Home/ JFK Assassination/ Kennedy Presidency

Kennedy Presidency

President Kennedy,<br />24 Oct 1961.<br />Photo by Cecil Stoughton.
President Kennedy,
24 Oct 1961.
Photo by Cecil Stoughton.

John F. Kennedy narrowly defeated Richard Nixon in the 1960 election, succeeding Dwight Eisenhower. His presidency was arguably the height of the cold war with the Soviet Union, culminating in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Besides continuing hostility with Castro and Cuba, other trouble spots like Vietnam and Laos consumed Kennedy’s attention and engendered conflicts over policy.

The early 1960s saw the continued flowering of the Civil Rights movement, with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. leading the fight for desegregation, voting rights, and other advances. The economy under Kennedy was solid if unspectacular, and Kennedy engaged in some battles there including the steel crisis of 1962.

On a trip to shore up support in Texas, where support for Democrats was weakening, Kennedy made his fateful trip to Dallas. On November 22, 1963, gunfire rang out in Dealey Plaza. Kennedy was rushed to Parkland Hospital, but efforts to resuscitate him were futile. His assassination was the first of several political murders of progressive leaders of the 1960s, and is thought of by many as a turning point in U.S. history.

Kennedy and Cuba – Cuba was one of the hottest hotspots in the Cold War after Fidel Castro came to power there. In 1962, nuclear war nearly broke out between the U.S. and the Soviet Union over Soviet missiles in Cuba.

Kennedy and Vietnam – Historians have generally believed that the transition in Vietnam policy between Kennedy and Johnson was one of continuity. But recent documents and participants' accounts have challenged that notion.

Height of the Cold War – The Cold War between the U.S. and Soviet Union reached its height during the Kennedy era, culminating in near nuclear war. What was JFK’s role in exacerbating or working to diminish superpower tensions?

Kennedy Domestic Policy – Kennedy’s biggest trouble spots were in foreign policy. But the scene at home had its own trials and tribulations.

Kennedy-Nixon Debates - The televised debates of 1960 played a crucial role in John F. Kennedy's successful bid to become President of the United States.



What Could Have Been: JFK in His Own Words, by Milicent Cranor.

The Posthumous Assassination of John F. Kennedy, by James DiEugenio.

Exit Strategy, by James K. Galbraith.

Pres. Kennedy's Health Secrets, by PBS.

JFK & Steel, Bush and Oil, by Rex Bradford.

The Spirit of the New Frontier, by Kerry McCarthy.

JFK Opposed Globalist, by Jim Marrs.


Other Links

President Kennedy's 1961 Inaugural Address
Speech delivered on 20 Jan 1961.

Remarks Prepared for Delivery at the Trade Mart in Dallas
Kennedy was to have given this speech in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library Home Page
The home page of the website of the JFK Library and Museum, located in Boston, MA.

Related Starting Points

Books of Interest

    A Thousand Days
Arthur M. Jr. Schlesinger
Fawcett Crest, 1965
Theodore C. Sorensen
Harper and Row, 1965
    Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye
K.P. O'Donnell and D. with McCarthy Powers, J.
Little, Brown, and Company, 1970
    A Question Of Character
Thomas C. Reeves
Prima Publishing, 1992
    With Kennedy
Pierre Salinger
Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1966
    Kennedy and the Press
Harold W. Chase and Allen H. Lerman
Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1965
    Into the Storm: The Assassination of President Kennedy Volume III
John Newman
Self Published, 2019

© Mary Ferrell Foundation. All Rights Reserved. |Press Room |MFF Policies |Contact Us |Site Map