JFK and the Nuclear Arms Race
- In June 1961, the Nuclear Arms Race took place.
- JFK met with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna, Austria
- Khrushchev once threatened to cut off Allied access to Berlin
- Khrushchev ordered the Berlin Wall to be built to separate East & West Germany
- Kennedy ordered major increases in our missile forces
- Kennedy also added 5 new army divisions and increased our air power and military reserves.
- Soviets continued to perform nuclear testing, so Kennedy started reactivating nuclear tests in America
- In 1961, JFK sent 500 troops to assist the government in South Vietnam
- 700 troops from the Eisenhower Administration joined the 500 troops
- That next year, JFK sent 12,000 military advisers to support the South Vietnam army
- By early November 1963, JFK had sent about 16,000 military advisers
- JFK told an interviewer, “In the final analysis, it is their war. They are the ones who have to win it or lose it. We can help them, we can give them equipment, we can send our men out there as advisers, but they have to win it—the people of Vietnam against the Communists. . . . But I don't agree with those who say we should withdraw. That would be a great mistake. . . . [The United States] made this effort to defend Europe. Now Europe is quite secure. We also have to participate—we may not like it—in the defense of Asia."
JFK and the Space Race
- John F. Kennedy contributed to the Space Race, for he claimed that he would land a man on the moon before the decade was over.
- America was hoping to land someone on the moon before the Soviets did
- In 1962, John Glenn (R.I.P.) piloted a spaceship called the Freedom 7, and he took it on the first orbital mission.
- He completed 3 orbits around the Earth
- The mission was successful
- 8 years later, a man named Neil Armstrong step foot on the moon!