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The Election of 1960
The Election of 1960 was between the Democratic candidate, John F. Kennedy and the Vice President, Republican candidate Richard Nixon. The main points of their campaign were based on the economy and the Cold War. Kennedy also focused on higher domestic reforms program which was known as the “New Frontier”. The election of 1960 was one of the closest ever seen in the history of the United States. However, Kennedy earned his victory with 100,000 additional votes. It’s believed that Kennedy won these elections due to the battle he put up in the debates against Nixon, which were being transmitted through television all around the country. The media was an important factor for both candidates during the elections, considering it was the first electoral campaign where 90% of the country’s population possessed a television in their homes. However, John F. Kennedy became the 35th president of the United States on January 20th 1961 until November 22nd 1963. — Isaline Wethli
John F. Kennedy
The New Frontier / The Kennedy Administration
John F. Kennedy created the term “New Frontier” to develop programs that he wanted to push through Congress. The term was first used in his acceptance speech to the Democratic National Convention as the Democratic nominee, but his intentions on using this term was originally just a slogan to inspire Americans to stand behind him. His plans were to increase aid to education, provide health insurance to the elderly, create a Department of Urban Affairs, and help migrant workers. Although his programs were beneficial, many legislators thought that it was too costly. Kennedy was very popular, but that did not help him win the support in Congress. Somehow, though, Congress was convinced when Kennedy increased spending for defense and space exploration. He also convinced Congress to increase business production and efficiency, raise the minimum wage to $1.25 per hour, cut taxes, and he created thousands of construction jobs through the Housing Act. Under the Kennedy administration, the Housing Act also created many home-building and slum clearance programs. — Connie Pitenis
The Warren Court
The history of the Supreme Court is frequently described in terms of the Chief Justices who have presided over the court. When the Chief Justice was Earl Warren the time which he was the Chief Justice was known as the Warren Court. The Warren Court made many very controversial rulings on important issues. The court made a lot of rulings relating to the civil rights movement which took place in the 1950’s and 1960’s. In the case of Brown v. Topeka Board of Education it was ruled that all schools across the United States had to be desegregated. Also the court granted equal protection to all minorities under the 14th amendment. Another landmark case was the case between Miranda and Arizona. In this case the court ruled that a person who is being accused of a crime must be informed of their constitutional rights. The Warren Court made many important rulings which helped the civil rights movement. — Ben Murray
The Peace Corps
On March 1, 1961 President John F. Kennedy established through an executive order the Peace Corps. It was President Kennedy’s hope to reinvigorate the nation’s stagnant U.S. foreign policy. The Peace Corps would be comprised of civilian engineers from all walks of life with varied talents and skills. The volunteers would be sent to underdeveloped nations all over the world. The intended impact of the United States’ philanthropic assistance in these nations was to deter the spread of communism and ingratiate our own presence and ideals around the globe.
Although the program enrolled “volunteers,” enlisted individuals still required financial assistance for basic sustenance and funds to enable them to provide education and construction programs for the citizens of the underdeveloped nations where they would be deployed. In September 1961 Congress established the Peace Corps as a permanent organization and has since provided a substantial budget to ensure its continuance.
The Bay of Pigs Invasion was an unsuccessful attempt by United States and Cuban exiles to overthrow the government of the Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Increasing friction between the U.S. government and Castro’s party led President Dwight D. Eisenhower to break off relations with Cuba. Even before that, however, the Central Intelligence Agency had been training anti-revolutionary Cuban exiles for a possible invasion of the island. The invasion plan was approved by John F. Kennedy. On April 17, 1961 about 1300 exiles, armed with U.S. weapons, landed on the Bay of Pigs, which is on the southern coast of Cuba. The exiles hoped to find support from the local population. However, that support never came. After the first hours of fighting, the exiles looked as if they were likely to lose. President Kennedy had the option of using the U.S. Air Force against the Cubans but decided not to use them. The invasion was then stopped by Castro’s army. By the time the fighting ended on April 19th of 1961, 90 exiles had been killed and the rest had been taken as prisoners. — Jack Daru
The Cuban Missile Crisis happened during the cold war. It was an ongoing incident between the U.S and the Soviet Union. This crisis was very close to escalating into nuclear war. The U.S took some reconnaissance pictures in Cuba. They found that missile bases were being built there. The Soviets did not have the technology that the U.S had. The Soviet missiles could not reach America. So they established missile bases in Cuba. This gave them the ability to attack the U.S. John F. Kennedy was told of these photos the morning after they were taken. He called his most important advisors to decide how to diffuse the situation. John F. Kennedy decided that any attack from Cuba would be the same as an attack from the Soviets. If Cuba did attack America then the Soviets would receive full retaliation from the U.S. John F. Kennedy made a deal with the Soviets that involved them dismantling the missiles in Cuba. The U.S also had to give up their missiles in Turkey. This incident was the closest the world ever came to nuclear war. — Tom Mitchell
President Kennedy is assassinated
President Kennedy was riding in a motorcade in Dallas Texas when he was unexpectedly shot and died on November 22, 1963, making Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson the next President. Also, the governor of Texas John Connelly was injured from the shooting. Police arrested Lee Harvey Oswald, a man who favored Communism, and accused him of shooting the President. Two days later, Oswald was murdered by an assassin while going to court. President Johnson released special search parties to examine Kennedy’s assassination and was convinced that Oswald worked alone. However, there are conspiracy theories that Oswald did not act alone. For example, there are witnesses that suggest that there were two shooters, one who shot Kennedy and one who shot Connelly because the angles of the shots were different. Other theories propose that three “tramps” were suspicious in their actions the day of the shooting. To this day, we still do not have the answer, nor do I think there ever will be.
Theory #1: Lee Harvey Oswald
The man responsible for our 35th president’s death was Lee Harvey Oswald. Lee Harvey Oswald was born in New Orleans on October 18, 1939. Lee Harvey joined the Marines at age at 16 and he was stationed at the Atsugi Airbase in Japan. While he was in Japan he ran into some trouble for having a weapon that was not legally registered. On November 22, 1963 President Kennedy and his political party would ride through the business District of Dallas in limousines. Soon after the cars entered the Business District, loud gun shots rung out through the air. A few seconds after the shots were fired the limousines that the president and his family were riding in sped off to Parkland Memorial Hospital. John Connally had received injuries to his back, chest, wrist and thighs while Kennedy’s injuries were a lot more serious. He had a massive gun shot wound to the head. Doctors tried to save his life and revive him but at around 1 pm he was pronounced dead. During the police investigation they found a gun and 3 empty cartridge cases in the Texas School Book Depository. Different witnesses place Oswald at the seen of the evidence. They said he arrived there at around 11:55 and he left a few minutes after Kennedy was shot. Later that day a police officer confronted a man who would later be identified as Oswald. Witness’s say the police officer and the man briefly conversed and then Oswald pulled out a hand gun and shot the officer multiple times. He immediately ran and hid in the Texas Theater. Police later found Oswald in the theater acting suspicious and after a brief struggle they arrested him. He was interrogated and he admitted to assassinating the President. Two days later on November 24, he was being transferred to a county jail. While being transferred Oswald was shot in the stomach and killed by a man named Jack Ruby. — Mike Xirinachs
Theory #2 – Oswald did not act alone
John F. Kennedy was the 35th president on the United States. He was shot on Friday, November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. Kennedy’s assassin was Lee Harvey Oswald, but there has been much controversy over whether Oswald acted alone or if he was part of a conspiracy. Originally released in 1964, the Warren Commission was an 888 page report released after the president’s death, stating that Lee Harvey Oswald indeed acted alone. However, this conclusion has been challenged many times over the years. There are several different theories about what really happened when it comes to Kennedy’s assassination, but they have yet to be proved. One theory is that there was at least one other gunman in the shooting. Oswald shot Kennedy from behind, from a distance of more than 300 feet away. At the same time, another shooter was in front of Kennedy and fired the fatal head shot from the “grassy knoll”.
Some people believe that if others were involved, it could have possibly been angry supporters of the Vietnam War, since Kennedy was trying to pull out of the war. Another theory is that certain Mafia groups were involved because Kennedy’s brother (who was attorney general) fought organized crime. Theories have even been formed that the conspiracy went as high as the Central Intelligence Agency – and a group of agents angry at Kennedy for his actions during the Bay of Pigs invasion – plotted the murder. Others believe that the “military-industrial complex” had Kennedy killed because was “getting in the way of their plans”. Those plans being the invasion of Vietnam, which would mean high profits for defense and war-related industries. With as many theories as there are however, the question still remains; who killed Kennedy? — Alexa Rancourt
Lyndon B. Johnson / Civil Rights
Lyndon B. Johnson became president after President Kennedy was assassinated. In 1964 he had to run for presidency and won by proclaiming himself as Kennedy’s successor. Johnson’s years as the Senate Majority leader really gave him an edge with lawmakers and because of this he was able to pass a program called The Great Society. This program sought to end inequality among people in the US. Some Great Society legislation includes: Medicare and Medicaid, Water Quality Act and Clean Air acts, The Head Start program and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act. Johnson was a good president for civil rights but because of the unpopularity of The Vietnam War he did not try and go for re-election. The most memorable thing about the 1960’s was the Civil Rights Movement because it paved a path for equal rights among all people. It started with Rosa Parks not wanting to get off a bus because she was black. After that, black students in Greensboro, North Carolina protested by “sitting in” at a lunch center. Martin Luther King Jr. demonstrated his protest by making largely influential speeches to all people. After all that was done by people pushing for equal rights they were rewarded in 1964 with the Civil Rights Act. — Stephen Kimsey
After the Assassination of President Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, the vice president immediately became the president. Mr. Johnson continued to push the proposal of President Kennedy. Jonson had served the country as the leader of the majority party in the U.S. Senate. This influence enabled him to push the legislation to the congress. The rush of legislation proposed by Johnson, and negotiated through Congress, included programs for consumer protection, environmental protection, education and training, civil rights (including voting rights), health care, urban development, employment programs and, income supplements. All of these programs were meant to create what Johnson viewed as the “Great Society.” To illustrate, this legislation included:
Medicare and Medicaid
Education with the Primary, Secondary and Higher Education Act
The Head Start Program
The War on Poverty with the Office of Economic Opportunity
Housing and Urban Development Act
Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act
The Consumer and Environmental Protection Act
Water Quality Act and Clean Air Acts
The Highway Safety Act
Fair Packaging and Labeling Act — Mint Karuchit
Martin Luther King who started a series of nonviolent demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama. This city was filled with segregation. In addition, on August 28, 1963 Dr. King organized a “March on Washington” for jobs and freedom. At the end of the march between 200,000 and 500,000 people gathered in front of Lincoln Memorial to listen to Martin Luther King, Jr. He then gave one of his most famous speeches, the “I Have A Dream” speech. Martin Luther King was one of the most influential persons in the Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Act stopped the Jim Crows laws, state laws in the South which allowed discrimination and separate schools and public facilities for black and whites. Martin Luther King was the youngest person to get a Nobel Prize for his efforts to end segregation and racial discrimination. Martin Luther King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis Tennessee. — Ambry Moss
Meredith was of Native American and African American heritage. He entered the U.S. Air Force when he graduated from high school. He served 9 nines – from 1951 to 1960. He then attended Jackson State College for two years. But was denied admission to the University of Mississippi twice, only because he was black. On October 1, 1962 James Meredith walked onto the campus of the University of Mississippi – after having been denied entrance 10 days earlier on September 20. The governor of Mississippi, who was a segregationist, was very opposed to Meredith’s actions. Riots broke out on the Oxford, MS campus and President Kennedy sent federal troops and U.S. Marshalls. Two people were killed and and many soldiers were injured also. Meredith’s courageous stand in Oxford is look at as a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights Movement. Meredith graduated in 1963 with a degree in Political Science. He continued to be active in the civil rights marches of the 1960’s.
After Martin Luther King, Jr. did a non-violent demonstration in 1965 in Selma, Alabama, demanding the right of black people to register to vote, African-Americans achieved some legal rights. However, there were almost no economic improvements. A lot of young African-Americans called for “Black Power.” This term had different meanings for different people. For most part of the population, the term meant that African-Americans should take control of their economic, social and political struggle. For some people, it meant to defend the African-American population’s freedom using violence. Black power brought a lot of pride in the African-American culture. Although the term could have many different meanings, in general “black power” was a move away from interracial cooperation and society and an approximation to an increased awareness of racial distinctiveness. It stimulated racial pride in African-Americans, who lived in a society where the black people were inferior to white people. The Black Panther Party organized paramilitary lines and carried weapons proudly. They promised to defend black rights at any cost, even if violence would be needed. — Leo Gomez
The Nation of Islam
The Nation of Islam is an organization which tries to improve the spiritual and social aspects of African-Americans. This organization helped blacks with managing their lives. It also showed them how to be more responsible. The most famous “Black Muslim“ was named Malcolm Little (Malcolm X). He used the letter ”X” for his last name because of his African heritage. He was told to do this from the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. He committed some crimes and had to spend time in prison, but after joining the Nation of Islam he changed his life. He encouraged many people to join the organization, and changed their lives. He became very popular and many people loved him. However, he was assassinated in New York after a pilgrimage to the Muslim holy city of Mecca made up end his association with the Nation of Islam. — Jakub Mikulik
Malcolm X was born in 1925. He was African-American who believed in Islam. After getting out of prison for several crimes such as theft, drug dealing and pimping, Malcolm went to Muhammad, in order to learn more about Islam. Muhammad taught him that white Americans always kept African-Americans from success. After that, Malcolm went back to the United States and encouraged thousands of African-American people to get in Islamic religion. He spread his news everywhere, including newspapers, radio and television. In 1960, there were high racial tensions. Malcolm had some problems with FBI and Muhammad. He was silenced for 90 days. Since then, Malcolm X realized that all races are equal. He started to talk to all people and not only African-Americans. Eventually, relations with Muhammad had become bad. One day, there was a plan to bomb his car. Another attempt to kill him was in the Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom. In 1965 he was shot fifteen times and was dead. Malcolm X was buried in Hartsdale, New York. —Max Shishkin
The “Partido La Raza Unida” was a third party that was created by Chicanos, which was a term used to call Americans with Mexican descent. This party was organized in order to help social, political and economic conditions for the Chicanos. These groups were formed mostly in Texas, Colorado and California. In Texas, much of it’s help came from Jose Angel Gutierrez who was a student and an open borders advocate that founded La Raza Unida. In 1972, this party held their first commission. According to the statement, the mission stated that their goal was to “Re-Commit, Re-Direct, Re-Organize and Re-Claim” their Mexican American ancestry. This group supports the open borders policy, which basically gives rights to the undocumented (“illegal”) Mexicans in the United States. It also helped to get people jobs. The party also claimed that the Americans stole their ancestral land. — Stephie Ritchey
Vietnam War / The Domino Effect Theory
The domino theory was a foreign policy theory, promoted by the government of the United States, that speculated that if one land in a region came under the influence of Communism, then the surrounding countries would follow in a domino effect. The domino effect suggests that some change, even a small one, will cause a similar change nearby, which then will cause another similar change, and so on in linear sequence. Like a falling row of dominoes standing on end. The domino theory was used by successive United States administrations during the Cold War to justify American intervention around the world. President Eisenhower was the first to refer to countries in danger of Communist takeover as dominoes. The United States intervened in Vietnam because they believed in rebuilding that country into a Democracy, but if you think about it, in the end they withdrew from Vietnam having failed to achieve their objectives. — Phil Lea
Vietnam War / The Gulf of Tonkin incident
The Vietnam war was the most populated war in the US History. 58,000 U.S. soldiers were killed and another 153,000 were wounded. So many people on both sides were killed, including over 2 million civilians. North Vietnam believed in the expansion of Communism, the U.S. did not. The American wanted to stop the spread of Communism, and the Gulf of Tokin incident was a major escalation that happened in August 1964. The U.S. Navy claimed that torpedo boats from North Vietnam fired on American ships in international waters. Congress made the fast decision to pass the gulf of Tonkin Resolution, this gave permission to the president to take all necessary measures to protect American forces and prevent future aggression in southeast Asia. By the 1965 American pilots were bombing North Vietnam. Many troops were sent to South Vietnam into the Viet Cong. There were 3,500 American troops in Vietnam on March 8, 1965. By December of that year, there were 200,000. — Guilia Molinaro
Vietnam War / Anti-war protests in the U.S.
During the Vietnam War people came together to protest against the war and to try to convince the government to stop it. This was a mass movement which peaked in 1968 and united mostly college, high school and independent or free thinkers into mass protests. Most of the people were in discord with each others ideas about many things the only thing that united them was the possibility of making a halt to the Vietnam War. This Movement grew as the war kept going in the beginning from 15 to 20 thousand people marched together against the war but in one of the marches as the war developed into its later stages, over 500 thousand people gathered in Washington DC, most of them protested that the cost of the war was too high.
The Election of 1968
U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam
After Nixon won his re-election in 1972, he wanted to make an agreement with North Vietnam to bring all the U.S. troops back from Vietnam. South Vietnam and the United States were allies and were working together. Nixon’s ultimate goal was to restore peace in Vietnam between North and South, and for South Vietnam to “decide their own future.” Although once the American troops left the war, North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam. Nixon was shocked and concerned because they went against the terms of the agreement. Nixon tried to help South Vietnam in anyway they could. Though even with the help from Gerald Ford he could not convince Congress to give money to aid South Vietnam. Then soon after, North Vietnam took Saigon from South Vietnam, and later North and South Vietnam were reunited under the communist government and the capital Saigon, was re-named Ho Chi Minh City. — Sadie Hoaglin
The Watergate Scandal
Watergate was the political scandal that occurred during President Richard Nixon’s presidency. There were five men working for President Nixon’s re-election committee. President Nixon was a Republican. These men broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate hotel complex in Washington, D.C on June 17, 1972. As a result, this scandal became known a Watergate. These men broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters to bug the office in an attempt to get the Democratic Election Committee’s strategy. Nixon did not know about this burglary. His mistake was that he took part in the cover up of the burglary because he was running for a second term. In 1973, the Senate established a Committee to investigate the Watergate scandal. In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee voted and accepted three Articles of Impeachment against President Nixon. President Richard Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974. Upon Nixon’s resignation, Vice-President Gerald Ford became our 38th President. — Tyler Rubino