US History Exam #2

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Dwight D. Eisenhower
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– He was a five-star commander and was Supreme Commander of the Allied forces during WWII, then Supreme Commander of NATO in 1951 – Elected President of the United States in 1952 as Republican, was a fiscal conservative – He authorized the construction of the Interstate Highway System by signing the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act in 1956 – During the crisis involving the integration of Little Rock Central High School, Eisenhower sent federal troops in 1957 to escort the Little Rock Nine and enforce the integration of the school
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Little Rock Central High School
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– Public High School in Little Rock, Arkansas – It became the scene of the Little Rock Integration Crisis in 1957, following the 1954 Supreme Court ruling (Brown v. Board of Education) that stated segregation of public schools was unconstitutional – 9 black students who enrolled in the school were prevented from entering after the governor of Arkansas sent the National Guard to stop them – The children were also surrounded by an angry mob and were threatened – President Eisenhower sent federal troops to escort the students, thereby enforcing the integration of the school
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The Space Race
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– Competition between the United States and the Soviet Union in developing spaceflight technology – Is an offshoot of the nuclear arms race, as the development of rocket and missile technology was viewed as a national security issue – Began when the Soviets gained a perceived advantage in rocket technology after launching Sputnik in 1957, the first man-made Earth satellite – The race would lead to the creation of NASA and the establishment of the Apollo program
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Sputnik 1
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– The world’s first artificial Earth satellite launched by the Soviet Union in 1957 – Its successful launch alarmed many Americans and caused the ‘Sputnik crisis,’ where many feared the USSR had gained a technological advantage over the US – The anxiety surrounding Sputnik would trigger President Eisenhower to create NASA, marking the beginning of the Space Race
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Explorer I
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– The first artificial satellite successfully launched by the United States – The U.S. satellite program began in 1954 under President Eisenhower, called Project Orbiter. It planned to put a scientific satellite into orbit during the International Geophysical Year – It was launched in 1958 during the United States’ participation in the International Geophysical Year, one year following the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957 – The payload of Explorer I was equipped with scientific instrumentation used to gather information while in orbit
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Yuri Gagarin
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– Soviet pilot and cosmonaut – He was the first human to journey into outer space, when his Vostok spacecraft, Vostok 1, completed an orbit of the Earth in April 1961
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NASA
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– Executive agency established by President Eisenhower in 1958 – It was responsible for conducting non-military space and aeronautics research, in order to help maintain America’s technological advantage in the Cold War – Established as a response to the launching of Sputnik and the perception that the US lagged behind the USSR in missile technology – It was responsible for the Apollo program that eventually put a man on the moon for the first time
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Apollo Program
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– United States human spaceflight program carried out by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) – First conceived during Dwight D. Eisenhower’s administration, Apollo was later dedicated to President John F. Kennedy’s national goal of landing a man on the Moon by the end of the decade (the 1960s), which he proposed in an address to Congress in May 1961 – The program ran from 1961, and accomplished landing the first humans on the Moon in 1969 during the Apollo 11 spaceflight – The program ended in 1972 and cost around $25 billion
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Fidel Castro
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– Cuban revolutionary who led a movement to overthrow right-wing Cuban government in 1959 – Would become leader of a socialist state in Cuba that was aligned with the Soviet Union – Eisenhower began CIA project in 1960 to plot his ouster, would later lead to Bay of Pigs
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Greensboro sit-ins
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– Series of nonviolent protests in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1960 – The most significant one took place when four black college students sat down at the lunch counter inside a Woolworth store in Greensboro – Led to the Woolworth department store chain removing its policy of racial segregation in the Southern United States – The media picked up this issue and covered it nationwide, with the protests spreading to other Southern cities and other forms of public accommodation – Protests continued until the passage of The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which mandated desegregation in public accommodations
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Presidential Elections: 1956 and 1960
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– 1956 election was between Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson (a repeat of 1952), saw Eisenhower win in a landslide – 1960 was between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon – Nixon and Kennedy were both viewed as relatively moderate, participated in first televised Presidential debate – Kennedy performed and looked better on TV, and would go on to win the election by a very narrow popular vote margin
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John F. Kennedy
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– 35th President of the United States (elected in 1960) – Moderate liberal and anti-communist elected at the height of the Cold War – Increased US troop presence in South Vietnam – Attempted to enact domestic policy agenda called ‘New Frontier,’ to mixed success (major education bill and tax cuts didn’t pass) – Authorized CIA to conduct failed ‘Bay of Pigs’ operation in 1961 to overthrow Cuban leader Castro – Would oversee and help to diffuse the dangerous Cuban Missile crisis in 1962 – Assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963
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New Frontier
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– Domestic policy of JFK announced in his acceptance speech – Included a wide range of policies to help expand public services and stimulate economic growth – Some of Kennedy’s major proposals were aid to public education, healthcare for the elderly, tax cuts, immigration reform, civil rights legislation, a minimum wage increase, and unemployment benefits – While many of his proposals passed, his agenda would end up being stalled due to his assassination in 1963, and would be continued under President Johnson’s “Great Society”
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Bay of Pigs
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– Failed attempt by CIA to overthrow government of Fidel Castro in Cuba that took place in 1961 under JFK – CIA was given funding to oust Castro under Eisenhower in 1960 in response to concerns about the new leadership’s Communist leanings – Involved training 1,400 Cuban paramilitaries to invade Cuba and instigate a popular uprising against Castro – It was a tremendous foreign policy failure for Kennedy and strengthened Castro’s political position, as well as Cuba’s ties to the Soviet Union
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Robert McNamara
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– Secretary of Defense serving from 1961 to 1968 under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson – Close adviser to Kennedy and advocated the use of a blockade during the Cuban Missile Crisis – Kennedy and McNamara instituted a Cold War defense strategy of “flexible response” as opposed to massive retaliation – He also played a major role in escalating the United States involvement in the Vietnam War – McNamara would later grow increasingly skeptical of the efficacy of committing U.S. soldiers to Vietnam
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Flexible Response
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– Defense strategy implemented by John F. Kennedy in 1961 – Arose from Kennedy administration’s skepticism of Dwight Eisenhower’s policy of massive retaliation – Calls for mutual deterrence at strategic, tactical, and conventional levels – Gave the United States the capability to respond to aggression across the spectrum of warfare, not limited only to nuclear arms – Special Forces called “Green Berets” were used more, counterinsurgency training undertaken
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Cuban Missile Crisis
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– 13-day standoff between the United States, Cuba, and the Soviet Union that took place in 1962 – Usually considered the closest the Cold War came to escalating into a full-blown Nuclear War – In response to 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, Cuba requested the Soviet Union to place nuclear missiles in Cuba to deter the US from invading – US Air Force U-2 spy planes clearly photographed ballistic missile facilities being built in Cuba and responded by establishing a military blockade on the island – An agreement was eventually reached where the Soviets would remove the missiles in exchange for the US promising not to invade Cuba. The US would also secretly dismantle its nuclear missiles in Turkey – Crisis led to the creation of the Moscow-Washington hotline and the easing of US-Soviet tensions for a few years
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The Negro Motorist Green Book
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– An annual guidebook for African-American travelers commonly referred to simply as the Green Book – Allowed black travelers to find accommodations/restaurants that were friendly to them across the US, and avoid embarrassment – Published by New York City mailman Victor Hugo Green from 1936 to 1966,
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Sundown town
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– All-white towns or neighborhoods that enforced restrictions excluding non-whites via some combination of discriminatory local laws, intimidation, and violence – The term came from signs that were posted stating that “colored people” had to leave the town by sundown
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Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.
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– Baptist Minister and major civil rights activist – He was responsible for organizing the Montgomery bus boycott and is known for his commitment to non-violent protest and civil disobedience – King helped found the civil rights organization known as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president – Received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for combating racial inequality through non-violent resistance – King and the SCLC joined forces with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Selma, Alabama, to organize the Selma to Montgomery marches that aimed to improve voting rights – He was assassinated by James Earl Ray on April of 1968 – His attitude towards violence comes from his religious background as well as inspiration from the activism of Mahatma Gandhi
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Malcolm X
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– African-American civil rights activist who called for a more militant approach toward black enfranchisement – He went to prison for larceny, where he became a member of the Nation of Islam, becoming one of the group’s most influential members after his parole – The NOI were racial separatists, and believed that whites and blacks could not peacefully coexist (whites were a “race of devils”) – By 1964, Malcolm X had grown disillusioned with the Nation of Islam and its leader Elijah Muhammad – He embraced Sunni Islam and went on the Hajj pilgrimage, after which he returned and moderated his views on race, repudiating the NOI – In February 1965, he was assassinated by three members of the Nation of Islam
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Birmingham Campaign
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– A movement organized in early 1963 by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to bring attention to the integration efforts of African Americans in Birmingham, Alabama, led by Martin Luther King Jr – During the early 1960s, Birmingham was regarded as one of the most segregated cities in America – Birmingham City Commissioner Bull Connor used fire hoses and police dogs against peaceful demonstrators, many of whom were high-schoolers – The 6th Street Baptist Church had become a rallying point for civil rights activities and was where students who were arrested during the Birmingham campaign had been organized by the SCLC – Concessions from city leaders to the majority of demonstrators’ demands were met with fierce resistance in Birmingham – In September 1963, four members of the Ku Klux Klan bombed the 6th Street Baptist Church, killing 4 girls and injuring several others
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March on Washington
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– A march and peaceful protest held in Washington, D.C. in August 1963, organized by African-American civil rights activists, and that is credited by some as having contributed to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – An estimated 250,000 people attended, making it one of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history – The purpose of the march was to advocate for civil and economic rights for African Americans, and to bring national attention toward their concerns – During the march, SCLC president Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech, which was carried live by TV stations – The event was viewed as ineffective by more radical elements in the civil rights movement, including Malcolm X who called it the “Farce on Washington”
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Assassination of JFK
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– Assassinated in November of 1963 while being driven in a motorcade through Dealey Plaza, Dallas TX – Kennedy had wanted to help raise Democratic Party support in Texas (which he barely won in 1960) ahead of the 1964 election – While passing through Dealey Plaza, at 12:30 pm, Kennedy was shot twice by Lee Harvey Oswald and then rushed to the Parkland Hospital. He was pronounced dead at 1:00 pm – Kennedy’s Vice President, Lyndon Johnson, was sworn in as President on Air Force One later that day – His assassination caused shock and grief across the country and worldwide, and would become the source of several conspiracy theories – Jackie Kennedy would go on to receive over a million condolence letters regarding the assassination
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Lee Harvey Oswald
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– Former U.S. Marine who assassinated United States President John F. Kennedy in November of 1963 – He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps and defected to the Soviet Union in 1959 – Lived in Belarus until he returned to the US in 1962 with his Russian-born wife, Marina – Following Kennedy’s assassination, Oswald was arrested and charged with the murder of J. D. Tippit, who Oswald shot while trying to make his escape – Two days later while being transferred from the city jail to the county jail, Oswald was shot by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby on live broadcast – The Warren Commission’s findings and concluded that Oswald acted alone in assassinating Kennedy, the same conclusion as the FBI, Secret Service, and Dallas Police Department, contrary to the belief of most Americans
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Warren Commission
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– Committee established by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1963 to investigate the assassination of JFK – Chief Justice Earl Warren was chairman of the committee – It published its 889-page report in 1964, then published twenty-six volumes of supporting documents (included witness testimonies and exhibits) two months later – The Commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone in the assassination, by firing three gunshots – In the years following the release of its report, the Warren Commission has been frequently criticized for some of its methods, important omissions, and conclusions
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Lyndon B. Johnson
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– The 36th President of the United States, sworn in following the death of JFK in November 1963 – Would also win a term after defeating Barry Goldwater in the 1964 Presidential Election – He escalated US involvement in the Vietnam War after the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, leading to a deadly and drawn-out conflict between South and North Vietnam – His domestic policy (known as the Great Society) involved large expansions of social programs, civil rights, and his “War on Poverty,” the high-water mark of post-“New-Deal” era American liberalism – Due in part to economic growth as well, millions of Americans were lifted out of poverty during his administration – Support for Johnson waned towards the end of his term as growing unease with the Vietnam War stimulated a large antiwar movement, and economic growth began to slow
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Barry Goldwater
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– Arizona Senator and conservative Republican who ran for President against LBJ in 1964 – He lost the election in a landslide, winning only his home-state of Arizona and the ‘Deep South’ states (LA, MS, AL, GA, SC) – He was a vocal opponent of desegregation and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, believing it was an overreach of federal government – His campaign would mark the beginning of the shift of white Southern voters from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party
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Presidential Election of 1964
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– Republican Barry Goldwater vs incumbent President and Democrat Lyndon Johnson – Occurred less than a year after Kennedy’s assassination, with Johnson winning in a landslide – Johnson successfully associated himself with Kennedy’s popularity and portrayed Goldwater as a dangerous extremist for his hardline conservative views – It was the most lopsided Presidential election in terms of the popular vote in the history of the United States – Goldwater’s unsuccessful bid influenced the modern conservative movement and the long-time realignment within the Republican Party
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Great Society
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– Domestic policies of President Johnson, included many stalled initiatives from Kennedy’s “New Frontier” – Involved large expansions of social programs, the creation of Medicare and Medicaid, expansions of civil rights as well as voting rights, aid to education/urban and rural development/public services, and the “War on Poverty” – The policies, accompanied with strong economic growth, helped lift millions of Americans out of poverty, and provided African Americans with greatly expanded political and civil rights – Many of the policies were continuations of stalled “New Frontier” initiatives proposed by JFK – Johnson’s success in implementing his agenda depended on his skills of persuasion, coupled with the Democratic landslide in the 1964 election that brought in many new liberals to Congress, creating the most liberal House of Representatives since 1938 – Due to the escalation of the Vietnam War, many of the “Great Society” programs were eliminated or had their funding reduced
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War on Poverty
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– The name given to the policy agenda outlined by President Lyndon B. Johnson during his State of the Union address on January 1964 – Viewed as part of the “Great Society” programs, and an extension of “New Deal” and “New Frontier,” it aimed to eliminate poverty by expanding the government’s roles in public education and healthcare – Included a variety of social programs, such as: – Job Corps (program by the Department of Labor that offers free education and vocational training to young men and women) – Appalachian Region Development Act (established the Appalachian Regional Commission in 1965 and tasked it with overseeing economic development programs in the Appalachia region, as well as the construction of the Appalachian Highway Development System) – VISTA (national service program designed to alleviate poverty, originally President John F. Kennedy’s idea. Founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965) – Head Start (program launched in 1965 that provides comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families)
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Freedom Summer
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– Volunteer campaign in the United States launched in June 1964 to attempt to register as many African-American voters as possible in Mississippi, also known as the “Mississippi Summer Project”
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Civil Rights Act of 1964
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– Landmark civil rights and US labor law signed in July of 1964 – Outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin – It prohibited unequal application of voter registration requirements, racial segregation in schools, employment, and public accommodations – Powers given to enforce the act were initially weak, but were supplemented during later years – The bill divided and engendered a long-term change in the demographic support of both parties, risking the South’s overwhelming support of the Democratic Party
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Gulf of Tonkin Incident
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– Also known as the USS Maddox incident, was an international confrontation that led to the United States engaging more directly in the Vietnam War – In August 1964, the destroyer USS Maddox, while performing a signals intelligence patrol, was pursued by three North Vietnamese Navy torpedo boats – The USS Maddox fired warning shots, which led to a sea battle between the ship and the Vietnamese boats – A couple of days later, Maddox reported that it was under attack again by Vietnamese patrol boats (although Robert McNamara, who was Secretary of Defense at the time, now claims this attack never happened) – President Johnson ordered the launching of retaliatory air strikes on the bases of the torpedo boats – He also requested from Congress’ approval of a resolution expressing support “for all necessary action to protect our Armed Forces” – Johnson claimed that he had no intention of escalating the incident into a wider war – A few days later, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution
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Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
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– Passed in August of 1964 in response to the Gulf of Tonkin incident – The USS Maddox had entered a sea battle with Vietnamese torpedo boats while making patrols, then reported a second attack a few days later, which may not have happened – The resolution gave President Johnson the authority to assist any Southeast Asian country whose government was considered to be jeopardized by “communist aggression” using military force, without a formal declaration of war – The Johnson administration relied upon the resolution to begin its air campaign against North Vietnam, and set off the rapid escalation of U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War
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First Indochina War
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– A guerrilla war began in 1946, fought between France and groups of Indochinese rebels, chief of which were the Viet Minh – Vietnam, which used to part of France’s colonial empire since 1885, was occupied by Japan during WWII after they expelled the French – Resistance movement fought the Japanese occupation, and after Japan’s defeat in 1945, hoped to gain independence from the returning French, who refused to grant them full independence – The Viet Minh (a group of Vietnamese Communist Nationalists led by Ho Chi Minh) fought the France associated Bao Dai government of the State of Vietnam, eventually forcing the French out North Vietnam – A peace settlement was negotiated during the 1954 Geneva Conference. resulting in the partition of Vietnam along the 17th parallel, with Ngo Dinh Diem appointed as prime minister of South Vietnam. The conference also promised democratic elections in 1956 to determine a national government for Vietnam’s eventual reunification
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Vietnam War
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– War fought between North Vietnam and the government of South Vietnam between 1955 and 1975, usually considered a Cold-war era proxy war – Following the 1954 Geneva Conference, Vietnam was partitioned along the 17th parallel, with elections schedule for 1956 to reunify the country – After South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem abrogated the scheduled elections, North Vietnam began (in 1959) supporting the insurgency against Diem in the South Vietnamese countryside, led by the National Liberation Front, or Viet Cong – US Military advisers had been sent to South Vietnam since the Eisenhower administration due to fears of a Communist takeover of South-East Asia, with their numbers increasing under Kennedy – President Johnson drastically increased US involvement in the conflict following the Gulf of Tonkin Incident in 1964, leading to a large-scale war with both sides escalating their involvement – The Vietnam war and the way it was handled would become a contentious issue in American politics, with anti-war sentiment leading to protests, the decline of ‘Great Society’ social programs, and Johnson’s decision not to run for reelection – Over 3 million Americans served in Vietnam, 58,000 of them were killed
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Military Conscription During the Vietnam War and “Draft Lotteries”
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– During the Vietnam War, about two-third of American troops were volunteered, the rest were selected for military service through the drafts. Local draft boards had an enormous power to decide who had to go and who would stay – Most of U.S. soldiers drafted during the Vietnam War were men from poor and working-class families – Many were opposed to US involvement in Vietnam and to the draft, and attempted to avoid service, such as by fleeing to a neutral country (e.g. Canada). These people were derogatorily referred to as “Draft Dodgers” – In response to criticism of the draft’s inequities, in December 1969, President Nixon began the Selective Service System’s policy of conducting lottery drawings based on birth dates, called “Draft Lotteries,” to determine the order in which men of draft-eligible age (born 1944 to 1950) were called to report for military service – Reasons people were exempted from the draft were student deferments, hardships to the draftee’s dependents, or being unfit for military service
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Ho Chi Minh Trail
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– North Vietnam invaded Laos in 1959 aided by Laotian Communists, and used 30,000 men to build a network of supply and reinforcement routes running through Laos that became known as the Ho Chi Minh trail
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Agent Orange
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– An herbicide and defoliant chemical used by the US military in Vietnam to destroy bushes, trees, and vegetation, depriving Viet Cong insurgents of concealment – Its use was authorized by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 with the code-name of “Operation Ranch Hand” to help the military track enemy troop movements – Around four million people, both Vietnamese and Americans, were exposed to it during the conflict – It’s toxic properties caused serious environmental damage to Vietnam, along with a variety of health problems for those exposed to it
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Operation Rolling Thunder
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– Sustained aerial bombardment campaign conducted by the U.S. against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) – In response to the Gulf of Tonkin Incident in 1964, President Johnson ordered retaliatory airstrikes against North Vietnam. Following Johnson’s testimony to Congress claiming that the USS Maddox had been attacked unprovoked, Congress approved the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution – In March of 1965, partly in response to a Viet Cong attack on a U.S. air base at Pleiku, the Johnson administration began a series of systematic aerial assaults on North Vietnam code-named “Operation Rolling Thunder” – Its goals were to boost the morale of the Saigon regime in the Republic of Vietnam, to persuade North Vietnam to cease its support for the communist insurgency in the South without actually taking any ground forces, to destroy North Vietnam’s transportation system, industrial base, and air defenses, and to halt the flow of men and material into South Vietnam
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Viet Cong
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– Also known as the National Liberation Front, it was a communist political organization with its own army in South Vietnam and Cambodia that fought the United States and South Vietnamese governments – It had both guerrilla and regular army units, and played a major role in the 1968 Tet Offensive – Many of the Viet Cong’s core members were volunteer “regroupees”, southern Viet Minh who had resettled in the North after the Geneva Accord (1954)
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Ho Chi Minh
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– Vietnamese Communist revolutionary leader who was a key figure in establishing the Communist-ruled Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945 and defeating the French Union in 1954 – The 1954 Geneva Accords concluded between France and the Viet Minh, allowing the latter’s forces to regroup in the North whilst anti-communist groups settled in the South – He instituted various agrarian reforms in the North, including “rent reduction” and “land reform”, which resulted in significant political oppression – Ho’s Democratic Republic of Vietnam relocated to Hanoi and became the government of North Vietnam, a communist-led one-party state – In 1967, Ho and most of the Politburo of Workers Party of Vietnam met in a high-profile conference where they concluded the war had fallen into a stalemate – With his permission, the Viet Cong planned a massive Tet Offensive that would commence on January 1968, with the aim of taking much of the South by force and administering a heavy blow to the U.S. military
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Ngo Dinh Diem
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– He was named Prime Minister of the State of Vietnam by Head of State Bảo Đại in 1954. – In October 1955, after winning a heavily rigged referendum, he deposed Bảo Đại and established the first Republic of Vietnam (RVN), with himself as president – His government was supported by the United States against North Vietnam during the Vietnam war – He was a leader of the Catholic element and was opposed by Buddhists in the country – Diệm’s hard policies led to fear and resentment in many quarters in South Vietnam and negatively affected his relations with the US in term of counter-insurgent methods – In November 1963, after constant Buddhist protests and non-violent resistance, Diệm was assassinated during a CIA-backed coup d’état
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Selma to Montgomery Marches
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– They were three protest marches, held in 1965, along the 54-mile (87 km) highway from Selma, Alabama to the state capital of Montgomery – The marches were organized by nonviolent activists to demonstrate the desire of African-American citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote, in defiance of segregationist repression – During the first march, Alabama state troopers attacked the unarmed marchers with billy clubs and tear gas after they passed over the county line, and the event became known as Bloody Sunday – The violence of the “Bloody Sunday” led to a national outcry and some acts of civil disobedience, targeting both the Alabama and federal governments – The protesters demanded protection for the Selma marchers and a new federal voting rights law to enable African Americans to register and vote without harassment – President Lyndon Johnson, whose administration had been working on a voting rights law, held a historic, nationally televised joint session of Congress on March 15 to ask for the bill’s introduction and passage. – With Governor Wallace refusing to protect the marchers, President Johnson committed to do so, and the third march started March 21, protected by 1,900 members of the Alabama National Guard under federal command – The protests were part of a broader voting rights movement underway in Selma and throughout the American South – By highlighting racial injustice, they contributed to passage that year of the Voting Rights Act
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Social Security Amendments of 1965
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– “Great Society” legislation whose provisions resulted in the creation of two important programs: Medicare and Medicaid – Medicare provided government funded health insurance to those over the age of 65, while Medicaid insured those below the poverty line – Proposals for national health insurance programs began in the early 20th century in the United States and then came to prominence during the Truman administration, though his attempts ultimately failed – In the election of 1964, Democrats controlled both the Presidency and the Congress, claiming a 2:1 ratio to Republicans in the House and 32 more seats in the Senate, which made conditions more favorable toward passing health insurance legislation
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Voting Rights Act of 1965
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– Federal legislation in that prohibited racial discrimination in voting – Signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on August 1965, during the Civil Rights Movement – It’s purpose was to enforce the voting rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution – Demonstrations in Selma organized by civil rights leaders led to violent clashes with police. These marches received national media coverage and drew attention to the issue of voting rights, prompting President Johnson to call on Congress to introduce voting rights legislation – The Act secured voting rights for racial minorities throughout the country, especially in the South – Support for the law nationwide among whites was less enthusiastic
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Watts Riots
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– Took place in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles during August of 1965 – An African-American motorist was arrested for suspicion of drunk driving, after which a roadside argument broke out, and then escalated into a fight – The community reacted in outrage to allegations of police brutality that soon spread, and six days of looting and arson followed – 4,000 members of the California Army National Guard were sent to quell the riots, which resulted in 34 deaths and over $40 million in property damage – The riots were blamed principally on police racism and residential segregation in Los Angeles – Riots such as these took place in every major American city during the summer
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Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
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– Established in September 1965, when Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Department of Housing and Urban Development Act – Founded as part of the “Great Society” program of President Lyndon Johnson, to develop and execute policies on housing and metropolises
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Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965
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– Legislation that changed the laws around immigration quotas, ending the quota system based on national origins that had existed since the 1920s – It maintained overall quotas on the number of immigrants allowed, but focused on applicants’ skills or relationships with current U.S. citizens and residents, as opposed to national origin – By removing racial and national barriers to immigration, the Act would go on to change the demographic make-up of the United States, making it less homogeneous than it was in the 1950s
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Tet Offensive
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– One of the largest military campaigns of the Vietnam War, launched on January 1968, by the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army against the South Vietnamese Army and the US armed forces – It was a campaign of surprise attacks against military and civilian command and control centers throughout South Vietnam – It took place during the Tet Holiday of the Vietnamese New Year, during which a cease-fire was typically arranged between North and South Vietnam – North Vietnam had hoped to catch South Vietnam and the US off-guard and capture several important cities, provoking a national uprising to end the war – While the U.S. and South Vietnamese forces were initially shocked by the scale of the urban offensive, they responded quickly and effectively and inflicted heavy casualties on the Viet Cong – Despite the offensive being beaten back, it had a profound effect on the US public, who had been led to believe by the Johnson administration that the war was progressing in favor of the US – The result of the offensive was a U.S. and South Vietnamese tactical victory, but a North Vietnamese propaganda, political, and strategic victory – Both support for the war and public approval of President Johnson dropped following the Tet offensive, which was one of the main factors that lead to Johnson deciding against running for reelection. 1968 saw the height of anti-War protests and sit ins
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Civil Rights Act of 1968
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– Also known as the “Fair Housing Act” – Provided for equal housing opportunities regardless of race, religion, or national origin – Signed into law in 1968 by President Lyndon Johnson during the King assassination riots
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Eugene McCarthy
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Hubert Humphrey
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Richard Nixon
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– 37th President of the United States who served from 1969 until 1974, when he resigned from office – He ended American involvement in the war in Vietnam in 1973 through the process of “Vietnamization,” brought the American POWs home, and ended the military draft – Also established the Environmental Protection Agency, and presided over the Apollo 11 moon landing – He was reelected in a landslide in 1972, but the Watergate scandal escalated in late 1973, costing Nixon much of his political support – On August 9, 1974, he resigned in the face of almost certain impeachment and removal from office. His successor, Gerald Ford, issued him a pardon
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Nixon Foreign Policy
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– Nuclear non-proliferation treaty signed with the Soviet Union in 1969 – The first of two bilateral conferences called the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), SALT 1, took place in 1970 – Period of detente with the Soviet union – Diplomatic relations with China established 1972, Sec. of State Henry Kissinger – 1973 the Fourth Arab-Israeli war breaks out, US support for Israel leads to oil embargo and the Energy Crisis
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Assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy
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Presidential Election of 1968
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Fall of Saigon
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Counterculture in the 1960s
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– Anti-Establishment, Anti-Conformity – Suspicion of government – Vietnam war protests – Environmentalism, communal living
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Women’s Rights Movement
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The Feminine Mystique
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– A book written by American writer, activist, and feminist Betty Friedan, which is widely credited with sparking the beginning of second-wave feminism in the United States – It focuses on what Friedan called “the problem that has no name,” or women’s need for identity and autonomy
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Griswold v. Connecticut
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– In 1960 the FDA approved The Pill as a contraceptive, but some states outlawed its use – In 1965, the Supreme Court heard a case involving a Connecticut “Comstock law” that prohibited any person from using “any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception.” – By a vote of 7-2, the Supreme Court invalidated the law on the grounds that it violated the right to privacy with respect to intimate practices
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Roe v. Wade
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– Supreme court decision in 1973 that made abortions legal
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Opposition to Vietnam
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– Vietnamese Buddhist monks self-immolated in protest – Student protests on college campuses – 1970 Kent State Massacre: Shootings in May, 1970 of unarmed college students by members of the Ohio National Guard during a mass protest against the Vietnam War at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. 4 students died – 1971 Pentagon papers leaked: Revealed that the U.S. had secretly enlarged the scope of its actions in the Vietnam War with the bombings of nearby Cambodia and Laos, as well as other actions, that weren’t reported in the media
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Equal Rights Amendment
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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
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Watergate and the Fall of Nixon
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– Major political scandal that occurred in during the early 1970s, following a break-in of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. in June 1972 -The offenders were connected to President Richard Nixon’s reelection campaign, and they had been caught wiretapping phones and stealing documents – Watergate was investigated by the U.S. Congress, and the Justice Department designated a special prosecutor to investigate as well. Nixon’s administration took aggressive steps to cover up the crime afterwards – The US Senate held hearings to investigate matters further, when it was revealed that there were tapes of conversations held in the Oval Office. The tapes were subpoenaed by the special prosecutor, but Nixon refused to release them – This lead to the Saturday Night Massacre, and eventually the issue of the tapes went to the Supreme Court in “United States v. Nixon”, which decided that Nixon was legally obligated to deliver the tapes – Faced with certain impeachment and removal from office, Nixon resigned in August 1974, and was succeeded by his Vice-President Gerald Ford
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Saturday Night Massacre
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– Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire the special prosecutor, who resigned in protest rather than carry out the order – Nixon then ordered Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to fire Cox, but Ruckelshaus also resigned rather than fire him – Solicitor General Robert Bork carried out the presidential order and dismissed the special prosecutor – The events destroyed public opinion of Nixon and his political support in Congress
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Gerald Ford
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– 38th President of the United States, and the only US President to have never been elected either as President or Vice-President – He was appointed Vice-President by Nixon in 1973 after Spiro Agnew resigned due to a criminal investigation he was under – Became president in 1974 after Nixon’s resignation due to the Watergate scandal – Ford issued a pardon of Nixon and Vietnam draft dodgers
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Legacies of the Vietnam War
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– Military draft ended, replaced with an all-volunteer force – Voting age requirement reduced from 21 to 18 – Passage of the War Powers Act – Undermined liberal reforms and increased suspicion of government – Increased class and racial divisions

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