Bay of Pigs
(April 1961) group of Cuban exiles organized and supported by the U.S. CIA landed on the southern coast of Cuba in an effort to overthrow Fidel Castro. When the invasion ended in disaster, President Kennedy took full responsibility for the failure.
Missile Crisis
(Summer 1962) American intelligence became aware of a new wave of Soviet technicians and equipment in Cuba and of military construction in progress. This event had shaken both American and Soviet officials. In all the years of cold war, the world never came closer to a full-scale nuclear war.
Nixon’s foreign policy
Policy would STOP trying to eliminate communism and win the Cold War, but rather replace it through new initiatives directed toward finding areas of cooperation; Nixon parted with the philosophy of containment, and thought that negotiations and peaceful competition would lead to strengthening of democracies; Detente; Nixon Doctrine.
Relaxation of tensions between the United States and its two major Communist rivals, the Soviet Union and China.
Nixon Doctrine
Created during the Vietnam War. Stated that the US would honor its existing defense commitments, but in the future other countries would have to fight their own wars without support of American troops.
Gulf of Tonkin
An arm of the South China Sea, bounded by the coasts of southern China and northern Vietnam. Incident in 1964 led to increased U.S. military involvement in the area. President Lyndon B. Johnson incorrectly claimed that North Vietnamese forces had twice attacked American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin.
Environmental Reform (1960s)
Issues included water/air pollution, smog, oil spills, depletion of fossil fuels, acid rain, destruction of rainforests, depletion of ozone layer, and global warming; Rachel Carson: wrote “Silent Spring” (1962) to illustrate dangers of pesticides and introduce ecological ideas to larger public; Aldo Leopold; National Wilderness Preservation System Act (1964); Groups: Wilderness Society, National Audobon Society, Nature Conservancy, National Wildlife Federation, National Parks and Conservation Association, Earth Day organization, joined by the American Civil Liberties Union, League of Women Voters, National Council of Churches, and AFL-CIO
Black Power Reform (1960s)
Wants Black power and equality; Segregationalists; Malcomn X; support from radicals
Women Reform (1960s)
“The Second Wave of Feminism”; Abortion – Roe v. Wade; books (Feminine Mystique, etc.); NOW; Betty Friedan; Equal Pay Act 1963 (establishes equality of pay for men and women performing equal work)
Native American Reform (1960s)
National Indian Youth Council: Promoted idea of Indian nationalism and intertribal unity; Group of young, militant Indians formed after the Chicago meeting; (1969) Occupied abandoned prison on Alcatraz Island, by “right of discovery”
Vietnam War
(1954-1975) a prolonged war between the communist North Vietnam, supported by the Chinese, and the non-communist South Vietnam, supported by the US
(1968) (offensive) the New Year in Vietnam; a massive surprise attack by the Vietcong on South Vietnamese towns and cities; TURNING POINT IN THE WAR
Three Mile Island
(March 28, 1979) (Carter) A mechanical failure and a human error at this power plant in Pennsylvania combined to permit an escape of radiation over a 16 mile radius.
Counterculture of 1960s
White middle-class youths, called “hippies”. New Left, against Vietnam War, turned back on America because they believed in a society based on peace and love. Rock’n’roll, colorful clothes, and the use of drugs, lived in large groups. Lived in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbuy district because of the availibility of drugs.
New Federalism
(1969) turned over powers and responsibilities of some U.S. federal programs to state and local governments and reduced the role of national government in domestic affairs (states are closer to the people and problems); attempts by Presidents Nixon and Reagan to return power to the states through block grants.
Great Society Programs
(Johnson) War on poverty; Had basic goals like maintaining the strength of the American economy and expanding the responsibilities of the general government for social welfare; Job Corps (work training ages 16-21); Head Start (for preschoolers from low income families); VISTA (volunteers in service to America); Medicare; Medicaid; Housing Projects; CR Act 1964 (eliminates segregation in private places open to the public); 24th Amendment (eliminates poll taxes); Voting Rights Act 1965 (protects voting rights/action); Open Housing Act 1968 (makes renting/selling housing based on race illegal)
Policies of Gerald Ford
(Rep) Domestic – Pardon of Nixon; more conservative; flight inflation (problem in 60s/70s); Whip Inflation Now (WIN). Foreign – Saigon falls (1975); Cambodia falls, Mayaquez incident.
Foreign Policies of Jimmy Carter
Human Rights Push; Panama Canal (gave control to Panama); Detente; Recognizes Peoples Republic of China; Tensions with USSR because of invasion of Afghanistan; SALT II; Iran Hostage Crisis (53 hostages for 444 days); Camp David Accords
Domestic Policies of Jimmy Carter
Interest rates go up; taxpayers revolt in CA – proposition 13 (permanently lowered property taxes); “National malaise” – moral and spiritual crisis; By 1980, approval rating 23%.
Betty Friedan
(1921-2006) American feminist, activist and writer. Best known for starting the “Second Wave” of feminism through the writing of her book “The Feminine Mystique”.
1976 presidential election
Gerald Ford (Rep) and Jimmy Carter (Dem); Ford lost because people were angry at the slow economy (after stock market crash of 1973-1974), and because of his decision to pardon Nixon; Ford was “too close to the scandalous Nixon administration”; Carter promoted reform; Carter gained ground by declaring he was “free from Washington corruption”
Kent State
(May 4, 1970) an Ohio University where National Guardsmen opened fire on students protesting the Vietnam War; wounded nine and killed four students.
National Organization of Women
(NOW) (1966) founded by Betty Friedan; organization formed to work for economic and legal rights of women; demanded equality in educational and job opportunies, wages, and political representation; creation of childcare facilities; wanted Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforce its legal mandate to end sex discrimination
(Nixon) policy of slowly withdrawing U.S. troops, and equipping and training of the South Vietnamese to fight for themselves.
Economic Difficulties (late 1960s-1970s)
Spending on social programs (Great Society) and Vietnam War leads to inflation and a recession.
New Left
A youth-dominated political movement of the 1960s, embodied in such organizations as Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Weathermen (responsible for arson/bombing of buildings, killing a few people), and the Ree Speech Movement.
1968 election
Richard Nixon (Rep), Hubert Humphrey (Dem), and George Wallace (Am. Independent); After all of the turbulent events of 1968, America experienced a conservative backlash. George Wallace gained support as a third-party candidate basing his campaign on conservative grievances. But Nixon, returning from a loss in the last election ran successfully on a vision of stability, law and order, government reattachment, and peace with honor in Vietnam. Despite a last minute serge by Humphrey, Nixon pulled out a slight victory.
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
Gay Reform (1960s)
Gay Liberation Front: Group of gay activists trying to challenge traditional values and assumptions of the time, show that homosexuality was not aberrant behavior; Stonewall Riot
Latino Reform (1960s)
Cesar Chavez; created the United Farm Workers – group of largely Mexican itinerant farmworkers; wanted economic and political power
Roe v. Wade
(1973) Women may have abortions for any reason up until “viability” (24-28 weeks).
(Carter) (1979) (Second Strategic Arms Limitations Talks) A second treaty was signed to cut back the weaponry of the US and the USSR because it was getting too competitive. Set limits on the numbers of weapons produced. Not passed by the Senate as retaliation for USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan, and later superseded by the START treaty.
Camp David Accords
The Camp David Accords were the peace accords signed by Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat to finally end the Israeli-Egyptian disputes. The achievement by Carter is considered his greatest achievement in office.

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