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The Kennedy Years

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					The Kennedy Years
Post WWII Suburban Explosion
   Post WWII people fled to suburbs
       Arthur Levitt started mass production of houses
            Levittown covenant –only sell to whites
            Other covenants excluded Jews and Asians
       Financing thru FHA (Federal Housing Administration)
        vets got lower interest rates
   Many moved to California, Texas and Florida
   More roads and more cars led to highway
    construction
   Urban crisis:
        as people flocked to suburbs, urban areas declined
       creation of white suburbs and black and Hispanic inner
        cities
        Immigration and Migration
   Immigration law of 1924 remained until 1965 w/
    some exceptions
       1943 repeal of Chinese Exclusion Act
       1945 War Brides Act
       1948 Displaced Persons Act – admitted 415,000
        European refugees
       McCarran-Walter Act 1952 ended exclusion of Chinese,
        Japanese, Korean and SE Asians
   Bracero Program 1951-64 temporary labor from
    Mexico
       Still deported illegal immigrants
   1959-65 many Cuban refugees came to US
   also a major move from rural areas to urban areas
                       JFK
   1951 22nd amendment –
    limited presidents to 2 terms
   youngest and first Catholic
   helped by 4 televised debates
   won by only 120,000 votes –
    Nixon didn’t challenge
   1961 inauguration “ask not
    what your country can do for
    you, ask what you can do for
    your country.”
               ACTIVISM ABROAD
   Hard line against communism – increased defense
    spending
   Called for flexible response: Counterinsurgency: to
    combat communism and guerilla warfare
   Peace Corps: devote 2+ yrs to help underprivileged in 3rd
    world
       Also a way to spread democracy
   Food For Peace Program- aid
   Alliance for Progress: funds for food, educ, medicine etc
    to Latin America
       Not successful in Latin Am
       CUBA: 1959 Fidel Castro Berlin Wall1961 Kennedy speech “Ich
        bin ein Berliner.” A promise that the US wouldn’t desert West
        Berlin
   Oct 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis
             ACTIVISM AT HOME
   Kennedy pushed forward the space program
       1961 Alan Shepard first Am in space
       made goal of putting man on the moon – 1969
   Kennedy-Johnson tax cut passed 1964
       Gov’t spent more than took in
       Approach Republicans later used to stimulate econ
        growth
   Increased minimum wage and expanded social
    security
   Fought congress on other issues
    Civil Rights during the Kennedy
                  Years
   1960 Greensboro NC 4
    black students sat at
    Woolworth’s “white’s
    only” lunch counter
       Arrested, eventually sit-in
        tactic worked, spread to
        other areas
       SNCC Student Non-
        Violent Coordinating
        Committee
       By end year 50,000
        people had participated
       Desegregated 126 cities
                      Freedom Riders
   CORE: Congress of
    Racial Equality
    interracial group started
    freedom rides on
    interstate buses to call
    attention to segregation
       JFK against the
        activities but had to
        intervene
            Attorney Gen Rt
             Kennedy sent fed
             marshals to Alabama
            Forced desegregation
    Civil Rights during the Kennedy
              Years (cont)
   April 1963 MLK march on Birmingham – picket
    segregated dept stores
       Met with dogs, electric cattle prods and high pressured fire
        hoses
       TV caught it all
   JFK forced to act 6/11/63 on tv promised legislation
    banning discrimination in public accommodations and
    empowering the Justice Dept to enforce deseg
       Black leaders called it 2nd emancipation proclamation
       Medgar Evers pres Mississippi NAACP shot and killed on that
        night
            Brought more support to civil rts
       MLK decided on a mass march on Washington 8/28/63
            250,000
            “free at last…
            1964 won Nobel Peace Prize