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1960 Election


1960 Election JFK defeated VP Richard Nixon by a razor-thin margin. Nixon conceded defeat but remained convinced the election had been stolen from him. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: 1960 Election

1960 Election
  • JFK defeated VP Richard Nixon by a razor-thin
  • Nixon conceded defeat but remained convinced the
    election had been stolen from him.
  • First televised presidential debates

JFK Domestic PolicyThe New Frontier
  • Attempt to build upon New Deal
  • housing assistance, aid to education, etc. were
  • tax cut, minimum wage increase passed
  • economist John Kenneth Galbraith urged spending
    on social welfare programs to improve economy

JFK Foreign PolicyThe Cold War in the 1960s
  • JFK took an aggressively anti-communist stance.
    (WWII experience made him ardently against
  • Moved from massive retaliation to flexible
  • 3 major confrontations
  • Bay of Pigs invasion
  • Berlin Crisis
  • Cuban Missile Crisis

JFK Foreign PolicyBay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba
  • CIA-trained Cuban exiles invaded Cuba with US
    support in April 1961
  • miserable failure
  • JFK called off US air support
  • Castro, USSR not pleased

JFK Foreign PolicyBerlin Crisis (1961)
  • E. Germany/USSR again assumed threatening posture
    toward West Berlin
  • standoff broken by Communist construction of
    Berlin Wall (dividing East and West Berlin)

JFKs Greatest ChallengeCuban Missile Crisis
  • American U2 spy plane photos showed Soviet
    missile sites under construction in Cuba
  • JFK considered air strikes but decided to
    quarantine (blockade) Cuba instead
  • confrontations between US and Soviet ships off
    coast of Cuba could have triggered WWIII
  • Khrushchev backed down and removed missile sites
    in exchange for US agreement not to invade Cuba
    and a secret agreement to remove US missiles from

November 22, 1963Dallas, Texas
Lyndon Baines Johnson
  • Born and raised in the hill country of central
  • accomplished US Senator (Senate Majority Leader)
    -- knew how to deal with Congress
  • reluctantly accepted VP position under JFK
  • brilliant politician, forceful personality

LBJs Great Society
  • Picked up where New Deal left off -- most
    successful extension of the New Deal philosophy
  • War on Poverty (OEO, HUD, etc.)
  • NEA, NEH
  • environmental initiatives
  • federal college loan/grant programs

Michael Harringtons The Other America (1962)
  • Harrington was introduced to the issue of poverty
    in Dorothy Days Catholic Worker Movement in the
    early 1950s and became a socialist.
  • The Other America brought significant attention
    to the problem of poverty in the United States
    and helped to trigger the war on poverty of the

LBJs Great SocietyMedicare Act of 1965
  • Medicare
  • federal govt.-provided health insurance for those
    over age 65
  • dramatically reduced poverty among the elderly
  • Medicaid
  • federal govt.-provided health insurance for the

VietnamHistorical Background
  • The Vietnamese people had a long history of being
    dominated by others
  • French colony before WWII
  • occupied by Japan during WWII
  • Vietnamese nationalists under Ho Chi Minh helped
    US troops expel Japan during WWII.
  • Ho and the Vietnamese assumed that Vietnam would
    be granted independence at the end of WWII.
  • Instead, Truman allowed the French to retake
    their colony of French Indochina.

Ho Chi Minh
Though considered just another Soviet-supported
communist by the US government, Ho Chi Minh was a
national hero to millions of Vietnamese and a
symbol of Vietnamese independence.
Vietnamese Nationalist Movement (1950s)
  • Vietnamese nationalists, led by Ho, fought a war
    for independence against the French.
  • Frances defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 forced a
    French withdrawal.
  • The Geneva Conference of 1956 divided Vietnam
    along the 17th parallel.
  • North Vietnam Nationalist, socialistic
    government under Ho Chi Minh
  • South Veitnam US-supported capitalist
    government under Ngo Dinh Diem

Vietnam War
  • Nationalist, increasingly communist guerrillas
    within South Vietnam (Viet Cong) rebelled against
    the US-supported Diem government.
  • US military assistance to the Diem government
    gradually grew throughout the late 1950s and
    early 1960s.
  • The Diem government became so unpopular that the
    US supported the assassination of Diem in 1963.
  • The situation did not improve, however.

Tonkin Gulf IncidentAugust 1964
  • The destroyer USS Maddox reported being fired
    upon by N. Vietnamese torpedo boats in the Gulf
    of Tonkin (off the Vietnamese coast) on a dark
  • There is serious question as to whether the
    Maddox was ever actually fired upon.
  • President Johnson asked Congress to allow an
    escalation of the US military effort in Vietnam.

Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (1964)
  • Congress passed a resolution giving President
    Johnson the authority to take all necessary
    measures to any armed attack against the forces
    of the US in Vietnam and to prevent further
  • Congress basically gave LBJ a blank check in
    increase US involvement in the Vietnam War.

  • Operation Rolling Thunder (1965)
  • US troop levels increased to over 500,000 by
  • Gen. William Westmoreland and Defense Secretary
    Robert McNamara presided over the escalation and
    continually assured LBJ and the American public
    that victory was imminent.

Tet OffensiveJanuary 1968
  • Tet Vietnamese New Year
  • massive North Vietnamese/Viet Cong offensive
    against all major cities and US military
    installations in South Vietnam
  • eventual military victory for US
  • BUT . . . It was a public relations disaster.
  • Americans no longer believed victory was close at
    hand, and public opinion turned against the war.
    (influence of TV played a role)

Public Opinion and Vietnam
  • A vocal anti-war movement emerged in 1966 and
  • Protests ignited controversies on college
    campuses and on the street.
  • Events like the Tet Offensive and My Lai Massacre
    of 1968-69 helped to turn even non-protesters
    against the war.

Student Movement
  • Associated with, but not limited to, anti-war
    movement and civil rights movement
  • Major student protests at UC Berkeley and
    Columbia U
  • Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
  • Tom Haydens Port Huron Statement (1962)
    expressed the fear and discontent of the younger

  • Rejection of traditional American norms
  • sexual revolution
  • the pill
  • Folk, rock n roll, protest music
  • Bob Dylan
  • Woodstock, 1969
  • Drug culture
  • Marijuana
  • LSD (Ken Keseys psychadelic bus and Timothy
    Learys acid tests)

1968 Election
  • A beleaguered LBJ announced in March that he
    would not seek another term.
  • Robert F. Kennedy became the frontrunner for the
    Democratic nomination.
  • Alabama Governor George Wallace ran as a
    segregationist independent.

1968 Election
  • The nation was shocked (again) by the
    assassination of Robert Kennedy in June.
  • VP Hubert Humphrey was nominated by the Democrats
    at a turbulent convention in Chicago.
  • Richard Nixon prevailed in a tight 3-way race.

Reform Movements of 1960s-70s
  • Civil Rights Movement
  • Student Movement
  • Womens Movement
  • Environmental Movement
  • Native American Movement

Womens Movement
  • Betty Friedans The Feminine Mystique (1963) and
    the problem with no name
  • NOW and Feminism
  • Gloria Steinem and Ms. Magazine
  • Equal Rights Amendment (1972)
  • Title IX

Environmental Movement
  • Rachel Carsons Silent Spring, 1962
  • Earth Day, 1970
  • Clean Air Act, Environmental Protection Agency
    (EPA), Clean Water Act (Johnson and Nixon)
  • Love Canal (1978) and toxic waste cleanup
  • Three Mile Island (1979) and anti-nuclear power

The Warren Court A liberal US Supreme Court
expands constitutional rights and federal power
  • Civil Rights cases ended segregation (1950s)
  • Rights of the Accused dramatically expanded
  • Gideon v. Wainright (right to counsel)
  • Miranda v. Arizona (right against
  • Right to Privacy developed (1960s-70s)
  • Griswold v. Connecticut (1967)
  • Roe v. Wade (1973)

Nixon and Vietnam
  • LBJ began a slow withdrawal of US troops from
    Vietnam in 1968, which Nixon continued.
  • Nixon also increased US bombing of North Vietnam
    and, controversially, expanded US military
    operations into neighboring Cambodia.
  • Treat of Paris (1973) officially ended US
    involvement in the Vietnam War
  • The South Vietnamese capital of Saigon fell to
    the North Vietnamese in April 1975.

Nixon Foreign Policy (aside from Vietnam)
  • Détente -- warming of relations with the Soviet
    Union (at least a little)
  • SALT Treaty
  • first nuclear arms limitations treaty
  • China
  • 1972 visit paved the road for diplomatic
    recognition of the communist China
  • Nixon/Kissinger recognized that communism was not

Nixon Domestic Policy
  • More conservative, but still did not seek to
    eliminate that welfare state
  • New Federalism
  • Block Grants -- more discretion left to states in
    how to spend federal money
  • significant environmental regulations

Watergate Scandal
  • CREEP used campaign funds to pay for dirty
    tricks designed to help secure Nixons 1972
  • CREEP-financed burglars (G. Gordon Liddy, E.
    Howard Hunt) broke into Democratic National
    Committee HQ at the Watergate complex in DC on
    June 16, 1972. They were caught.
  • Nixon authorized payment of hush money to
    silence those involved.

Watergate Scandal
  • FBI traced money to CREEP.
  • Nixon ordered CIA to call off FBI investigation
    (thus authorizing a cover-up obstruction of
  • How did Nixon do in the 1972 election?

Nixons Re-election (1972)
Watergate Scandal
  • A US Senate Committee investigated the scandal.
  • They learned that Nixon taped conversations in
    the Oval Office and subpoenaed the tapes.
  • White House Counsel John Dean testified that
    Nixon knew about the cover-up and other illegal
  • Nixon was eventually forced to turn over relevant
    tapes by the USSC in US v. Nixon, 1974

Impact of Vietnam and Watergate on the American

Who benefits?
Nixons Resignation
  • The tapes proved Nixon had authorized a cover-up.
  • Impeachment proceedings against him were
  • On August 9, 1974, Nixon became the first (and
    only) president to resign from office.

Gerald Ford
  • Popular Michigan Congressman who became VP just
    months before becoming president.
  • Pardoned Nixon (so he couldnt by prosecuted)
  • Fords short presidency was marred by a failing
    economy stagflation

Jimmy Carter
  • Washington outsider former governor of Georgia
    and peanut farmer (w/ a degree in nuclear physics
    from the US Naval Academy)

Carter Domestic Policy
  • A series of Arab oil embargoes during the 70s
    left the US suffering from oil and gas shortages.
  • Cater urged conservation measures, calling the
    oil crisis the moral equivalent of war (MEOW)

Carter Domestic Policy
  • Continued economic stagnation, accompanied by
    rising inflation, plagued the country in the late
  • In his famous Malaise Speech, Carter asserted
    that the beleaguered country suffered from a
    crisis of confidence, which some Americans
    interpreted as Carter blaming Americas people
    for its problems.

Carter Foreign Policy Iranian Hostage Crisis
  • Islamic fundamentalists overthrew the unpopular,
    American-supported Shah of Iran in November 1978.
  • Iranian students seized the US embassy in
    Teheran, killed one American, and took 52
    American hostages.
  • Carter was unable to get the hostages freed.
  • A military rescue mission failed disastrously.
  • Carter appeared weak and ineffective as another
    blow was dealt to American confidence.
  • The hostage were held for 444 days and released
    at the hour that Ronald Reagan became president
    in Jan. 1981

Carter Foreign Policy Camp David Accords (1979)
  • Perhaps the highlight of Carters presidency was
    his mediation of this unlikely peace treaty
    between mortal enemies Egypt and Israel.
  • It was the first (and only) peace treaty between
    Israel and an Arab/Muslim nation.

Egypts Anwar Sadat and Israels Manachem Begin
shake hands with Carters help.
Carter Foreign Policy Soviet Invasion of
  • The USSR invaded Afghanistan in 1979 to prop up a
    Soviet-supported communist government.
  • Carter initiated a US boycott of the 1980 Summer
    Olympics in Moscow to protest the invasion.
  • The US eventually helped arm the Afghan rebels,
    who were able to defeat the Soviets after years
    of war.

Ronald Reagan and the Conservative Revolution of
the 1980s
  1. Free Market Economics less government
  2. Less support for welfare state
  3. Increased public moralism less separation of
    church and state
  4. Aggressive anti-communism -- increased defense

Ronald Reagan
  • Actor
  • Former California governor
  • Oldest president in history
  • Survived 1981 assassination attempt
  • Charismatic beloved fatherly figure
  • feel good style helped restore American
  • Teflon President scandals, negativity didnt
    stick to him

Reagan plays cowboy for the cameras at his CA
March 30, 1981
  • Reliance on free market capitalism rather than
    government regulation
  • Economist Milton Friedman and the Chicago
    school of economics
  • deregulation
  • Tax cuts (particularly for the wealthy)
  • Supply-side economics (trickle down)
  • Decreased social welfare spending
  • Increased defense spending

Increasing National Debt
  • Tax cuts massive defense spending deficit
  • National Debt tripled to more than 3 Trillion
    during 1980s

Rise of the Religious Right/Christian
  • Jerry Falwells Moral Majority and other
    conservative Christian groups helped lead the
    Conservative Revolution.
  • Evangelical Christians became very prominent in
    the Republican Party
  • They (and Reagan) advocated Constitutional
    amendments banning abortion and allowing prayer
    in public schools, among other things.

Reagan Foreign Policy Aggressive Anti-Communism
  • Reagan referred to the USSR as the Evil Empire.
  • He initiated increased spending on nuclear
    weapons-related programs like the M-X Missile and
    the SDI/Star Wars missile defense system
  • This arms build-up is credited by many historians
    for helping to end the Cold War.

End of the Cold War
  • Reformer Mikhail Gorbachev became Soviet premier
    in 1985
  • Gorbachev initiated Glasnost, a new sense of
    openness, and economic reforms.
  • He also proposed nuclear arms reductions.

End of the Cold War
  • In a series of summits, Reagan and Gorbachev
    worked out the first nuclear weapons reduction
    agreement, the INF Treaty (1987).
  • Gorbachev later signed the much more significant
    START Treaty with Reagans successor George H. W.

1990s The Clinton Era
  • The Democrats regained the presidency as Bill
    Clinton defeated incumbent president George H. W.
    Bush in a 3-way race included independent
    candidate H. Ross Perot in 1992.
  • Clinton was part of a movement to make the
    Democratic Party more moderate/conservative
    called the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC).

Clinton and Congress
  • Clinton worked with a Republican-controlled
    Congress (after big Republican victories in the
    1994 midterm elections) to pass moderate
    legislation like the Welfare Reform Act of 1995.
  • The Republican Congress turned on Clinton in
    1998, when the House impeached him at the height
    of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
  • Clintons approval ratings remained high,
    however, as the economy boomed.

2000 Presidential Election
  • Gov. George W. Bush prevailed after a lengthy
    legal battle over Floridas electoral votes
    despite losing the popular vote to VP Al Gore

September 11, 2001
  • And the rest is . . .
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