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John F Kennedy

The Democratic nomination for the 1960 presidential election; he won with just enough delegates behind him for the nomination. He was the first Catholic presidential candidate since Al Smith in 1928.

Jacqueline Kennedy

John F Kennedy's "youthful and attractive wife." She helped to bring style, glamour, and an appreciation of the arts to the White House.

New Frontier

Kennedy's campaign promise that called for aid to education, federal support of health care, urban renewal, and civil rights.

Peace Corps

An organization set up by President Kennedy that recruited young American volunteers to give technical aid to developing countries.

Alliance for Progress

A foreign aid program organized to promote land reform and economic development in Latin America.

Trade Expansion Act (1962)

Passed by Congress, it authorized tariff reductions with the recently formed European Economic Community of Western European Nations

Bay of Pigs

A failed invasion planned under the Eisenhower administration to overthrow Fidel Castro's Cuban Regime. The CIA trained Cubans landed at this Bay but failed to initiate the planned uprising...they were trapped on the beach and forced to surrender after Kennedy refused to send in US forces to save them.

Berlin Wall

A wall built by the East Germans around West Berlin; its purpose was to stop East Germans from fleeing to West Germany. The wall stood until it was torn down by "rebellious Eastern Germans" in 1989.

Cuban Missile Crisis (1962)

US reconnaissance planes discovered Russian-built undergroud sites in Cuba for the launching of offensive missiles that could reach the US in minutes. Kennedy set up a naval blockade of Cuba until the weapons were removed in response. After days of tension, Nikita Khrushchev removed the missiles in return for Kennedy's promise not to invade the island.

Flexible Response

The Kennedy Administration's response to the "brushfire wars" that occurred during and following the Cold War. Kennedy and Sec of Defense Robert McNamara decided to increase spending on conventional arms and mobile military forces.

Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

A treaty signed by the Soviet Union and the United States, and roughly 100 other countries, that ended the testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere.

Warren Commission

The commission that decided that Lee Harvey Oswald (assassinator of Kennedy) was the lone assassin...following both the death of Kennedy and two days later the death of the assassin.

Lyndon Johnson

Kennedy's vice president who took the oath of office two hours after Kennedy's assassination. He was a native of rural west Texas and a graduate of a teacher's college, but he seemed just as sophisticated and polished as Kennedy.

Great Society

Johnson's campaign promise: He persuaded Congress to pass (1) an expanded version of Kennedy's Civil Rights Bill and (2) Kennedy's proposal for an income tax cut. The second point sparked "an increase in jobs, consumer spending, and a long period of economic expansion in the 60s."

War on Poverty

Declared by Johnson to help the 40 million Americans still living in poverty.

Michael Harrington, The Other America

The author of a best selling book on poverty; he helped to focus national attention on the 40 million Americans still living in poverty.

Barry Goldwater

The Republican nomination for the 1964 presidential election; he advocated ending the welfare state, including TVA and Social Security.

Medicare; Medicaid

A health insurance program for those 65 and older; Govt paid health care for the poor and the disabled

Elementary and Secondary Education Act (1965)

An act to provide aid especially to poor school districts.

Ralph Nader, Unsafe at Any Speed

A book and author that inspired Congress to pass programs to regulate the automobile industry

Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

A book and author that inspired Congress to pass Clean air and water laws.

Lady Bird Johnson

The first lady; she contributed to improving the environment with her Beautify America Campaign.

Civil Rights Act of 1964

This act passed by Congress in 1964 made segregation illegal in all public facilities, including hotels and restaurants, and also gave the fed gov additional powers to enforce school desegregation.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Set up by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to end racial discrimination in employment.

Twenty-Fourth Amendment

This amendment abolished the practice of collecting a poll tax, one of the measures that, for decades, had discourage poor persons from voting.

Voting Rights Act of 1965

This act ended literacy tests and provided federal registrars in areas in which blacks were kept from voting.

James Meredith

A young African American air force veteran who in 1962, attempted to enroll in the University of Mississippi. A fed court guaranteed his right to attend; in addition, Kennedy sent in 400 federal marshals and 3000 troops to control mob violence as Meredith attended class.

Martin Luther King, Jr

Recognized nationally as the leader of the Civil Rights movement; he remained committed to nonviolent protests against segregation.

March on Washington; "I have a dream" speech

Led by King, this was one of the largest and most successful demonstration in US history. This march was in support of the civil rights bill. This speech appealed for the end of racial prejudice.

Black Muslims

Developed by the black Muslim Leader Elijah Muhammad who preached black nationalism, separatism, and self-improvement. The movement attracted thousands of followers.

Malcolm X

A young man who was serving a prison sentence at the time he converted to the Black Muslim religion; He acquired a reputation as the movement's most controversial voice. He advocated self-defense, black violence vs. white violence. Later, he left the movement to develop a more conciliatory one of his own, he was assassinated. (1965)

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

A civil rights organization developed by young blacks who were influenced by the radicalism of Malcolm X.

Congress of Racial Equality

Organized by young blacks influenced by the radicalism of Malcolm X; a civil rights organization.

Stokely Carmichael

The chairman of the SNCC who repudiated nonviolence and advocated "black power" and racial separatism.

Black Panthers

A revolutionary socialist movement that advocated self-rule for American Blacks; organized by Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, and other militants.

Watts Riots

Riots in the Watts section of LA that resulted in the deaths of 34 people and the destruction of over 700 buildings.

Kerner Commission

A federal investigation of the many riots that concluded in late 1968 that racism and segregation were chiefly responsible.

Warren Court

Named so for the chief justice of the supreme court Earl Warren from 1953-1969.

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

The desegregation case that reversed the effects of Plessy v. Ferguson

Gideon v. Wainwright

(1963) required that state courts provide counsel (services of an attorney) for indigent (poor) defendants.

Escobedo v. Illinois

(1964) required the police to inform an arrested person of his or her own right to remain silent.

Miranda v. Arizona

(1966) Extended the ruling in Escobedo to include the right to a lawyer being present during questioning by the police.


In this, before 1962, it was common for at least one house of a state legislature to be based upon the drawing of district lines that strongly favoured rural areas to the disadvantage of large cities.

Baker v. Carr

The landmark case that ruled that the policies and practices of reapportionment were unconstitutional.

"One Man, One Vote"

Established by the court to mean that election districts would have to be redrawn to provide equal representation for all of a state's citizens.

Yates v. United States

this case said that the 1st amendment protected radical and revolutionary speech, even by Communists, unless it was a "clear and present danger" to the safety of the country.

Separation of Church and State

Revised laws that required prayers and bible readings in public schools.

Engel v. Vitale

A case that ruled that state laws requiring prayers and Bible readings in the Public schools violated the First Amendment's provision for separation of church and state.

New Left

Activists and intellectuals who supported the ideas of Tom Hayden were called this; his ideas called for university decisions to be made through participatory democracy, so that students would have a voice in the decisions affecting their lives.


Expressed by young people in rebellious styles of dress, music,drug use, and for some, communal living.

Sexual Revolution

One aspect of the counterculture that continued beyond the 1960s. Advertisements with overtly sexual themes, the introduction of the birth control pill, and medicines all contributed to this "revolution."

Women's Movement

Increased education and employment of women, the civil rights movement, and the sexual revolution all contributed to a renewal of this movement in the 1960s.

Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique

An author who, in her book, gave the women's movement a new direction by encouraging middle-class women to seek fulfillment in pro careers rather than confining themselves to the roles of wife, mother, and homemaker.

National Organization for Women

An organization that adopted the activist tactics of other civil rights movements to secure equal treatment of women.

Equal Pay Act (1963)

This act helped to prohibit discrimination in employment and compensation on the basis of gender.

Equal Rights Amendment

Stated that "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the US or by any state on account of sex."

Vietnam War

A very costly and tragic war that took place in Vietnam. It was an effort to prevent South Vietnam from falling to communism.

Tet Offensive

A surprise, all-out attack on almost every provincial capital and American base in South Vietnam. Although the attack took many lives in the cities, the US military counterattacked and inflicted much heaver damage on the Vietcong, while recovering the lost territory.

Eugene McCarthy

The political leader of the antiwar movement and the first antiwar advocate to challenge Johnson for the 1968 Democratic presidential election.

Robert Kennedy

The younger brother of John F Kennedy. He entered the presidential race, but after his Ca primary speech, which was quite successful, he was assassinated by a young Arab nationalist.

George Wallace

A Virginian governor, he was the first politician of contemporary America to marshal the general resentment against the WA establishment and the two-party system.

Hubert Humphrey

The VP of Johnson and also one of the democratic participants vying for the presidential nomination.

Students for a Democratic Society

a group of radical students led by Tom Hayden.

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