John F. Kennedy:1960's

JFK and His Presidency

The Campaign:

Both candidates promised to boost the economy and portrayed themselves as "Cold Warriors" determined to stop the spread of communism.*

-After 4 televised debates Kennedy influenced the election and won the electoral college 303 to 219. He also won the popular vote.

JFK Takes Office: The New Frontier*:


Kennedy also wanted to increase taxes but Congress refused because of the fears of inflation. Congress also denied his request of health insurance and federal aid for education.


JFK raised minimum wage and created the Area Redevelopment Act and Housing Act. Deficit spending created more jobs, which convinced Congress to invest more funds in defense and space exploration.

Man on the Moon:

In 1957, the U.S. entered a space race with the Soviet Union. After Soviet astronaut, Yuri Gagarin became the first person to orbit the Earth, Kennedy wanted to land the first man on the moon.* However, needed the right technology for it.

"On July 16, 1969, Saturn V lifted off from Florida [the Apollo being launched from it], carrying three American astronauts*...On July 20 Armstrong and Aldrin boarded the lunar module, named Eagle,[and headed to the moon." Armstrong radioed, "Houston...the Eagle has landed."*

Aid to Other Countries:

*"Over a 10-year period, the U.S. pledged $20 billion to help Latin American countries establish better schools, housing, health care, and fairer land distribution.*

The Peace Corps helped less developed nations: Set Sewage systems up in Bolivia, trained medical technicians in Chad, taught English, and helped build roads.*

However, the efforts to stop the spread of Communism in Latin America led to some crisis.

The Bay of Pigs:

In 1956 Fidel Castro overthrew the Cuban dictator, Fulgencio Batista.* A plan by Eisenhower, a group of Cuban exiles were trained and armed by the CIA known as La Brigada to try to cause an uprising against Castro by invading the island.*   :48

JFK and the Civil Rights Movement

Taking Action:

-Kennedy promised in his campaign to support the civil rights movement which gained him many votes by African Americans.*

-Appointed about 40 African Americans to high-level positions in government

-Set up the Committee of Equal Employment Opportunity (CEEO) which stopped federal bureaucracy from discriminating against African American in hiring and promotions.

-Put brother, Robert, in charge of actively supporting the civil rights movement*

-During this time, Kennedy was preparing for a meeting with Soviet leader Nakita Khrushchev. Kennedy didn't want to give the Soviets the impression that U.S. was weak and divided because of the violence in the South.*

-However, the cost to bail the Riders out of jail was too much money out of the CORE's  (Congress of Racial Equality) funds. When Kennedy returned from his meeting with Khrushchev and found out Freedom Rides were still occurring, he turned to a new plan.*

-“By late 1962, [because of the actions of the ICC and the Justice Department] segregation in interstate bus travel had come to an end.”

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