During the 1960 presidential election, John F. Kennedy's religion troubled some potential voters. Why?
Kennedy was the first Roman Catholic candidate running for President from a major party. Although anti-Catholic sentiment had faded since the 1800s, Kennedy was still forced to publicly clarify that, as President, he would not take direction from the Pope.
Which innovation in campaigning debuted during the 1960 presidential elections, driven in part by the rise of television?
During the 1960 election, Vice President Richard Nixon and Senator John F. Kennedy held four televised debates, the first of which was watched by an estimated 70 million people.
During the first debate, Nixon (who had recently been in the hospital) looked tired and had refused makeup, while Kennedy looked tan and well-rested. Historians often attribute Kennedy's election victory in a tight race to his appearance in the first debate.
During the 1960 presidential election, Kennedy contended that the U.S. had significantly fewer missiles than the Soviet Union, a "Missile Gap" that he promised to remedy in the event he was elected.
What was Richard Nixon's campaign strategy during the 1960 election?
Nixon played upon his foreign policy expertise, earned while he was a Senator and Vice President, and criticized Kennedy as being soft on communism.
Kennedy narrowly won the election (some think he won by fraud), by a mere 0.1% of the popular vote.
During his Inaugural Address, Kennedy said "Let the word go forth ... that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans." What did Kennedy mean?
Kennedy represented a new generation of leadership that had come of age during the Second World War. Kennedy viewed the future with optimism, and called for a New Frontier, with greater civil rights, healthcare reforms, and urban renewal.
Kennedy also promised that the United States would put a man on the moon by the end of the 60s.
In 1961, President Kennedy established the Peace Corps. What is its mission?
The mission of the Peace Corps is primarily related to fostering social and economic development in developing nations. The Corps provides technical assistance, instructs people in American culture, and helps Americans understand the culture of other countries.
Kennedy founded the Peace Corps to counter the "Ugly Yankee" impression that many citizens of developing nations had of the United States.
What was the Bay of Pigs Invasion?
In April 1961, Cuban dissidents, funded by the CIA, invaded Cuba in an operation approved by President Kennedy. The attack was a miserable failure, embarrassing President Kennedy.
In 1961, President Kennedy met with Premier Khrushchev of the U.S.S.R. in Vienna. What was the primary point of discussion at the Vienna Summit?
Once again, the Soviets demanded that the United States abandon West Berlin, which Kennedy refused to do. Otherwise, Kennedy would come off as a weak leader.
Kennedy, who had injected a drug cocktail for back pain before the summit, admitted that Khrushchev had "beat the hell out of me." Khrushchev would continue to challenge Kennedy, who he perceived as weak, by erecting the Berlin Wall and placing missiles in Cuba.
Why did the East German government, at the direction of the Soviet Union, erect the Berlin Wall in November 1961?
The Berlin Wall was erected to prevent East Germans from escaping into West Germany, where economic opportunities and political liberties abounded. Kennedy responded by calling up military reserves and positioning tanks in crucial locations. Neither side called each other's bluff, and tensions relaxed.
Kennedy would continue to show U.S. solidarity with the people of West Berlin in a speech in that city in 1963, when he said "Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is 'Ich Bin Ein Berliner'" (I am a Berliner).
What was the Cuban Missile Crisis?
In 1962, an Air Force U-2 discovered the Soviets preparing to place nuclear weapons in Cuba, 90 miles from the U.S. Kennedy responded by placing a blockade around Cuba, and threatening war if any Soviet ship crossed the blockade line.
It was the closest the two superpowers came to nuclear war; Khrushchev backed down when Kennedy vowed not to invade Cuba.
Who was the first black student to attend the University of Mississippi?
Meredith's admission to Ole Miss was part of a long struggle, and he was assisted by the NAACP in a court case which ruled that Ole Miss had denied Meredith admission based on his skin color.
Meredith's admission, and Kennedy's dispatch of American troops to protect him, caused a riot in which 60 U.S. Marshals and 40 soldiers were injured.
In the spring of 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference sought to draw attention to segregation in which Southern city?
The SCLC called for non-violent boycotts and protest marches. Birmingham's police, led by "Bull" Connor, dispersed the marchers with firehoses.
The images of children being hit with water from hoses set at a level that would peel bark off trees shocked the North, as did the use of police dogs. The photos were given credit for shifting international support to the protesters.
Jailed for his part in the Birmingham Movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his Letter from Birmingham Jail in 1963. What did Dr. King's letter state?
Dr. King cited the nonviolent nature of the protest, and contended that it was in the interest of all Americans, black and white, to grant civil rights. King wrote, "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly…"
Dr. King was inspired by previous non-violent protest arguments from men such as Thoreau and Gandhi.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech during what event?
The March on Washington
Some 200,000 Americans converged on Washington, ostensibly in support of a civil rights bill pending in Congress, but also with a larger purpose in mind -- raising both civil rights and economic issues to national attention.
The Civil Rights Bill of 1964, supported by President Kennedy before his death, was passed partly in response to the March.
What was the Warren Commission?
Chaired by Chief Justice Earl Warren, the Warren Commission investigated the death of President Kennedy in Dallas, in November 1963. The Commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, but the lax investigative techniques employed have promoted skepticism of the Warren Report and the government.
Immediately after he became President, Lyndon Johnson convinced Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which had originally been proposed by President Kennedy. What did the Civil Rights Act establish?
The Civil Rights Act outlawed discrimination in hotels, motels, restaurants, theaters, and all other public accommodations engaged in interstate commerce based on race, color, religion, or national origin. It also prohibited state and municipal governments from denying access to public facilities on grounds of race, color, religion, or national origin.
In a measure originally suggested by President Kennedy, President Johnson signed into law a tax cut on high-income earners. What effect did this have on the economy?
Where the economy had been in a slight recession during the Kennedy years, the tax cut instituted a period of economic growth.
Who ran against President Johnson in the 1964 presidential election?
Barry Goldwater, Republican Senator from Arizona
Goldwater advocated an end to the welfare state, but Johnson painted Goldwater as irrational and untrustworthy.
Johnson won in a landslide; Goldwater carried only the states of the Deep South and Arizona.
What did Johnson nickname the set of domestic programs he championed?
Johnson's programs were known as the Great Society, and were aimed at the elimination of poverty and racial injustice.
As part of the Great Society, Johnson declared a War on Poverty, greatly expanding social welfare programs at a high cost.
As part of his Great Society, President Johnson proposed Medicare and Medicaid. What did these new programs establish?
Medicare provided health insurance for those over age 65, and Medicaid provided health insurance for the poor.
In 1968, President Johnson signed into law the _____ _____ Act, which banned racial discrimination in the sales and renting of homes and apartments.
As part of his Great Society program, Johnson had vowed to combat racial injustice.
Which cabinet-level agency did President Johnson sign into law in 1965, to develop and execute policies on housing?
Housing and Urban Development (HUD), originally known as the House and Home Financing Agency.
HUD was responsible for building and administering government housing as part of President Johnson's War on Poverty.
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 abolished the immigration quotas of the 1920s. What was the effect of the Act?
Over the next decade there would be a sharp upsurge of immigrants from Mexico and Central America. Further, hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese fleeing the war in Vietnam would use the opportunity to immigrate to the United States.
The Immigration and Nationality Act was one of a number of Great Society programs passed during President Johnson's administration.
The publication of which book gave birth to the modern environmental movement?
Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson
Carson argued that DDT (a common insecticide) was causing adverse effects on the thickness of birds' eggshells, which led to a ban on the product.
Critics have questioned Carson's research methods, and the ban on DDT, which had been useful in the fight against yellow fever and malaria.
In 1965, who published Unsafe at Any Speed, which detailed efforts by American automakers to resist measures designed to increase user safety?
Although many of the results of Nader's tests could not be duplicated by either the auto industry or the government, his book marked the beginning of the consumer safety movement.
In response to a 1964 North Vietnamese attack on the USS Turner Joy and the USS Maddox, Congress passed which measure that allowed the President to conduct all necessary measures to ensure that South Vietnam survived?
The Tonkin Gulf Resolution
The Resolution allowed Johnson to vastly increase the scope of U.S. operations in Vietnam; from a few thousand troops in 1964 to 450,000 troops in 1967.
Who were the Việt Cộng?
The Việt Cộng were communist rebels from the government of America's South Vietnamese allies. They were aided in their struggle by the North Vietnamese, Chinese, and Soviet Union.
During the Johnson Administration, what counter-insurgency tactic did the United States use against the Việt Cộng and the North Vietnamese?
The United States employed a strategy of "search and destroy." With the assistance of helicopters, U.S. troops were airlifted into hostile territory, sought out the enemy, and destroyed them, before returning via helicopter to friendly territory.
What was the Tết Offensive (1968)?
During a Vietnamese holiday (the Lunar New Year) in January 1968, the Việt Cộng and North Vietnamese launched a massive attack, capturing Saigon, the South Vietnamese capital. Although U.S. forces were able to drive their adversaries back and deliver a victory, Walter Cronkite, the most trusted news reporter in America, declared that the war was lost.
In the context of the Vietnam War, what is the difference between "hawks" and "doves"?
Hawks were those who felt that the United States should carry out all measures necessary to achive victory in Vietnam.
Doves felt that the War was unnecessary and unjustified, and suggested that the money spent fighting the War would be better used at home.