JFK in The Cold War By Jeff Smith

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

  • John Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts.
  • In 1961, Kennedy was inaugurated as our 35th president, and he was a part of the Democratic Party.
  • In 1963, Kennedy and Governor Connally were both shot, but Kennedy was assassinated.
  • He was the youngest president to be elected and he was the youngest to die.

JFK and the End of WWII

  • John F. Kennedy was the first American president to be born in the 20th century
  • USA and Soviet Union were fighting as if they were allies against Nazi Germany in WWII.
  • WWII ended in 1945, and the fighting between the countries stopped.
  • There were many obvious tensions between each other at the Potsdam Conference.
  • The Potsdam Conference was where the Allies “negotiated the joint occupation of Germany.”
JFK next to our American Flag
JFK speaking during the Cold War

JFK and the Cold War

  • The 1960 presidential campaign was taken over by the informing of the Cold War
  • John F. Kennedy was inaugurated in 1961.
  • Senator Kennedy and VP Nixon “both pledged to strengthen American military forces and promised a tough stance against the Soviet Union and international communism.”
  • Soviet Union had many missiles that they could launch at any time
  • Kennedy promised to boost our nuclear forces.
  • He also “criticized the Eisenhower administration for permitting the establishment of a pro-Soviet government in Cuba.”
  • The nuclear arms race and Cold War with the Soviet Union were very important issues during Kennedy’s career
  • Kennedy promised that Americans would “pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty.”
A sketch of JFK and Khruschev having a arm wrestling match, symbolizing their rivalry in the Nuclear Arms Race.

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!

JFK’s Life is Almost Over

  • Before JFK’s life came to an end, JFK had trouble finding out the future of USA’s commitment in Vietnam, and he did not make a final decision before his death
  • On November 22, 1963, JFK and Governor Connally went to Dealey Plaza in Dallas, TX. Three shots were fired and JFK was hit twice and was assassinated and Connally was shot but not killed.
  • JFK’s death caused more complications between Vietnam and America.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy ; 1917-1963

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