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Lecture

3:25 - the election of jfk

4 Pages
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Department
History
Course Code
CAS HI 280
Professor
Michael Holm

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March 25  th The Election of John F. Kennedy I. JFK a. born into a wealthy Massachusetts family, one of four; expected to become  “The Politician” after the death of his older brother; serves in the Pacific  Theater and garners war hero status b. 1946: runs for office in Massachusetts; goes on to serve in the U.S. House  of Representatives c. 1952: defeats Henry C. Lodge, Jr. for the Massachusetts senate seat –  backed by his father’s money and resources, working with his brother  Bobby d. 1956: almost became VP candidate e. 1958: re­elected to U.S. Senate, in part due to campaign video The U.S.  Senator John F. Kennedy Story i. making the people connect with a senatorial candidate – “life in the  U.S. senate” ii. indication of how effective the Kennedy family was at running  political campaigns iii. ahead of the curve in terms of harnessing technology and winning  elections II. The Democratic Party in 1952 and 1956 a. in the “wilderness’  b. 1952: Stevenson runs against Eisenhower and is heavily defeated: 55.2% ­  44.3% c. 1956: and yet four years later they run the same guy who loses, again,  57.4% ­ 42% i. reflected Eisenhower’s status as a moderate ii. approved civil rights legislation, heavy government spending,  heavy military spending d. Republicans controlling both the House and Senate e. the Democrat’s struggle of finding a viable challenger  III. Kennedy and Nixon a. 1960: primary challenge to Kennedy came from liberal Senator from  Minnesota Hubert Humphrey and Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Baines  Johnson i. West Virginia: Dem. party was curious to see if a Catholic could  sway non­Catholic voters ii. Humphrey throws everything he has into WV, but was no match  for Kennedy’s family – “an independent merchant running against  a chain store” iii. MONEY as a deciding factor b. choosing a diametrically opposed LBJ as his running mate i. clear indication that Johnson could help Kennedy – even though he  wasn’t a Southerner’s Southerner ii. Johnson not actively committed to civil rights though he would  come to be known for it iii. had not signed the Southern Senators’ Manifesto iv. “fit the Democratic bill” – could help carry Texas v. dismayed liberal Democrats, but not enough to drive them away  from the polls c. the New Frontier i. “the frontier of the 1960s, the frontier of unknown opportunities  and perils, the frontier of unfilled hopes and unfilled threats…  Beyond that frontier are uncharted areas of science and space,  unsolved problems of peace and war, unconquered problems of  ignorance and prejudice, unanswered questions of poverty and  surplus.” ii. will you settle for more of the same, or choose what is new? d. civil rights i. personal intervention to secure Martin Luther King’s release from  jail in Alabama in 1960 ensured greater support for Democrats  from African American voters ii. direct line bw Kennedy and MLK established e. Richard Nixon i. elected to House of Representatives in 1946 ii. elected to Senate in 1950 iii. instrumental attack dog for HUAC against Truman Administration iv. 1925­1960, Vice President to Dwight Eisenhower 1. had not really been part of Eisenhower’s inner circle 2. “break ties, have a pulse” v. Henry C
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