Chapter 20, Section 1: Kennedy and the Cold War

Who was the 35th President of the United States?
John F. Kennedy
What year was he inaugurated?
What did JFK say in his inauguration speech?
– issued a challenge to the population
– mentioned the world was at maximum danger because of the Cold War
– rather than shrinking from danger, the US should confront the “iron tyranny” of communism
(Election of 1960) Why did Eisenhower begin to lose support towards the end of his second term?
– the economy was in a recession
– the Soviet’s launch of Sputnik I in 1957 and their development of long-range missiles led the US to believe they were falling behind
– the U-2 incident
– Cuba’s alignment with the Soviet Union
– questioning whether they were losing the Cold War
(Election of 1960) Who was the Democratic nominee?
Massachusetts Senator John F.


(Election of 1960) What did JFK promise?
active leadership “to get America moving again”
(Election of 1960) Who was JFK’s Republican opponent?
Vice President Richard M. Nixon
(Election of 1960) How did Nixon hope to win?
by riding on the coattails of Eisenhower’s popularity
(Election of 1960) What similarity did both candidates have?
their views on policy issues
(Election of 1960) Which 2 factors helped Kennedy win?
1.) television
2.) the civil rights issue
(Election of 1960: Television) Why did people like JFK?
– had a well-organized campaign
– he was backed by his wealthy family
– he was handsome and charismatic
(Election of 1960: Television) Why were people skeptical of him?
– thought he was too young at age 43, which would make him the second-youngest President in the nation’s history
– they thought having a Roman Catholic as President would give the Pope influence on American policies or to closer ties between church and state
(Election of 1960: Television) How did JFK help squash these rumors?
talked about them openly
(Election of 1960: Television) What event in the fall helped determine the course of the election?
the first televised debate between presidential candidates (Kennedy vs.

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(Election of 1960: Television) When did it take place?
September 26, 1960 (70 million viewers)
(Election of 1960: Television) What was Nixon an expert at?
foreign policy
(Election of 1960: Television) Why did Nixon agree to the forum?
to expose Kennedy’s inexperience
(Election of 1960: Television) How did Nixon underestimate JFK?
he had been couched by television producers, and spoke better than him
(Election of 1960: Television) What did JFK’s win create?
the television age
(Election of 1960: Civil Rights) What was the second major event of the campaign?
the arrest of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and 33 other African-American demonstrators for sitting at a segregated lunch counter in Atlanta, Georgia
(Election of 1960: Civil Rights) What happened to the demonstrators?
they were released
(Election of 1960: Civil Rights) What happened to Martin Luther King?
– sentenced to months of hard labor
– officially sentenced for a minor traffic violation
(Election of 1960: Civil Rights) How did Eisenhower and Nixon react to the arrest?
– Eisenhower’s administration refused to get involved
– Nixon took no public position
(Election of 1960: Civil Rights) How did JFK help?
– called King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, to express his sympathy
– his brother and campaign manager, Robert Kennedy, persuaded King’s judge to release him on bail, pending appeal
(Election of 1960: Civil Rights) How did this incident help JFK?
helped him secure the votes of the African American community, who would help him carry key states in the Midwest and South
(The Camelot Years) How many votes did Kennedy win by?
fewer than 119,000 votes (the closest since 1884)
(The Camelot Years) What did his inauguration set up?
a new era of grace, elegance, and wit at the White House
(The Camelot Years) Who attended his inauguration?
over 100 writers, artists, and scientists, including opera singer Marian Anderson who had been barred from singing at Constitution Hall because she was black
(The Camelot Years) What did Kennedy’s inauguration call for?
hope, commitment, and sacrifice
(The Camelot Years) Who was JFK’s wife?
Jacqueline Kennedy
(The Camelot Years) Why did the press love JFK?
– he invited artists and celebrities to the White House
– often appeared on television
– loved his charm and wit
(The Camelot Years) What did JFK’s critics say?
his smooth style lacked substance
(The Camelot Years) How did the Kennedy’s impact the public?
– after learning JFK could read 1,600 words in a minute, thousands of people enrolled in speed-reading classes
– Jacqueline’s fashion and culture
– newspapers and magazines were filled with stories about their daughter Caroline and son John
– JFK’s youthful glamour and his talented advisers reminded people of a modern-day Camelot
(The Camelot Years) Who were “the best and the brightest”?
the name given to the team of advisers Kennedy surrounded himself with
(The Camelot Years) Who was included in the group?
– McGeorge Bundy, a Harvard University dean and national security adviser
– Robert McNamara, president of Ford Motor Company and secretary of defense
– Dean Rusk, president of the Rockefeller Foundation and secretary of state
– Robert Kennedy, JFK’s older brother and attorney general (the one he relied on the most)
(JFK: Military) What did Kennedy focus on from the beginning?
the Cold War
(JFK: Military) How did he think the Eisenhower administration had failed during the Cold War?
– they had not done enough about Soviet threat
– the Soviets were gaining loyalties in less-developed countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America
– blasted Republicans for allowing communism to develop in Cuba
(JFK: Military) What did Kennedy believe was his most urgent task?
redefining the nation’s nuclear strategy
(JFK: Military) What policy had the Eisenhower administration relied on?
the policy of massive retaliation
(JFK: Military) Why?
to deter Soviet aggression and imperialism
(JFK: Military) Why was Kennedy against this strategy?
he did not want to threaten to use nuclear arms over a minor conflict
(JFK: Military) What was the name of the new policy Kennedy and his advisers developed?
flexible response
(JFK: Military) What did the policy do?
– increased spending to boost conventional military forces (nonnuclear ones like troops, ships, and artillery)
– did this to create an elite branch of the army called the Special Forces, or Green Berets
– tripled the nuclear capabilities of the US
(JFK: Military) What did these changes allow the US to do?
fight limited wars while maintaining a balance of nuclear power with the Soviet Union
What was the first test of Kennedy’s foreign policy?
about 2 weeks after Kennedy took office, Eisenhower cut off diplomatic relations with Cuba because of revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, who declared himself a communist and accepted aid from the Soviet Union
(Cuba: The Cuban Dilemma) How did Castro gain power?
with the promise of democracy
(Cuba: The Cuban Dilemma) What did he lead from 1956 to 1959?
a guerilla movement to overthrow dictator Fulgencio Batista
(Cuba: The Cuban Dilemma) In an interview after winning the revolution, what did Castro promise to eliminate?
– poverty
– inequality
– dictatorship
(Cuba: The Cuban Dilemma) Did the US recognize the new government?
Yes (even though they were suspicious)
(Cuba: The Cuban Dilemma) What worsened relations between the US and Cuba?
Castro seized 3 American and British oil refineries
(Cuba: The Cuban Dilemma) Why did Congress erect a trade barrier against Cuban sugar?
– Castro broke up commercial farms into communes that would be worked by formerly landless peasants
– American sugar companies, who controlled 75% of the crop land in Cuba, asked the government for help
(Cuba: The Cuban Dilemma) What did Castro rely on?
– Soviet aid
– the political repression of those who didn’t agree with him
(Cuba: The Cuban Dilemma) Why did some like Castro?
– his charisma
– his willingness to stand up to the US
(Cuba: The Cuban Dilemma) Why did some not like him?
saw him as a tyrant who replaced one dictator with another
(Cuba: The Cuban Dilemma) How much of Cuba’s population went into exile?
about 10%
(Cuba: The Cuban Dilemma) Where did a counterrevolutionary movement begin to form in the US?
Miami, Florida (a large exile community)
(Cuba: The Bay of Pigs) What did Eisenhower give the CIA permission to do in March 1960?
secretly train Cuban exiles for an invasion of Cuba to trigger a mass uprising that would overthrow Castro
(Cuba: The Bay of Pigs) When did JFK learn of the plan?
9 days after his election (still approved it)
(Cuba: The Bay of Pigs) Where did 1,300 to 1,500 Cuban exiles, supported by the US military, land on April 17, 1961?
on the island’s southern coast at Bahia de Cochinos, the Bay of Pigs
(Cuba: The Bay of Pigs) How did the Bay of Pigs invasion fail?
– an air strike failed to knock out the Cuban air force, though the CIA said it succeeded
– a small advance group sent to distract Castro’s forces never made it to the shore
– the main unit lacked American air support against 25,000 Cuban troops with Soviet tanks and jets
– some invading exiles were killed, others were imprisoned
(Cuba: The Bay of Pigs) What was the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs?
– Cuban media sensationalized the death of “North American mercenaries”
– Kennedy was embarrassed, and publicly accepted blame
(Cuba: The Bay of Pigs) Why did Kennedy and Castro negotiate?
for the release of surviving commandos
(Cuba: The Bay of Pigs) How did Kennedy free them?
paid a ransom of $53 million in food and medical supplies
(Cuba: The Bay of Pigs) What did Kennedy say in a speech in Miami?
– promised exiles they would one day return to a “free Havana”
– warned he would still resist further Communist expansion in the Western Hemisphere
(Cuba: The Cuban Missile Crisis) Where did Cuba have a powerful ally?
in Moscow: Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev
(Cuba: The Cuban Missile Crisis) What did Khrushchev promise to do?
defend Cuba with Soviet arms
(Cuba: The Cuban Missile Crisis) What increased during the summer of 1962?
the flow of weapons from the Soviet Union to Cuba (including nuclear missiles)
(Cuba: The Cuban Missile Crisis) How did JFK react to this?
he warned that America would not tolerate offensive nuclear weapons in Cuba
(Cuba: The Cuban Missile Crisis) What did photographs taken on October 14 by American planes reveal?
Soviet missile bases in Cuba – and some contained missiles ready to launch (which could reach the US in minutes)
(Cuba: The Cuban Missile Crisis) What did JFK say he would do if Cuba launched a missile?
they would trigger an all-out attack on the Soviet Union
(Cuba: The Cuban Missile Crisis) How long did this last?
6 days
(Cuba: The Cuban Missile Crisis) What were Soviet ships doing in the Atlantic Ocean?
heading towards Cuba, and presumably carrying more missiles
(Cuba: The Cuban Missile Crisis) What did the US Navy plan to do?
quarantine Cuba and prevent the ships from coming within 500 miles of it
(Cuba: The Cuban Missile Crisis) How many troops waited in Florida?
100,000 (the largest invasion force ever assembled in the US)
(Cuba: The Cuban Missile Crisis) What was the first break in the crisis?
when Soviet ships stopped suddenly to avoid a confrontation at sea
(Cuba: The Cuban Missile Crisis) What did Khrushchev offer to do days later?
to remove missiles in return for an American pledge to not invade Cuba
(Cuba: The Cuban Missile Crisis) What did the US secretly agree to do?
remove missiles from Turkey
(Cuba: The Cuban Missile Crisis) How did the crisis effect Khrushchev?
damaged his prestige in the Soviet Union and the entire world
(Cuba: The Cuban Missile Crisis) What criticism did JFK receive?
– for practicing brinkmanship when private talks could have resolved the conflict without the threat of nuclear war
– for passing up the chance to invade Cuba and oust Castro
(Cuba: The Cuban Missile Crisis) What did many Cuban exiles blame the Democrats for?
for “losing Cuba” (which Kennedy had once blamed the Republicans for)
(Cuba: The Cuban Missile Crisis) What did many Cuban exiles switch their allegiance to?
the GOP
(Cuba: The Cuban Missile Crisis) What did Castro do in November 1962?
– closed Cuba’s doors to exiles
– banned all flights to and from Miami
(Cuba: The Cuban Missile Crisis) What happened three years later?
an agreement was made that allowed Cubans to join relatives in the US
(Cuba: The Cuban Missile Crisis) What did Castro do in 1973?
cut down on exit permits
(Cuba: The Cuban Missile Crisis) What was the Cuban population in Miami by 1973?
(Berlin) What was one goal the guided JFK through the Cuban Missile Crisis?
proving to Khrushchev his determination to contain communism
(Berlin) What did their most recent confrontation lead to?
the construction of the Berlin Wall
(Berlin) What was the Berlin Wall?
a concrete wall topped with barbed wire that cut Berlin into two
(Berlin: The Berlin Crisis) Why was Berlin in crisis mode in 1961?
– almost 3 million East Germans (20% of the country’s population) had fled into West Berlin because it was free from communist rule
– refugees advertised the failure of East Germany’s communist government
– their departure dangerously weakened the country’s economy
(Berlin: The Berlin Crisis) What did Khrushchev call for in June 1961?
a summit meeting in Vienna, Austria
(Berlin: The Berlin Crisis) What did he threaten to do?
sign a treaty with East Germany that would enable the country to close all the access roads to West Berlin
(Berlin: The Berlin Crisis) What did JFK refuse to do?
give up US access to West Berlin (which infuriated Khrushchev)
(Berlin: The Berlin Crisis) What prevented Khrushchev from closing air and land routes between West Berlin and West Germany?
– Kennedy’s determination
– America’s superior nuclear striking power
(Berlin: The Berlin Crisis) What did Khrushchev do that shocked the world, on August 13, 1961?
East German troops began to unload concrete posts and rolls of barbed wire along the border, creating the Berlin Wall between East and West Germany
(Berlin: Aftermath) What did the creation of the Berlin Wall do?
– ended the Berlin Crisis
– worsened Cold War tensions
– reduced the flow of East German refugees
– became an ugly symbol of communist oppression
(Berlin: Aftermath) What did the fights between JFK and Khrushchev make them aware of?
the gravity of a split-second decision that separated Cold War peace from nuclear disaster
(Berlin: Aftermath) What did Kennedy search for?
ways to tone down his hard-line stance
(Berlin: Aftermath) What did JFK announce the two nations had established in 1963?
a hot line between the White House and the Kremlin
(Berlin: Aftermath) What did the hot line do?
enabled the leaders to communicate at once should another crisis arise
(Berlin: Aftermath) What did they agree to later that year?
a Limited Test Ban Treaty, which barred nuclear testing in the atmosphere

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Chapter 20, Section 1: Kennedy and the Cold War. (2021, Jun 05). Retrieved from

Chapter 20, Section 1: Kennedy and the Cold War

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