Topics in the News
Assassination and Violent Protest
Violence in Politics.
During the civil rights struggle Americans were horrified by the televised firebombings of Freedom Riders' buses, the use of high-pressure fire-hoses and attacks by police dogs against demonstrating children, and the beatings of protesters by members of the Ku Klux Klan and the police. Little children were killed when white supremacists bombed the churches of activist black pastors. The murders of civil rights workers Medgar Evers in 1963; Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Chaney in 1964; and Viola Liuzzo in 1965 drew national attention.
Assassination of President Kennedy.
Americans were thrown into mourning when President John F. Kennedy was struck down by an assassin's bullet on 22 November 1963 in Dallas. Kennedy was the first president to be assassinated in more than sixty years, well outside the boundaries of most living Americans' memories. Americans believed that such things happened in other countries, not in the United States. They watched in near disbelief as television covered the poignant state...
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The Cold War Continued: Crisis Years, 1960-1965
A Summit Canceled.
During the first few years of the 1960s, the Cold War continued at the same high level of antagonism as in the late 1950s. After Soviet premier Joseph Stalin's death in 1953, the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics made occasional tentative steps toward reducing tensions. President Dwight D. Eisenhower had summit meetings with Soviet leaders in 1955 and 1959, but a planned summit meeting in 1960 was canceled in the wake of the U-2 incident.
The U-2 Affair.
An American U-2 spy plane, flown by CIA pilot Francis Gary Powers, was shot down over Soviet territory on 1 May 1960. Eisenhower at first denied that the United States was engaged in aerial spying over the Soviet Union, but when the Soviets put the captured pilot on display, Eisenhower was forced to admit that the incident had indeed happened. Yet he defended the U-2 spy missions and refused to apologize for the intrusion into Soviet airspace.
The Vienna Summit.
Newly elected President John F. Kennedy met Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna on 3-4 June 1961, but the meeting ended in a stalemate over the status of Germany and the city of Berlin. At the end of World War II Germany was occupied by the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union, and they divided the...
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The Cold War Continued: The Cuban Missile Crisis
Rumors of Soviet Missiles.
During the summer of 1962 there were frequent reports of unusual Soviet activities in Cuba, including rumors that the Soviets might be installing missiles there. By late August intelligence re-ports confirmed that several large ships had brought Soviet military equipment and personnel to the island, although neither were thought to provide any offensive military capability. For some time the United States had used aerial reconnaissance and photography to monitor all Soviet ships coming to Cuba and had been making twice-monthly reconnaissance flights over Cuba itself. On 29 August President John F. Kennedy ordered periodic flights over Cuba by high-speed, high-altitude U-2 spy planes. Although U-2 flights through 7 October showed Soviet antiaircraft missile (SAM) sites under construction and the introduction of Soviet-built patrol boats, they turned up no hard evidence of offensive missile sites or introduction of such missiles.
A Soviet/Cuban Alliance.
These Soviet activities followed Fidel Castro's takeover of Cuba in 1959 and an alignment soon thereafter of the new government with the Soviet Union. They also followed the abortive Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961 and extensive naval and military maneuvers carried out by the United States in the Caribbean during spring 1962. On 2 September 1962 the Soviets...
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The Cold War Continued: Nuclear Arms Race, Arms Control, and Détente
The Arms Race.
After World War II the United States and the Soviet Union began a nuclear arms race that continued unabated throughout the 1960s. For most of the 1950s both countries concentrated on manufacturing atomic and hydrogen bombs and the intercontinental bomber force necessary to deliver them. Both countries also developed short-range and intermediate-range missiles that could be armed with nuclear warheads, as well as nuclear weapons to be used on the battlefield.
The Space Race.
The 5 October 1957 launch by the Soviet Union of Sputnik, the first man-made satellite to orbit the earth, dramatically changed the arms race. Re-acting with shock and embarrassment, the Americans rushed to launch their own satellites. Throughout the 1960s the United States and the Soviets competed to see which country could be the first to demonstrate a particular feat in space. On 25 May 1961 President Kennedy announced a program to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade and asked Congress to fund the project. This goal was accomplished on 20 July 1969 when American Neil Armstrong walked on the surface of the moon From an intelligence point of view, any nation that demonstrates the ability to launch satellites into orbit also has the capability to develop and deploy intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Further, every successful...
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The Cold War Continued: The Vietnam War
Implementing the Containment Doctrine.
America's involvement in Vietnam may be traced to decisions made in the late 1940s and the 1950s as the Cold War and the doctrine of containment of Communism came to be dominant considerations in U.S. foreign policy. Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry'S Truman had expected to let the Japanese-occupied French colonies in Indochina gain their independence at the end of World War II rather than allowing the French to reassert control. As the Cold War emerged in Europe during the late 1940s, prompting the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the United States became more concerned with not alienating France, a crucial member of the new alliance, than with standing by a vague assertion of the right of self-determination for the various peoples of Indochina. The United States became increasingly concerned about Asia when civil war in China resulted in a Communist victory in 1949 and when the Communist North Koreans invaded South Korea in 1950.
The French versus the Vietminh.
As they moved back into Indochina the French faced the Vietminh, an indigenous Communist independence movement led by Ho Chi Minh. During World War II the Vietminh had been the heart of armed resistance to Japanese occupation and had fully expected Indochina to be granted independence after the war. With...
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Domestic Policy: Government, Civil Rights, and Race Relations
Roots of the Civil Rights Movement.
The civil rights movement burst onto the American political scene in the 1960s. Before then the principal tactic in the fight against discriminatory laws was the lawsuit, usually filed by lawyers for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Southern resistance to court-ordered desegregation of public schools had been strikingly demonstrated in 1957, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower had to send U.S. Army troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, to enforce a school-integration order. The successful bus boycott led by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1956 was a preview of civil rights tactics of the 1960s. The next year King was among the founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), whose purpose was to help provide an organizational base through which activist black clergy and their churches could mount nonviolent resistance to racism.
Image Pop-UpOn February 1, 1960, four black college students from North Carolina A&T University staged a sit-in at Woolworth's whites-only lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, refusing to leave until served.
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Domestic Policy: Government and the Economy
Postwar Economy Sluggish.
After World War II the efficiency and productivity of the U.S. economy improved markedly. From 1945 to 1975 output per hour of labor increased 120 percent while output per standard unit of energy increased 23 percent. Work hours in agriculture fell from 19.2 to 7.5 percent of the total hours spent on all types of production while output per acre increased 33 percent. At the same time though, the economy was sluggish. There were four recessions between 1945 and 1961: 1948-1949, 1953-1954,1957-1958, and 1960-1961—three of them during Dwight D. Eisenhower's presidency. Economic growth had hovered around the 2 percent level during the 1950s, and unemployment ran high. Beginning in 1957 the monthly unemployment rate dropped below 5 percent only three times. As the 1960 presidential election campaign got under way, the 1960-1961 recession began, with recovery from the 1957-1958 recession still incomplete.
Kennedy Promises Economic Growth.
John F. Kennedy's 1960 campaign promise "to get America moving again" referred primarily to stimulating the American economy. Kennedy wanted economic growth at an annual rate of 4—6 percent and unemployment at 4 percent. A growth rate of 4-6 percent would match the growth levels being reported by the Soviet Union, and it would generate the additional revenues Kennedy needed to...
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Domestic Policy: The Great Society
The Torch Is Passed.
During the 1950s, much to the disappointment of some conservative Republicans, President Dwight D. Eisenhower's administration did not dismantle the New Deal social programs of the Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry'S Truman administrations. Eisenhower's social policy was not especially innovative and tended to preserve the status quo. Sen. John F. Kennedy won the 1960 presidential election on a promise "to get America moving again," primarily by stimulating economic growth. He promised to create a cabinet-level urban affairs department, to provide federal aid to elementary and secondary education, and to establish a medical care program for the elderly.
The First One Hundred Days.
In his first State of the Union address Kennedy reiterated the necessity of stimulating the economy, and within the next week he sent Congress twelve specific measures. By the end of June seven of the measures had been enacted into law. Several of these measures were precursors to President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty and Great Society programs. The Area Redevelopment Act offered grants to communities in economically depressed areas that would help them attract industry through the improvement of public facilities. It also provided low-cost loans to businesses that agreed to locate in these communities. The Omnibus Housing Act was...
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National Politics: 1960 Elections
The Democratic Nomination Race
The biggest obstacle Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts faced in his bid for the presidency was his religion. He was the second Roman Catholic to run for the highest elected office in the United States on a major-party ticket. The first, Democratic governor Alfred E. Smith of New York, had won only eight states when he ran against Republican Herbert Hoover in 1928, convincing leaders in both parties that a Catholic could not win a national election. Kennedy knew that his first task in seeking the Democratic nomination was to convince party leaders that he could attract a broad range of voters. He needed not just to win primaries but to win them in ways that proved his appeal to non-Catholics.
Delegate Selection Processes.
By 1972 primary elections were the principal vehicle for securing the presidential nomination of a major party, but in 1960 only sixteen states held primaries. Most national convention delegates were selected by state-party organizations and their leadership. While primaries were important vehicles for demonstrating voter strength, it was possible for the nomination to go to a candidate who had never entered a primary. With no clear front-runner at the beginning of the race to head the Democratic ticket, many believed that...
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National Politics: 1962 Elections
Democrats Hold Their Own.
In off-year elections the party of the incumbent president customarily loses seats in Congress. In 1962 Republicans went after Kennedy's record—charging that he had fumbled on foreign policy and failed to win support for his domestic programs. This strategy was neutralized, however, by Kennedy's successful resolution of the Cuban missile crisis just before the election. For the first time since the 1934 off-year election, the president's party gained seats in the Senate, giving the Democrats a 68-32 majority. (They lost one seat when Democratic senator Dennis Chavez of New Mexico died less than two weeks after the election and Republican Edwin L. Mechem was appointed to serve the last two years of Chavez's term.) Reapportionment had made the House of Representatives two seats smaller than it had been in 1960, and the Democrats lost four seats, well below the average of thirty-eight losses for the president's party in off-year elections since 1900. The Republicans gained only two seats.
Among the ten new senators elected in 1962 were Democrats George McGovern of South Dakota, Abraham Ribicoff of Connecticut, Birch Bayh of Indiana, and Gaylord A. Nelson of Wisconsin. Earlier in 1962 Edward M. Kennedy, a Democrat from Massachusetts, had been elected to complete the Senate term vacated by his...
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National Politics: 1964 Elections
The Republican Nomination Race
Republicans Fear Party Split.
By fall 1963 the Eastern Establishment Republicans who dominated their party at the national level began to fear that it would split in two if Gov. Nelson Rockefeller of New York and Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona went head-to-head for the Republican presidential nomination. For years the Eastern Establishment—the wealthy group of (mostly) Ivy League-educated international bankers and businessmen living mainly in and around New York—were willing to let the conservative Republicans of the Midwest and West speak for the party in Congress as long as the Establishment could control the presidential nomination, placing someone with moderate views consistent with their own in the position that created the party's national image. Rockefeller, one of the wealthiest men in America, was a member of the Establishment by virtue of heredity, education, and social class, but politically he was too liberal to inspire their trust. They found Goldwater, one of the west-of-the-Alleghenies Republicans they had tended to ignore, far too conservative. Yet in the search for a candidate to represent their mainstream Republican views the Establishment found itself leaderless. Former president Dwight D. Eisenhower, who had spent most of his life as a soldier, was not experienced at party politics....
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National Politics: 1966 Elections
The Republican Comeback.
After its devastating losses in 1964, the Republicans came back strong in
|* By the 1964 election there were 66 Democrats and 34 Republicans in the Senate.|
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National Politics: 1968 Elections
The Republican Nomination Race
Romney Leads Early.
After the resounding defeat of presidential candidate Barry Goldwater in 1964 the Republican Party was left leaderless and seemed moribund. One bright spot in that year, when many Republican candidates for national and state offices had gone down in defeat with Goldwater, was the reelection of George Romney, the popular Republican governor of Michigan, where voters had favored Johnson over Goldwater by a margin of two to one. Even before he was elected to a third two-year term, Romney had emerged as the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968, with promises of support from Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller of New York and most other Republicans.
In November 1966 polls showed Romney leading President Johnson by 54 to 46 percent, and the Michigan Republican continued to lead the president by similar margins through spring 1967. By then Romney, who was a poor public speaker, was beginning to look like a political lightweight, waffling on expressing his own "dovish" opposition to the Vietnam War for fear of offending Republican "hawks," who supported the presence of American troops in Southeast Asia. On 31 August 1967, after he had come out clearly in opposition to the war, he explained his evolution from an earlier...
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Radical Politics: Black Power
Cracks in the Civil Rights Movement.
Chants of "black power," the slogan popularized by Stokely Carmichael and other members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during the Mississippi freedom march of June 1966, were the first signs for most of the American public that some factions in the civil rights movement were beginning to question the methods of nonviolent protest advocated by the movement's popular and widely admired leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). King argued to Carmichael and Floyd McKissick of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) that "black power" had connotations of violence that would (and in fact did) frighten white supporters of the civil rights movement, but Carmichael, who agreed not to use the slogan for the remainder of the march, was already convinced—as was McKissick—that passive resistance to physical force and building coalitions with sympathetic whites, the means through which the movement had already achieved most of its goals, would never make blacks fully equal with whites, who still held the reins of economic and political power and were unwilling to let go.
SNCC and Black Power.
Resenting King for attracting media attention while they had done much of the hard work of running black-voter-registration drives in Georgia,...
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Radical Politics: The Far Right
Redefining the Right Wing.
During the 1950s, with the emergence of the United States as a global power and as the leader of the West in the Cold War, the right wing in American politics had to reinvent itself. Though the right wing maintained its opposition to federal involvement in domestic issues that made it anti-New Deal during the 1930s and 1940s, it abandoned its isolationist position in foreign policy which was incompatible with their militant anticommunism. The far-right elements that had tended to xenophobia and nativism before World War II muted these aspects of their message after the war, when they discovered that their militant anticommunism appealed to many of the same religious and ethnic groups who had been the targets of their hate in the 1930s, notably Irish and East European Catholics. The new, militantly anticommunist right wing considered American foreign policy, including the doctrine of containment, to be too soft. It was critical of foreign aid and distrustful of American involvement in the United Nations. It was libertarian in its view of economics, opposing taxes, government regulation of business, government spending, and social programs. Finally, it was socially traditional, stressing moral order and maintenance of the "community." There were two broad strains of right-wing thinking generally agreeing on these positions but differing on how to account for the ills...
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Radical Politics: The New Left
One of the most striking and controversial political phenomena of the 1960s was the rise and decline of the New Left. It arose from the civil rights movement in 1960, played a central role in the Vietnam War protest movement, and then at the height of its influence it self-destructed. By late 1970 the New Left was essentially nonexistent.
Roots in the Civil Rights Movement.
The New Left was born with Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) at the University of Michigan in 1960. Though SDS was never a single-issue organization, many of its early members saw SDS as a means of organizing northern university students to participate in the black-voter-registration drives that the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) started in the South in 1961.
C. Wright Mills, Godfather to the New Left.
Much of the impetus for the direction SDS took in its early years came from the writings of sociologist C. Wright Mills (1916-1962), especially his influential 1956 book The Power Elite. The powerful "military-industrial complex" that President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned against in his farewell address (1960) bears a strong re-semblance to Mills's "power elite." Yet Mills's interpretation goes farther than Eisenhower's in assessing the state of American democracy. Mills charged that the United States is governed by...
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Carmichael, Stokely 1941-
CHAIRMAN, SNCC, 1966-1967; PRIME MINISTER,
BLACK PANTHER PARTY, 1968-1969
Evolution of an Activist.
In the course of one decade Stokely Carmichael evolved from a nonviolent civil rights activist to a black revolutionary to an ardent Pan-Africanist.
Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Carmichael immigrated to Harlem, in New York City, when he was eleven and attended the Bronx High School of Science before enrolling at Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1960. There he joined a group affiliated with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and took part every weekend in sit-ins and demonstrations to protest segregation in the Washington area. He also spent every summer of his college years as a volunteer with SNCC projects to register and organize black voters in the South, and in 1961 he spent forty-nine days in jail for taking part in one of the Freedom Rides to protest segregation of public transportation.
Work with SNCC.
After graduating from...
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Cleaver, Eldridge 1935-
MINISTER OF INFORMATION, BLACK PANTHER
The author of Soul on Ice (1968), a prison autobiography that has been called second only to the Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965) in its influence on young black militants, Cleaver was a leading spokesman for the Black Panther Party, notable for his willingness to recruit white radicals to the black nationalist cause.
Born in Wabbaseka, Arkansas, a small town near Little Rock, Leroy Eldridge Cleaver was raised in Phoenix and the Watts section of Los Angeles. Beginning in the early 1950s he was convicted on a variety of marijuana-related charges and spent time in reformatories and prisons. In 1957 he was sentenced to two to fourteen years for attempted murder and spent the next nine years in Soledad prison.
In 1958 Cleaver joined the Black Muslims and became a leader among the other Muslim prisoners. When Muslim leader Malcolm X split with Black Muslim founder Elijah Muhammad in March 1964 and moderated his views on white people, Cleaver followed Malcolm, writing later that Malcolm had drawn back "from the precipice of madness." The next year Cleaver wrote to a prominent civil-liberties attorney in San Francisco, asking her to help him get paroled. She showed some of Cleaver's prison...
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Hayden, Tom 1939-
PRESIDENT, SDS, 1962-1963; COORDINATOR OF ANTI-
WAR DEMONSTRATIONS, CHICAGO, AUGUST 1968
New Left Activist.
A major voice in defining the New Left, Hayden started out in the civil rights movement and worked as a community organizer in Newark, New Jersey, before he visited North Vietnam and became involved in organizing the opposition to the Vietnam War.
Born and brought up in Royal Oaks, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, Hayden attended the University of Michigan, where he edited the Michigan Daily and in fall 1960 helped to organize VOICE, an independent student political party that eventually became the Ann Arbor chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).
Civil Rights Activist.
In fall 1961, after graduating from the university, Hayden became a field secretary for SDS, working with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which was beginning its efforts to help blacks register to vote in southern states. Beaten by whites in McComb, Mississippi, and arrested with members of SNCC while trying to integrate the railway station in Albany, Georgia, Hayden wrote Revolution in Mississippi (1961), a pamphlet about voter-registration efforts in that state.
Defining the New Left....
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Johnson, Lyndon Baines 1908-1973
VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, I961-1963;
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, 1963-1969
Accepting the Second Slot.
In 1960 Sen. Lyndon Baines Johnson of Texas, a masterful and powerful Senate majority leader since 1954, surprised Democrats and Republicans alike by agreeing to accept the Democratic nomination for vice-president, a job his fellow Texan, Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the House of Representatives, described as not "worth a pitcher of warm spit." John F. Kennedy's choice of Johnson for his running mate was also somewhat surprising. Johnson and Kennedy had made bitter remarks about one another while they had battled for the presidential nomination, and Kennedy's staff heartily disliked the Texan. Kennedy himself, however, respected Johnson and admired his legislative skills. He also saw that Johnson could balance the ticket, helping to win votes in the South and West, where Kennedy was considered too liberal and was mistrusted because he was a Roman Catholic. There was another, strictly pragmatic reason for Kennedy's choice: "I'm not going to die in office," Kennedy told an aide; "If we win, it will be by a small...
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Kennedy, John F. 1917-1963
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, 1961-1963
Seeking the Nomination.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was a promising young U.S. Senator from Massachusetts when his nominating speech for Adlai Stevenson at the 1956 Democratic National Convention caught the attention of party leaders and nearly won him the vice-presidential nomination. As soon as the 1956 election was over, he put together an impressively efficient and knowledgeable campaign staff and began running for the 1960 Democratic presidential nomination. Overcoming doubts about his youth and the prevalent belief that, as a Roman Catholic, he could not be elected president of the United States, he won his party's nomination and faced Richard M. Nixon in the November 1960 election.
Campaigning for Change.
Kennedy campaigned on the need for change, charging the Eisenhower administration with inaction on foreign policy matters such as growing Soviet influence in Cuba and on the economy, which was in a recession. His youthful good looks and ready wit so appealed to the American public that journalists began using the word charisma to describe his effect on...
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McCarthy, Eugene J. 1916-
U.S SENATOR, 1958-1971; DEMOCRATIC PRESIDEN-
TIAL CANDIDATE, 1968
A Leader for the "Doves."
As the first antiwar candidate to declare his candidacy for the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination, the scholarly and reserved Sen. Eugene J. McCarthy of Minnesota became a surprisingly strong magnet for college-age opponents of the Vietnam War. He pulled students back into mainstream politics, where they enthusiastically campaigned door-to-door for their candidate, who on at least one occasion was late for a campaign appearance because he was busy discussing literature with poet Robert Lowell.
Born in Watkins, Minnesota, McCarthy, a devout Roman Catholic, spent most of the first thirteen years after his graduation from Saint John's University in that state teaching economics and sociology at Catholic high schools and colleges. He also spent nine months in 1942-1943 as a novice in a Benedictine monastery. He entered politics in the late 1940s when he helped Sen. Hubert Humphrey in a successful battle to take control of the Communist-led Minnesota Farm-Labor Party. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1948, McCarthy had a liberal, prolabor voting record and led other Democrats in forming the Democratic Study Group, which became known for advocating its own legislative alternatives to...
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Nixon, Richard M. 1913-1994
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, 1969-1974
The Heir Apparent Falters.
As vice president under Dwight D. Eisenhower, the most popular Republican president of the twentieth century, Richard Milhous Nixon seemed assured of victory at the beginning of the 1960 presidential campaign. Yet he lost to John F. Kennedy in the closest presidential election of the century. Returning to his home state, California, Nixon joined a Los Angeles law firm and began to prepare for future political involvement, keeping himself in the public eye by writing a series of syndicated newspaper columns and a political memoir, Six Crises (1962), which became a best-seller.
The California Governor's Race.
In September 1961—believing that he could best demonstrate his appeal to voters and establish a base for another presidential campaign by winning an important elected office—Nixon announced that he would run for governor of California, expecting full support from fellow California Republicans. Yet the right wing in the state party charged that during the 1960 election he had wandered too far toward the party's center, leaving behind the conservative, anti-Communist values with which he had started out. Some even accused him of being "soft on communism" because he had criticized the ultra-right-wing John Birch Society. Nixon defeated...
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Wallace, George C. 1919-
GOVERNOR OF ALABAMA, 1963-1967
From Moderate to Segregationist.
George C. Wallace, a moderate even progressive politician on most issues, attracted national notoriety in the 1960s because of his defiance of federal orders to desegregate public education in Alabama. Wallace was a political protege of populist Alabama governor "Big Jim" Folsom and established a liberal voting record in the Alabama legislature during the 1950s. In 1958 he lost a runoff in the Democratic gubernatorial primary to Alabama Attorney General John Patterson, who campaigned with a strident segregationist message. Wallace, who was considered the moderate in that race, vowed that he would never again be beaten because he appeared to be less of a racist than his opponent. In 1962 he ran for governor again and won on a militant segregationist platform; at his inauguration he vowed to uphold "segregation now—segregation tomorrow—and segregation forever,"
Wallace versus King.
During the drive by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to desegregate public facilities in Birmingham in 1963, Wallace tried unsuccessfully to block a settlement between the protesters and local authorities and businessmen. In March 1965 Wallace was initially successful at preventing King from organizing a march from Selma...
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People in the News
In December 1966 the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously agreed to order the Georgia Legislature to allow civil rights worker and antiwar activist Julian Bond to take the seat in the State House of Representatives that he had won in 1965. The Court ruled that legislature had violated Bond's First Amendment rights when it denied him the seat because of his opposition to the Vietnam War.
In February 1965 Robert Collier, Michelle Duelos, Walter Bowe, and Khaleel Sayyed—members of the Black Liberation Front—were arrested for conspiracy to destroy government property. They had planned to dynamite the Statue of Liberty, the Washington Monument, and the Liberty Bell.
On 20 October 1969 Republican Senator Everett M. Dirksen of Illinois became the first senator to act in a movie when The Monitorss, a political satire featuring Ed Begley and Kennan Wynn, was released.
In October 1963 former president Dwight D. Eisenhower sent House Minority Leader Charles Halleck (R-Ind.) a letter suggesting major cuts in President John F. Kennedy's budget. Kennedy responded by saying that Eisenhower's budgets had created spending deficits, gold outflows, recessions, and unemployment: "That's not a record we plan to duplicate if we can help it."
On 2 October 1968 U.S. Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas...
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Henry Fountain Ashurst, 87, senator (D) from Arizona (1912-1941), 31 May 1962.
Warren R. Austin, 85, representative to the U.N. Security Council (1947-1953) and senator (R) from Vermont (1931-1946), 25 December 1962.
Howard H. Baker, 61, representative (R) from Tennessee (1951-1964), 7 January 1964.
John F. Baldwin, Jr., 50, representative (R) from California (1955-1966), 10 March 1966.
Graham A. Barden, 70, representative (D) from North Carolina (1935-1961), 29 January 1967.
William H. Bates, 52, representative (R) from Massachusetts (1950-1969), 22 June 1969.
George H. Bender, 64, senator (R) from Ohio (1954-1967) and seven term congressman (1939-1949, 1951-1954), 18 June 1961.
John B. Bennett, 60, representative (R) from Michigan (1947-1964), 9 August 1964.
Anthony Drexel Biddle, 64, ambassador to Spain (1961); previously served as minister to Norway (1935-1937) and ambassador to Poland (1937-1939), 13 November 1961.
Herbert C. Bonner, 74, representative (D) from North Carolina (1940-1965), 7 November 1965.
Owen Brewster, 73, Republican representative (1935-1941) and senator (1941-1953) from Maine, 25...
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Elie Abel, The Missile Crisis (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1966);
Floyd B. Barbour, The Black Power Revolt (Boston: Extending Horizons Books, 1968);
Daniel Bell, The End of Ideology: On the Exhaustion of Political Ideas in the 1950s (New York: Free Press, 1962);
Angus Campbell, Philip E. Converse, Warren E. Miller, and Donald E. Stokes, The American Voter (New York: Wiley, 1964);
Stokely Carmichael and Charles V. Hamilton, Black Power: The Politics of Revolution in America (New York: Random House, 1967);
Eldridge Cleaver, Post-Prison Writings and Speeches, edited by Robert Sheer (New York: Random House, 1969);
Cleaver, Soul on Ice (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1968);
Theodore Draper, The Dominican Revolt: A Case Study in American Policy (New York: Commentary, 1968);
Edward J. Epstein, Inquest: The Warren Commission and the Establishment of Truth (New York: Viking, 1966);
Rowland Evans and Robert Novak, Lyndon B. Johnson: The Exercise of Power (New York: New American Library, 1966);
Bernard Fall, Last Reflections on a War (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1967);
Fall, Viet-Nam Witness...
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Important Events in Government and Politics, 1960–1969
- On January 2, Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts announces that he will challenge Senator Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota for the Democratic Party nomination for president. Kennedy is the first major Catholic contender since Alfred E. Smith in 1928.
- On January 18, President Eisenhower submits a balanced budget for the fourth consecutive year. Federal revenue estimates project a $4.1 billion surplus.
- On February 1, African American college students begin a sit-in at a whites-only lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., introducing a form of civil rights protest that spreads to other southern cities.
- On March 3, Michigan Governor G. Mennen "Soapy" Williams announces that he will not run for reelection. He is the only six-term governor in United States history.
- On May 7, the United States State Department confirms Soviet allegations that an American U-2 spy plane has been shot down over Russia and its pilot Francis Gary Powers has been captured.
- On May 10, Senator John F. Kennedy wins the West Virginia primary, proving that he can attract support in a predominantly Protestant state.
- On May 24, the United States Air Force launches the Midas II satellite that will alert the United States to a surprise Soviet missile attack.
- On June...
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