The Bay of Pigs- Kennedy was inaugurated and he was told about the plan Eisenhower had put together. The plan was to train Cuban exiles to be ready to invade Cuba. There was hope there would be help from the Cuban people and the Cuban military to try to overthrow Castro from his dictatorship and to establish a non-communist government. Kennedy approved of the plan and sent 1400 Cuban exiles, they landed on the Bay of Pigs on April 17. All of the exiles were either killed or captured. Kennedy took the blame for "The Perfect Failure".
The Arms Race/A Summit with the Soviets- In 1961, Kennedy and Khrushchev met in Vienna, Austria. The meeting was unsuccessful in building trust, but it also raised tensions between the two leaders when talking about the divide of Berlin. Kennedy was amazed by Khrushchev's combative tone. Khrushchev threatened to cut off Allied access to West Berlin. Two months later Khrushchev started construction to put up the Berlin Wall to stop the flow from West Germany to East Germany. After the threats were made, Kennedy decided to tell the American citizens they might have to defend its right in the Berlin military and continued testing nuclear weapons.
The Berlin Wall- On August 13, 1961 the residents of East Berlin were interrupted by noises of heavy construction equipment. People started digging holes jackhammering sidewalks, making way for the barbed wire that would eventually run across the top of the wall. Armed soldiers supervised the crossing points of the two sides of Berlin, by nightfall the citizens of East Berlin were stuck on the West Berlin side since they went to work on the West side of the wall. Running through cemeteries and along canals, weaving through the streets of Berlin the wall became a physical symbol of the iron curtain between communism and democracy. In 1962, East Berlin put up a second barrier 100 yards behind the original wall. After the second wall went up it was called the no man’s land. 260 people have died trying to cross the two walls into the West. Kennedy chose not to intervene with the Soviets and continued to test the nuclear weapons.
Cuban Missile Crisis- Khrushchev made a secret arrangement with the Cuban government to insure the island safety and arm the island against the US sponsored invasion. In October an American spy plane was shot down by a missile and Kennedy responded with a naval blockade and calling it a quarantine. Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles if Kennedy promised not to invade Cuba again.
"Let Them Come to Berlin"- In 1963, Kennedy went to visit Berlin and was greeted with an enthusiastic crowd of people with flowers, rice, and torn paper. Kennedy gave one of the most memorable speeches in Rudolph Wilde Platz: "There are many people in the world who really don't understand, or say they don't, what is the Great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say communism is the wave of the future. Let the, come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let the, come to Berlin. And there are few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. Lass'sie nach Berlin mommy. Let the, come to Berlin."