New Frontiers: Politics and Social Change In The 1960s
The "Kennedy style"
the tone of elegance and youthfulness. Uplifting rhetoric.
He wanted new ideas and fresh thinking. Kennedy himself was the youngest person ever elected pres.
Cabinet appointments emphasized youth
appealed to minorities and af ams
Congress Democratic but conservative
they blocked: his efforts to ↑ fed aid/edu, health insurance for aged, creation a dept of urban affairs, a tax cut, & his initiatives for unemp youths/migrant workers/mass transit.
The Alliance for Progress
created to help LA
The Peace Corps
give jobs to college students
created 1961 to supply volunteers who would provide edu/tech services abroad.
Trade Expansion Act
Kennedy’s greatest achievement. Led to avg 35% tariff on goods traded b/w US and euro econ community (the common market).
provided for urban renewal over 4yrs, ↑min wage
Area Redevelopment Act of 1961
provided leans/grants to distressed areas
other Domestic and social legislation successes
social security, funds for sewage-treatment plants, man on moon.
Gideon v. Wainwright ’63
court required every felony defendant be provided a lawyer regardless of defendant’s ability to pay.
Escobedo v. IL ’64
sc ruled that a person accused of a crime must be allowed to consult a lawyer before being interrogated by police.
Based on King's "militant nonviolence" philosophy
Creation of SNCC – Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
worked w/ S Christian Leadership Conference to broaden the civil rights mvmt.
sent by the congress of Racial Equality to test the fed court ruling banning segregated busses/trains/terminals.
Integration of the University of Mississippi
they refused to let James Meredith in, Attorney gen Robert Kennedy dispatched fed marshals and troops to enforce the law.
King's "Letter from Birmingham City Jail"
became an important doc of civil r mvmt. He emphasized need to edu s whites about injustice of segregation/discrimination. King signaled a shift in strategy for social change. He focused on gaining fed enforcement of law and new legislation by getting racists to display their hatred in public.
Kennedy endorses civil rights
he supported the bill intended to end discrimination in pub facilities & schools, and protect af am voters, but congress blocked the bill.
Wallace's defiant gesture
he stood in the door of University of AL to block enrollment to af am students. He stepped aside b/c of fed marshals. Led to pres Kennedy highlighting the moral issue facing the nation.
March on Washington
was the high point of c r mvmt. King's "I Have a Dream" speech occurred.
Modest progress in cities like Atlanta
b/c the continuing protests threatened econ devel
Bay of Pigs disaster
Secret CIA operation – they were training 1,500 anti-Castro Cubans for an invasion of Cuba.
Failure of invasion – they had underestimated Castro’s popularity and resilience. Invasion suffered from poor communication, maps, equipment, and leadership.
What did Khrushchev do? – he threatened to limit access to Berlin
Kennedy’s reaction – he called up Reserve and Guard units
Soviets’ reaction – constructed Berlin Wall, isolating w Berlin & preventing mvmt b/w the halves.
Cuban missile crisis
Discovery of missiles in Cuba – their motives were to protect Cuba from another am invasion.
Kennedy imposes naval quarantine – a naval blockade of Cuba.
Khrushchev blinks – agrees to back off if US promised no to invade Cuba.
Aftereffects – Lowered tensions, sale of surplus wheat to soviets, Washington-Moscow "hot line," removal of obsolete missiles in Turkey, It, and Br, and a nuclear test ban treaty.
Neutrality for Laos
they were declared neutral in the Geneva accords of ’54, but were now struggling b/w comm Pathet Lao and inept Royal Laotian Army.
Premier Ngo Dinh Diem
Problem not comm guerilla attacks – Diem’s lack of economic and social reform and ability to rally popular support.
Opposition to Diem – Buddhists ignited discontent in the s.
Overthrow of Diem and later military regimes – took over s viet gov and killed Diem.
Passing Kennedy's legislative program:
A major tax cut
The Civil Rights Act of 1964
– the Revenue Act of ’64 to stimulate econ and consumer spending.
– prohibited segregation in pub facilities and in registration of voters and hiring employees.
Michael Harrington's The Other America
argued 40+mil ppl = poor caused ams to “rediscover” poverty.
Economic Opportunity Bill
job corps for inner-city youths 16-21, head start program for disadvantaged preschoolers, work-study programs, grants to farmers/rural businesses, loans, volunteers in service to am, community action program.
The Great Society
demands an end to poverty and racial injustice.
The election of 1964
the conscience of a conservative (’66) – proposed the abolition of the income tax sale of TV Authority, and over hall of Soc Security.
wanted to bomb n viet, → trigger happy
Voting Rights Act of 1965
ensured all citizens right to vote. Authorized attorney gen to dispatch fed examiners to register voters.
The Tonkin Gulf Resolution
Response to attack on American destroyers – LBJ said it was unprovoked even though s viet ships may have provoked it.
Result – Johnson interpreted to be congressional approval for war
Attack at Pleiku
Operation Rolling Thunder
– in s viet, 8ams killed, 126 wounded.
– result of Pleiku. First sustained bombing of n viet.
The turning point
The Tet Offensive
city capital Hue fell to comm. Viet c occupied US embassy in Saigon.
Result – Further erosion of support, Presidential primaries became referendums on Johnson's Vietnam policy.
Effects on Johnson – he announced that he would not seek another term.
The disastrous Chicago convention
Chicago mayor Daley gave shoot-to-kill orders to police during riots protesting King’s assassination. Riot broke down, televised.