|
|Nonproliferation/ Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty||(Lyndon Johnson's Administration, 1963-1968)(1968) In 1968, the United Nations approved the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. In 1995, the treaty was renewed and made permanent. |
The treaty was designed to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and inhibit countries with nuclear technology from aiding those without it to acquire the knowledge or the weapons themselves.
|Moon Landing||(Lyndon Johnson's Administration, 1963-1968)(July 20,1969) The United States adopted the goal of landing a man on the moon during John Kennedy's administration.|
• Astronauts Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Earth's moon. Armstrong made the famous statement, " That's one small step for man . . . one giant leap for mankind."
• Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were the other two astronauts on the flight.
|Ho Chi Minh||(Vietnam, 1958-1975)(1890-1969) Minh was the Vietnamese Communist leader and the principal force behind the Vietnamese struggle against French colonial rule. Hoping for American assistance in Vietnam's struggle for independence, Ho later turned to the Soviet Union when the United States aided the French. He was a nationalist at heart and wanted Vietnamese independence far more than a communist government. He led the Vietminh, a group of guerrillas. In 1954, they defeated the French garrison at the battle of Dien Bien Phu. |
• After the French withdrew and Vietnam was divided into North Vietnam and South Vietnam, Minh headed the new Communist government of North Vietnam and led the war effort against South Vietnam and the United States until his death in 1969. Minh displayed a steely resolve to fight a war of attrition against first the French and then the United States.
|U.S Military "Advisors" to Vietnam||(Vietnam, 1958-1975)(1958-1963) During Eisenhower's presidency the first American military advisors were sent to South Vietnam. |
• Kennedy continued military aid to South Vietnam and significantly increased the number of "advisors" who trained the South Vietnamese army and guarded weapons and facilities.
• By 1963, there were over 16,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam. However, at this point they were support rather than combat troops
|Credibility Gap||(Vietnam, 1958-1975)(1957-1975) The wide discrepancy between what was actually happening in the Vietnam War and what the American public was being told. The credibility of the American position was increasingly undermined as more factual details were made public.|
|New Left||(Vietnam, 1958-1975)(1960s-1970s) Adopted by radical students of the 1960s-1970s to refer to their activist movement. This label distinguished them from the Old Left—the communists and socialists of the 1930s-1940s who tended to focus on labor issues rather than cultural issues. |
• New Left students turned to grassroots organizing in cities and college campuses in their protest against the status quo and what they saw as the willingness of older generations to accommodate authority. Leaders of the New Left included Tom Hayden and Jerry Rubin.
|Ngo Dinh Diem Coup and Assasination||(Vietnam, 1958-1975)(1963) South Vietnamese leader Diem was losing support in South Vietnam and his decision to go after the Buddhists and make Catholicism the primary religion of the country brought violent demonstrations and a crisis. |
• Kennedy gave his tacit approval to a plan by a group of South Vietnamese generals to overthrow Diem. The group assassinated Diem and the United States was left to deal with a secession of South Vietnamese governments that had less stability than the one headed by Diem.
|Gulf of Tonkin Resolution||(Vietnam, 1958-1975)(1964) After North Vietnamese gun boats assaulted American ships that were organizing air strikes and military moves, Johnson and his advisers drafted the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that committed the United States in Vietnam. |
• It was passed by Congress and gave Johnson a "blank check," granting him full authority against North Vietnamese forces. This led to increased American involvement in Vietnam.
|National Liberation Front aka Viet Cong||(Vietnam, 1958-1975) (1964-1975) The Viet Cong was the name given to the Vietnamese communist army in South Vietnam. The North Vietnamese or Viet Minh were their allies. In support of Ho Chi Minh, the group pushed to overthrow the South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem.|
• The Viet Cong was comprised mainly of guerilla fighters and were partly responsible for the fall of Dinh Bien Phu and organization of the Têt Offensive.
|Bombing of North Vietnam||(Vietnam, 1958-1975)(February 1965) Following an attack on the United States base at Pleiku, President Johnson authorized the bombing of North Vietnam in an effort to destroy the arms depots and transportation lines bringing the North Vietnamese soldiers into South Vietnam. |
• The decision to start bombing raids on North Vietnam was a definite jump in the escalation of American involvement.
|Tet Offensive||(Vietnam, 1958-1975)(1968) A major military operation by the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong in 1968. The nationalists successfully penetrated Saigon and took the United States embassy. |
• Although the offensive was defeated, there were tremendous causalities and it shook American public confidence in the war effort since it plainly showed steady progress in winning the war was not being made. Popular support for the war vastly declined.
|Agent Orange||(Vietnam, 1958-1975)(1969-1971) This was a defoliant used in South Vietnam to clear the jungle so the Vietcong and North Vietnamese would have less coverage. Agent Orange was linked to increased risk of various types of cancer and genetic defects. In 1984 United States veterans obtained $180 million in compensation from companies who produced the herbicide such as Dow Chemical and Monsanto.|