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The Stormy Sixties - The Stormy Sixties I Kennedy's New...

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The Stormy Sixties I. Kennedy’s New Frontier a. Young People In Government i. Youngest president promised “to get the country moving again” ii. Assembled one of the youngest cabinets, including his 35 year old brother, Robert, as attorney general iii. He set out to reprioritize the FBI’s activities. They gave most agents for “internal security” work and none for civil rights violations iv. His efforts were resisted by J. Edgar Hoover, who had served as FBI director longer than the new attorney general had been alive v. Robert S. McNamara left the presidency of the Ford Motor Company to take over the Defense Department b. Kennedy’s Characteristics and Appeal i. Appealed to youth: 1. New Frontier 2. Peace Corps – program that sent volunteers abroad as educators, health workers, and technicians to help developing nations around the world. The hope was that these countries the Peace Corps was involved in would favor democracy ii. Summoned citizens to service with his call to “ask not what your country can do for you: ask what you can do for your country” iii. He and many of his advisors were educated at Harvard iv. Had grace and wit that won him the deep affection of many of his fellow citizens II. The New Frontier At Home a. New Frontier Proposals i. Kennedy expanded the House Rules Committee, which was dominated by conservatives who could have stopped his entire legislative program ii. However, key medical and education bills remained stalled in Congress (medical assistance for the aged and increased federal aid to education) b. Revitalizing the Economy i. In 1962, he negotiated with the steel industry to keep a lid on prices to prevent inflation. After the steel businessmen started to raise prices, Kennedy called them to the Oval Office and they backed down
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ii. Supported a tax-cut bill against the advice of most, who wanted greater government spending c. Men On the Moon i. Promoted a multi-billion dollar project to land an American on the moon ii. Answering critics, Kennedy said “But why, some say, the moon? And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35-years ago, fly the Atlantic?...” iii. After spending $24 billion, in 1969, two American astronauts landed on the moon (Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins) III. Rumblings In Europe a. Berlin Wall i. After Kennedy met with Khrushchev in 1961, the Soviets threatened to make a treaty with East Germany and cut off Western access to Berlin. They began to construct the Berlin Wall, a barbed-wire and concrete barrier, later that year ii. It was designed to plug the heavy population drain from East Germany to West Germany iii. The wall lasted until 1989 and symbolized the division of post-WWII Europe into two hostile camps b. Trade Expansion Act of 1962 i. Authorized tariff cuts of up to 50% to promote trade with Common Market countries in Europe ii. This led to expansion of European-American trade c. Atlantic Community i. American policymakers were dedicated to an economically and military united “Atlantic Community” ii.
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