The Kennedy Years From the aura of idealism surrounding John F. Kennedy, the youngest person ever elected president, to the confrontations in the streets at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, the 1960s began as an era of expectation and hope and drew to a close in discord and division. Throughout the '60s, the country experienced upheavals created by an increasingly unpopular war, a civil rights movement that led to demands for ethnic power, and political violence on an unprecedented scale, including the assassinations of President Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy. The decade was also a time of heightened social awareness, in which legal barriers to equality began to tumble, and a concerted effort was made, albeit unsuccessfully, to address the problems of the poor and underprivileged. In 1960, the Republicans chose Richard Nixon, Eisenhower's Vice President, for their presidential
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