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The 1960s, Vietnam, and Watergate Notes Blake Johnson Laney College
The John F. Kennedy and the World •Kennedy’s agenda envisioned new initiatives aimed at countering communist influence in the world Peace Corps Space program •Kennedy’s Alliance for Progress was aimed at Latin America •The Bay of Pigs Kennedy failed at ousting Castro from power in Cuba •The Missile Crisis The most dangerous crisis of the Kennedy administration came in October 1962, when American spy planes discovered that the Soviet Union was installing missiles in Cuba capable of reaching the United States with nuclear weapons •In 1963, Kennedy moved to reduce Cold War tensions Limited Test-Ban Treaty
Kennedy’s Legacy and LBJ •The Assassination and Kennedy’s Civil Rights Legacy Kennedy was shot on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, TX and his vice-president Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) assumes the presidency. Johnson supports the Civil Rights Legislation (1963 Civil Rights Act, 1965 Voting Rights Act, and 24thAmendment) to passage. •The 1964 Election Lyndon B. Johnson’s opponent was Barry Goldwater, who was portrayed as pro–nuclear war and anti–civil rights Johnson was stigmatized by the Democrats as an extremist who would repeal Social Security and risk nuclear war Proposition 14 repealed a 1963 law banning racial discrimination in the sale of real estate •Immigration Reform The belief that racism should no longer serve as a basis of public policy spilled over into other realms Taken together, the civil rights revolution and immigration reform marked the triumph of a pluralist conception of Americanism
fig25_09.jpg Lyndon B. Johnson being sworn in as president on the plane taking him to Washington from Dallas. On the left is Lady Bird Johnson, and on the right, Jacqueline Kennedy. Credit: Cecil Stoughton, White House/John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library, Boston.
The Presidential Election of 1964
Lyndon Johnson’s Presidency•The Great Society Johnson outlined the most sweeping proposal for governmental action to promote the general welfare since the New Deal Unlike the New Deal, however, the Great Society was a response to prosperity, not depression •The War on Poverty The centerpiece of the Great Society crusade to eradicate poverty ØMichael Harrington’s The Other America In the 1960s, the administration attributed poverty to an absence of skills and a lack of proper attitudes and work habits The War on Poverty concentrated on equipping the poor with skills and rebuilding their spirit and motivation ØOffice of Economic Opportunity •Freedom and Equality Johnson resurrected the phrase “freedom from want,” all but forgotten during the 1950s Johnson’s Great Society may not have achieved equality “as a fact,” but it represented a remarkable reaffirmation of the idea of social citizenship Coupled with the decade’s high rate of economic growth, the War on Poverty succeeded in reducing the incidence of poverty from 22 percent to 13 percent of American families during the 1960s