John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy
The “King of Camelot”
part 1
part 2
part 3
The Political Scene of the 1960’s
• Two vivacious candidates
looked to become the next
President of the United
States during the election
of 1960.
• John Fitzgerald Kennedy,
grandson of Boston’s
former mayor, Honey Fitz
and son of the previous
Ambassador to England,
Joseph Kennedy, looked to
move his seat from the
United States Senate to
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
• Of Irish descent, he was
born in Brookline,
Massachusetts, on May
29, 1917. Graduating from
Harvard in 1940, he
entered the Navy.
• In 1943, when his PT boat
109 was rammed and sunk
by a Japanese destroyer,
Kennedy, despite grave
injuries, led the survivors
through perilous waters to
• Back from the war, he
became a Democratic
Congressman from the
Boston area, advancing in
1953 to the Senate.
• He married Jacqueline
Bouvier on September 12,
• In 1955, while
recuperating from a back
operation, he wrote
Profiles in Courage,
which won the Pulitzer
Prize in history.
Nixon Background
Born in California in 1913, Nixon
had a brilliant record at Whittier
College and Duke University Law
School before beginning the
practice of law.
In 1940, he married Patricia Ryan;
they had two daughters, Patricia
(Tricia) and Julie.
During World War II, Nixon served
as a Navy lieutenant commander in
the Pacific.
On leaving the service, he was
elected to Congress from his
California district.
In 1950, he won a Senate seat. Two
years later, General Eisenhower
selected Nixon, age 39, to be his
running mate.
As Vice President, Nixon took on
major duties in the Eisenhower
Administration. Nominated for
President by acclamation in 1960
The Road to the White House
• In 1956 Kennedy almost gained
the Democratic nomination for
Vice President, and four years
later was a first-ballot nominee
for President.
• Millions watched his television
debates with the Republican
candidate, Richard M. Nixon.
• The Kennedy/Nixon debates
were the first ones to occur on
• People focused very much on
what they candidates looked
like and how they reacted.
• People felt like the two
candidates were right
there with them.
• As was stated, “You can
hear each man directly”,
“Nothing is between you
and what he says” and
“You can see which man
gets rattled easily”
• Debates
The Election
• Both candidates used
television as a means for
• The Democrats spent
more than $6 million in
television and radio spots
while the Republicans
spent just over $7.5
• Kennedy Campaign
• Nixon Campaign Ad
• There were clearly two
completely different
tactics at used by two
completely different
• However, both focused on
issues of the Cold War,
calling themselves “Cold
• However, they both
preached different things
in regard to the Cold War.
Their Thoughts
• JFK was deeply concerning
about the Soviet Union
• He was also worried about the
country of Cuba that was
aligning itself with the Soviet
• He also talked about a “missile
gap” stating that the USA was
behind the Soviets in regard to
• Many had their doubts about
the fact that he was Catholic.
Protestants were afraid that
Catholicism would run his
Presidency instead of his
governmental policies.
• Nixon thought that the
USA was on the right
track thanks to IKE.
• He warned that
Democrats would
bring inflation and that
JFK had little
knowledge about
foreign affairs.
The Results
• The election of 1960 was one of the closest
elections in the history of the United States.
• John F. Kennedy went to bed at his Cape Cod, MA
home called Hyannis Port when there still was no
winner declared.
• When he awoke the next morning he found
himself to be the next President of the United
• He won the popular vote by 119,000 votes and the
electoral college 303 to 219. In some states, only a
few votes would have completely changed history.
The Kennedy “Mystique”
• People were absolutely
taken with JFK.
• They loved his youth and
• On Inauguration Day,
January 20th, 1961
Kennedy once again
pulled at the heart strings
of Americans when he
• Kennedy Inauguration
• The day was cold and the
Inauguration almost
• The problem with the
• Scenes from the day
• People were freezing but
still they came all bundled
up just to see him speak.
• The Kennedy Mystique
still is carried into today
Jackie Kennedy
• Biography
• The inauguration of
John F. Kennedy in
1961 brought to the
White House and to
the heart of the nation
a beautiful young wife
and the first young
children of a President
in half a century.
She was born Jacqueline Lee
Bouvier, daughter of John Vernon
Bouvier III and his wife, Janet Lee.
Her early years were divided
between New York City and East
Hampton, Long Island, where she
learned to ride almost as soon as
she could walk.
Jacqueline was dubbed "the
Debutante of the Year" for the
1947-1948 season, but her social
success did not keep her from
continuing her education.
More On Jackie
• As a Vassar student she traveled
extensively, and she spent her
junior year in France before
graduating from George
Washington University.
• These experiences left her with
a great empathy for people of
foreign countries, especially the
• In Washington she took a job as
"inquiring photographer" for a
local newspaper
Her path soon crossed that of
Senator Kennedy, who had the
reputation of being the most
eligible bachelor in the capital.
Their romance progressed slowly
and privately, but their wedding at
Newport in 1953 attracted
nationwide publicity.
Kennedy Marriage
With marriage "Jackie" had to
adapt herself to the new role of
wife to one of the country's most
energetic political figures. Her own
public appearances were highly
successful, but limited in number.
More on Jackie
After the sadness of a miscarriage
and the stillbirth of a daughter,
Caroline Bouvier was born in 1957;
John Jr. was born between the
election of 1960 and Inauguration
Day. Patrick Bouvier, born
prematurely on August 7, 1963,
died two days later.
Jackie's Feelings about Patrick's
To the role of First Lady,
Jacqueline Kennedy brought
beauty, intelligence, and cultivated
Her interest in the arts, publicized
by press and television, inspired an
attention to culture never before
evident at a national level.
She devoted much time and study
to making the White House a
museum of American history and
decorative arts as well as a family
residence of elegance and charm.
A Tour of the White House
She defined her major role as "to
take care of the President" and
added that "if you bungle raising
your children, I don't think
whatever else you do well matters
very much."
More on Jackie
• Mrs. Kennedy's gallant courage during the tragedy of her husband's
assassination won her the admiration of the world. Thereafter it
seemed the public would never allow her the privacy she desired for
herself and her children.
• She moved to New York City; and in 1968 she married the wealthy
Greek businessman, Aristotle Onassis, 23 years her senior, who died in
March 1975.
• When her former brother-in-law Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated
three months earlier, Jacqueline decided that Kennedys were being
"targeted" and she and her children had to leave the States. So,
marriage to Onassis made sense: he had the power to give the
protection she wanted; she had the social cache he craved
Kennedy’s Policies
When Kennedy went to the White
House he wanted to implement a
new legislative program called The
New Frontier
He wanted to increase aid to
education, provide health insurance
to the elderly, create a department
of Urban Affairs and help migrant
Kennedy found out that it was
difficult to pass legislation
especially when Kennedy was not
beloved by most democrats or
republicans in the Congress
Congress defeated many of Kennedy’s
policies: health insurance for elderly, a
Department of Urban Affairs, and
federal aid to education.
Kennedy worked to lower the
unemployment rate and to keep the
economy on the upswing
He pushed businesses to to increase
productivity and he asked Union
leaders to keep the wage increases
When he met opposition from the steel
workers he threatened by have the
government by steel from some of the
other countries.
His tactics worked by weakened his
relationships with the countries
business owners.
More Policies
• JFK also adopted supplyside tactics and pushed for
a cut in tax rates
• Some people were afraid
that a tax cut would only
help the wealthy
• Kennedy thought that a
tax cut would give
businesses more money to
• Congress refused the tax
• Some members were
afraid of inflation
• They did support an
Area Redevelopment
Act and a Housing Act
• Both these things
would help the poor
living in slums
Women’s Rights and the Warren
Kennedy helped women to make
strides in the 1960’s
Kennedy had some women in
prominent positions such as Esther
Peterson who was the assistant
secretary of labor and director of
the Women’s Bureau of the
Department of Labor
In 1961 he created the Presidential
Commission on the Status of
This promised federal action
against gender discrimination and
affirmed the right of women to be
equally paid in employment
In 1963 he signed the Equal Pay
Act for women
• Earl Warren was the Chief
Justice of the United States.
• One of the most important
things that the Warren Court did
was called “reappointment” or
the way in which states draw up
political districts based on
changes in population
• The problem was that
sometimes, in some districts the
vote of an urban resident was
less influential that a rural
• See page 844 in the textbook
Extending Due Process and
• The US Supreme Court decided
to use the 14th Amendment in
regard to the Bill of Rights
• The 14th Amendment says “that
no state shall deprive any
person of life, liberty or
property without due process of
• Due Process means that the law
may not treat individuals
unfairly, arbitrarily or
unreasonably, and that courts
must follow proper procedures
and rules when trying cases”
In the 1960’s the Supreme Court
said that this applied to all states
when upholding the Bill of Rights
Some changes made:
– State courts could not consider
evidence obtained in violation
of the federal Constitution
– Defendants have a right to a
lawyer even if they can’t pay
– Miranda Warnings: right to
remain silent before being
questioned by the police,
anything said can be used
against them, they have a right
to a lawyer and one could be
provided if necessary
Church and State
• The Warren Court also made rules about this
– States could not compose official prayers and require
those prayers to be recited in state public schools
– There could be no state-mandated Bible readings in
public schools
– Finally, prohibiting the sale and use of birth control
devices violated citizen’s constitutional rights
Kennedy: Global Challenges
The major issue when Kennedy
came to office was the relationship
between The USA and The Soviet
As a result, Kennedy spent a lot of
his time trying to guide the nation
through the Cold War
His main focus was to stop the
spread of communism using
different programs
He looked for what was called the
“flexible response” for nations that
needed help against communism
• Kennedy pushed for a
build up of conventional
troops and weapons.
• He also supported guerilla
warfare in limited
• The soldiers of this
became known as “green
berets” complete with
green berets head gear.
Latin America
JFK was worried about Latin
America because the conditions
were so bad
Many were in extreme poverty with
the wealthy running the
The USA wanted to stop
communism from coming into
Latin America by keeping the
existing government in power so
military personnel were sent there
The Latin Americans did not like
the intrusion of the troops
JFK created Alliance for Progress
to help create a “free and
prosperous Latin America”
• Over a 10 year period the
USA promised $20 billion
to help Latin American
countries establish
schools, housing, health
care, and fairer land
• The money was not
always used in a positive
way but instead to keep
some of the same
governments in control
The Peace Corps
• The Peace Corps was designed to help fight poverty
• It sent young Americans to perform humanitarian services in poorer
• The participants were trained and then they were to spend 2 years in
the countries that needed assistance
• They laid out sewage systems in Bolivia and trained medical
technicians in Chad.
• Some taught English or built roads
• By late 1963 1,000s of Americans were in 30 countries
• The Peace Corps is still alive and well today as one of JFK’s best
• The Peace Corps today
Crises of the Cold War: Bay of
• The first crisis was in Cuba
which is only 90 miles outside
of the American shores
• Fidel Castro established ties
with the Soviet Union,
instituted land reforms, and
seized foreign-owned
businesses, many of them were
• The Cuban alliance with the
Soviets and Soviet Premier
Nikita Khrushchev was
• Khrushchev wanted to
strengthen Cuban militarily
• When IKE was President he
was also afraid of the
Soviet/Cuban relationship so he
gave the CIA permission to start
training and arming Cuban
exiles known as La Brigada.
Their job would be to invade
the island. This would
hopefully begin an uprising
against Castro
• When JKF became President
his administration okayed the
• The Bay of Pigs Invasion
• On April 17th, 1961, only three
months into JFK’s Presidency,
1,400 armed Cuban exiles
landed at the Bay of Pigs on the
South of Cuba.
• The invasion was a disaster
• La Brigada’s boats ran into
coral reef
• The USA canceled air support
• The point was to keep the
USA involvement a secret
• The uprising against
Castro never happened
• Within 2 days Castro had
captured or killed almost
all the members of La
• This was a dark moment
for the JFK administratio,
the USA looked weak and
The Creation of the Berlin Wall
• In June of 1961 Kennedy went to Vienna, Austria to meet with
Khrushchev; he would be tested again
• Khrushchev wanted to stop the amount of people leaving Communist
East Germany for West Germany
• He thus demanded that the Western powers recognize East Germany
and that the USA, Great Britain and France get out of Berlin which
was a city located in East Germany
• Obviously JFK refused, so Khrushchev responded by building a wall
through Berlin placing guards on the wall so that those trying to escape
East Berlin could be shot.
• It lasted for 30 years there afterward, a visible symbol of the Cold War
• The story of the Berlin Wall
The Cuban Missile Crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis is one of
the most intense in the history of
the USA
This occurred in 1962
Over the summer, American
intelligence agencies learned that
Soviet technicians and equipment
had landed in Cuba
To top it off, military expansion
was beginning.
October 22nd, 1962 President
Kennedy announced on TV that
American spy planes had taken
photos showing that there were
long range missile placed in Cuba
JFK responds
• These obviously posed a
dangerous threat
• This was mostly because they
were capable of reaching the
• JFK ordered a naval blockade
to stop the Soviets from
delivering more missiles
• He also demanded that they
dismantle the weapons and that
any weapons used against the
USA would be responded to
against the Soviet Union
More on the Crisis
• The Soviet Union ignored
the USA
• “Nuclear Holocaust
seemed evident”
• The crisis
• part 2
• There were many letters
that were issued between
Khrushchev and JFK
• The Soviets offered a deal
• If the USA would
promised not to invade
Cuba and to remove it’s
missiles from Turkey near
the Soviet border the
Soviets would remove
their missiles as well
• On October 28th, 1962 an
agreement was made and
the missile were removed
• The truth being that
neither side wanted a
nuclear war
• “Only lunatics…who themselves want to
perish and before they die destroy the
world, could do this”
– Khrushchev
The Impact
• The Cuban Missile Crisis brought the world the closest it had ever
been to nuclear war
• It also pushed the two countries to learn to work together
• In August of 1963 the USA and the Soviet Union finally came together
to ban the testing of nuclear weapons
• The backing down of the Soviets lead to the fall of Khrushchev and a
new leader who was adamant about building up military and weapons
by the Soviets
• This also showed the Soviets that they didn’t want to negotiate with
the West
• The USA also engaged in a weaponry build up which lasted until the
The Assassination
• By the fall of 1963, President
Kennedy and his political
advisers were preparing for the
next presidential campaign.
• Although he had not formally
announced his candidacy, it was
clear that JFK was going to run
and he seemed confident—
though not over-confident—
about his chances for reelection.
At the end of September, the
President traveled west speaking in
nine different states in less than a
week. While the trip was meant to
put a spotlight on natural resources
and conservation efforts, JFK also
used it to sound out themes -- such
as education, national security, and
world peace -- for his run in 1964.
In particular, he cited the
achievement of a limited nuclear
test ban, which the Senate had just
approved and which was a potential
issue in the upcoming election. The
public’s enthusiastic response was
A month later, the President
addressed Democratic gatherings in
Boston and Philadelphia. Then, on
November 12, he held the first
important political planning session
for the upcoming election year.
At the meeting, JFK stressed the
importance of winning Florida and
Texas and talked about his plans to
visit both states in the next two
weeks. Mrs. Kennedy would be
accompanying him on the swing
through Texas, which would be her
first extended public appearance
since the loss of their baby, Patrick,
in August.
On November 21, the President and
First Lady departed on Air Force
One for the two-day, five-city tour
of Texas. JFK was aware that a
feud among party leaders in Texas
could jeopardize his chances of
carrying the state in 1964, and one
of his aims for the trip was to bring
Democrats together. He also knew
that a relatively small but vocal
group of extremists was
contributing to the political
tensions in Texas and would likely
make its presence felt—particularly
in Dallas, where UN Ambassador
Adlai Stevenson had been
physically attacked a month earlier
after making a speech there.
The Trip to Texas
Nonetheless, JFK seemed to relish
the prospect of leaving
Washington, getting out among the
people and into the political fray.
The first stop was San Antonio.
Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson,
Governor John B. Connally and
Senator Ralph W. Yarborough led
the welcoming party
Continuing on to Houston, he
addressed a Latin American
citizens’ organization and spoke at
a testimonial dinner for
Congressman Albert Thomas
before ending the day in Fort
A light rain was falling on Friday
morning, November 22, but a
crowd of several thousand stood in
the parking lot outside the Texas
Hotel where the Kennedys had
spent the night.
A platform had been set up and the
President, wearing no protection
against the weather, came out to
make some brief remarks. “There
are no faint hearts in Fort Worth,”
he began, “and I appreciate your
being here this morning. Mrs.
Kennedy is organizing herself. It
takes longer, but, of course, she
looks better than we do when she
does it.”
The Last Stand
• The presidential party left the
hotel and went by motorcade to
Carswell Air Force Base for the
thirteen-minute flight to Dallas.
Arriving at Love Field,
President and Mrs. Kennedy
disembarked and immediately
walked toward a fence where a
crowd of well-wishers had
gathered, and they spent several
minutes shaking hands.
• The First Lady was presented
with a bouquet of red roses,
which she brought with her to
the waiting limousine.
Governor John Connally and
his wife, Nellie, were already
seated in the open convertible
as the Kennedys entered and sat
behind them. Since it was no
longer raining, the plastic
bubble top had been left off.
Vice President and Mrs.
Johnson occupied another car in
the motorcade
The President has been shot!!
• The procession left the airport and traveled along a tenmile route that wound through downtown Dallas on the
way to the Trade Mart where the President was scheduled
to speak at a luncheon. Crowds of excited people lined the
streets waving to the Kennedys as they waved back.
• The car turned off Main Street at Dealey Plaza around
12:30 p.m. As it was passing the Texas School Book
Depository, gunfire suddenly reverberated in the plaza.
Bullets struck the President’s neck and head and he
slumped over toward Mrs. Kennedy. The Governor was
also hit in the chest.
Pronouncing Him Dead
• The car sped off to Parkland Memorial Hospital
just a few minutes away. But there was little that
could be done for the President. A Catholic priest
was summoned to administer the last rites and at
1:00 p.m. John F. Kennedy was pronounced dead.
Governor Connolly, though seriously wounded,
would recover.
• Cronkite Tells the Country
• People React to JFK's Assassination
Lee Harvey Oswald
The President’s body was brought
to Love Field and placed on Air
Force One. Before the plane took
off, a grim-faced Lyndon B.
Johnson stood in the tight, crowded
compartment and took the oath of
office, The brief ceremony took
place at 2:38 p.m.
Less than an hour earlier, police
had arrested Lee Harvey Oswald, a
recently-hired employee at the
Texas School Book Depository. He
was being held for the assassination
of President Kennedy as well as the
fatal shooting, shortly afterward, of
Patrolman J.D. Tippit on a Dallas
Lee Harvey Oswald
On Sunday morning, the 24th,
Oswald was scheduled to be
transferred from police
headquarters to the county jail.
Viewers across America watching
the live TV coverage suddenly saw
a man aim a pistol and fire at point
blank range. The assailant was
identified as Jack Ruby, a local
nightclub owner. Oswald died two
hours later at Parkland Hospital.
Oswald is Shot
What really happened to Oswald?
Jack Ruby
• On November 24, 1963,
Dallas, Texas, police were
transferring Lee Harvey
Oswald, who had been
arrested for assassinating
President John F. Kennedy
two days earlier, from one
jail to another.
• A crowd of journalists,
photographers, and police
crowded around in the jail's
basement garage, and
watched as Oswald was led
out and was about to be
placed in a police car.
Suddenly, Jack Ruby, an owner
of a Dallas nightclub and
admirer of President Kennedy,
stepped forward, drew a gun,
and killed Oswald. The whole
incident was captured on live
television, shocking viewers
who witnessed the crime
Jack Ruby was found guilty of
murder on March 14, 1964, and
sentenced to death
In 1967, Jack Ruby died of
cancer in prison before a new
trial could be held.
A Plot?
Laying JFK to Rest
The Eternal Flame
• On Monday, November 25, 1963 President Kennedy was laid to rest in
Arlington National Cemetery. The funeral was attended by heads of
state and representatives from more than 100 countries, with untold
millions more watching on television.
• Afterward, an eternal flame was lit at the grave site by Mrs. Kennedy
and her husband’s brothers, Robert and Edward. Perhaps the most
indelible images of the day were the salute to his father given by little
John F. Kennedy, Jr. (whose third birthday it was), daughter Caroline
kneeling next to her mother at the President’s bier, and the
extraordinary grace and dignity shown by Jacqueline Kennedy.
• JFK Funeral and John John
Zapruder Film
• The Zapruder Film
• The Zapruder film is a silent
Standard 8 mm color home
movie of the presidential
motorcade of John F. Kennedy
through Dealey Plaza in Dallas,
Texas, on November 22, 1963,
filmed by a private citizen
named Abraham Zapruder.
• The film is the most complete
visual recording of the
assassination of President John
F. Kennedy.
• There were 32 other
photographers there
that day.
• The Warren
Commission looked at
the Zapruder Film
when conducting it’s
• Truth or Hoax?
The Warren Court
• After Kennedy was killed, Vice President
Lyndon Johnson became president, and he
appointed the President's Commission on the
Assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Chaired by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl
Warren, the Commission investigated
circumstances surrounding the shootings of
Kennedy and Oswald.
• In September 1964, the commission reported
it had found no evidence that Oswald and
Ruby were involved in a conspiracy to
assassinate the president.
The Conspiracy Theories
• Secret Service
• Conspiracy Theory
part 1
• Part 2
• part 3
• What do you think?
JFK Will Always be
•“. . . don't let it be
forgot that for one
brief shining moment
there was Camelot”