In 1960, the presidential election was Nixon v. Kennedy. Nixon had the edge because he was the current vice president. It was the first election that utilized televised debates. On television, Nixon refused any make-up. He was shorter than Kennedy. To the television-viewing American public, Nixon appeared to be more nervous, and Kennedy appeared to be in control. Those who listed on radio, ironically, thought Nixon won the debates. The other thing hampering the Nixon campaign was that there had been a national recession in 1958.
Kennedy promised a "New Frontier."
- increased minimum wage to $1.25
- business stimulation loans
- worker retraining
- $900 million for building public works where unemployment higher than 6%
Aid in construction of college, classrooms, libraries and laboratories.
Increase in tariffs
23rd Amendment added to the Constitution. It enabled residents of D.C. to vote in presidential elections.
24th Amendment forbade a poll tax
End of Gerrymandering by the Supreme Court. House districts to be genuine representative government. (How do you divide house districts. Done in a particular manner, southern states could guarantee democratic control of district by separating republican dominated areas into various other districts.
Civil Rights Bill (not finalized before 11/22/63) School Desegregation
Education bill (not finalized before 11/22/63)
The Peace Corps. - American volunteers who agreed to live in undeveloped countries and help them.
Congo - former Belgian colony, now Zaire, there was great disrest. The UN. tried to establish peace. The leader of the communist part was assassinated. the US.S.R. demanded UN. withdrawal-- the United States said they would defend the United Nations. Zaire became one of the most prosperous African nations.
Bay of Pigs
Early in 1959, Castro overthrew Cuban dictatorship. The United States backed Castro until he started killing political enemies and then accepted Soviet military aid.
Eisenhower had created a plan with the CIA to invade Cuba, meet up with the freedom fighters and overthrow Castro -- it fell apart. Kennedy accepted full responsibility for the failure.
Alliance for Progress
United States and 19 Latin American countries designed to improve economic and social conditions in Latin America.
US.S.R. was equipping Cuba with offense missiles. Kennedy ordered a Naval blockade against Cuba to "quarantine" the country from additional shipments of offensive weapons and demanded the US.S.R. dismantle missile bases. Kruschev finally backed down.
Erection of the Berlin Wall. Kennedy pledged US. support for West Berlin.
Nuclear test ban was suspended in 1958. The US.S.R. decided to start in 1961, they tested until a new agreement was signed in October, 1963.
On November 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on a campaign tour. The Warren Commission drawn to investigate the assassination stated that Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated JFK alone. Ruby (who shot Oswald) acted alone, and there was no evidence of conspiracy.