The Cold War in the Sixties By ElLiana, Sara, Catherine, and Erisa

The Climax of the War Building in Kennedy's Presidency

Bay Of Pigs Incident (1961)

Early into his presidency, Kennedy approved a CIA scheme to use Cuban exiles to overthrow Castro's regime in Cuba. The force of Cubans landed at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba, but failed to start an uprising with the public. The Cuban exiles were trapped on the beach and Kennedy refused to send U.S. forces to save them. This encouraged Castro to get even more aid from the Soviet Union, becoming more powerful with their help.

Vienna Meeting (1961)

After the defeat in Cuba, Kennedy agreed to meet Soviet Khrushchev in Vienna. Khrushchev threatened the president again to remove his troops from Berlin, Kennedy refused.

Berlin Wall (1961)

The East Germans built a wall around West Berlin with the purpose being to stop East Germans from fleeing to West Germany. Kennedy later traveled to West Berlin to encourage the people that they had U.S. support.

Cuban Missile Crisis (1962)

On October 1962, an American U-2 spy plane was flying over Cuba, when it photographed a picture of a SS-4 medium range missile being installed. Kennedy called Excom to discuss and deal with this threatening issue. Soviets were building underground sights in Cuba where missiles could be shot from. These sights were only 90 miles from Florida, and one of those missiles could reach florida in minutes, which made this a serious threat. If these missiles were launched, the rivalry between Russian and American weaponry power would change. The U.S. had been winning so far and were not ready to change that. Russia decided to threaten the U.S. with missiles in order to increase the soviets power of nuclear strike capability. Also Cuba had been attacked by the U.S. earlier and the two nations were not on good terms. The Soviets wanted to protect this other communist nation that depended on them. Kennedy and Excom needed to devise a plan to remove the missiles out of Cuba without causing further conflict that could possible lead to a nuclear war.

On October 26, 1962, Kennedy delivered a speech as to what the U.S. would do in response to this threat. First, Kennedy issued to blockade Cuba until the weapons were removed. They were quarantined for 13 days until Khrushchev decided to move missiles from Cuba as long as Kennedy didn't invade Cuba and they remove missiles from Turkey. Soviet ships started for Cuba, however, they stopped short of the U.S. Blockade. Confronting the U.S. would have led to nuclear war. Eventually, the Soviets agreed to the terms of the U.S. The U.S. then followed and removed missiles from Turkey. Telecommunications between Washington and Moscow were set up in order for both leaders to speak directly with one another if conflict was to start again. In 1963, a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was passed to end testing of nuclear weapons in the air. This lead to an arms race for development of missiles and warhead superiority.


Détente was a period that began after 1971 in which there were improved relations betweenthe Soviet Union and the United States. It was beneficial to both countries because there was an increase in trade and a reduction of the danger of nuclear warfare.

Tensions between the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China grew: "held promise" for the U.S.

- SALT: "Strategic Arms Limitation Talks", negotiations on the issues of nuclear arms control between the Soviet Union and the United States

May22nd- Nixon visited Mosco and signed 7 agreements with the secretary-general of the Soviet Communist party, Leonid I.

Brezhnev: prevention of accidental military clashes, arms control, cooperative research in a variety of areas (space exploration), and expanded commerce. Brezhnev also visited the U.S. two years later Although there were growing tensions in Vietnam, Nixon was determined to settle the war. Through heavy bombing, Nixon was able to force an agreement to end the war.

How the Cold War Affected the Lives of Americans at Home

Cold War instigated strong anti-communism within the USA. The Cold War led to the election of anti-communist presidents such as Truman, Kennedy, Nixon, and Reagan. This led to McCarthyism, in which Americans became obsessed with the process of identifying the Communists and removing those Communists from American society

As a propaganda tool, “national security agencies encouraged Hollywood to produce anticommunist movies. This led to a litany of movies that helped spark patriotism, but also raised suspicion of communist activity in America. These anticommunist sentiments grew out of control and ended up working against Hollywood during the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) hearings. Many people were fired, blacklisted, and had their civil rights violated based on these claims. For example, the Rosenbergs were blamed for having passed secret information about atomic bombs to the Soviet Union.

Cold War made many Americans to live in fear of danger of war. This fear of war was instigated by the arms race. The missiles in Cuba threatened the USA’s security to a significant extent that many Americans had to live in fear. Apart from Cuban missile crisis, Americans lived in constant fear as the Cold War could turn into a nuclear war at any time. This led to the "duck and cover" drills and stockpiling on goods in case of an outbreak of war.

One of the worst blemishes on American culture of the time was racial inequality. With the fight for democracy around the world, there was major tension for rights within our own country. Beginning in the early 1950s states began establishing fair employment commissions, they passed laws banning discrimination, and black voter registration began to rise. The backdrop of the Cold War helped people to realize that aspects of American society were in contrast to the values we were professing to stand for and changes were needed.

In addition to battling the Soviets politically and culturally, these presidents waged economic warfare with the Soviet Union. The Cold War had an impact on American people economically. The impact was caused mainly by the increase in the amount of taxes. Americans felt it was their patriotic duty to buy consumer goods to help the economy grow. The Cold War brought the National Defense Education Act, the interstate highway system, and growing mistrust of government by both liberals and conservatives.

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