Published on October 30, 2016
1. Law vs. Tradition in the South – which one would prevail?
2. From 4 to 30 to 50 to thousands…. Sit-ins and activists spread all over North Carolina. Read Civil Disobedience and the Bible. Philadelphia – 400 ministers asked congregation NOT to shop in businesses that didn’t hire blacks. Through 1960 and 1961, 70,000 participated in protests – “the picket line now extends from the dime store to the United States Supreme Court and beyond that to national and world opinion.”
3. Southern cities and states ignored federal court rulings. Appeased at Little Rock, AR. The Little Rock Nine was a group of nine African American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Their enrollment was followed by the Little Rock Crisis, in which the students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Orval Faubus, the Governor of Arkansas.
4. Blacks understood they would need to rely on things other than law to make changes. MLK called for nonviolent direct action. James Lawson – “Love Segregation to death.” Threats ensued – bombs, “study” the situation First year of sit-ins, black colleges expelled 140+ students, fired 60 faculty members. Jail time increased for activists – 3600 the year after the Greensboro 4. Repression created a common bond for the blacks. Media also ignited change – people could watch the horror. By 1960, Americans purchased 50 million TV’s. First televised decade Jim Crow could now be seen.
5. • Main concern of JFK’s presidency – cold war and economy. • 1 year earlier – Castro took over Cuba from Fulgencio Batista. • Expropriated American businesses. • Catholic President – who would actually be in charge? • Nixon promised continuity – Kennedy spoke of change. • “For I stand here tonight facing west on what was once the last frontier. From the lands that stretch three thousand miles behind us, the pioneers gave up their safety, their comfort and sometimes their lives to build our new West. They were not the captives of their own doubts, nor the prisoners of their own price tags. They were determined to make the new world strong and free -- an example to the world, to overcome its hazards and its hardships, to conquer the enemies that threatened from within and without.”
6. The United States government had supported the American-friendly Batista regime since it came to power in 1952. This included much of the Cuban Mafia, who created a popular Havana for the wealthy and the stars. After Fidel Castro, together with a handful of supporters that included the professional revolutionary Che Guevara, landed in Cuba to unseat Batista in December 1956, the U.S. continued to support Batista. Suspicious of what they believed to be Castro’s leftist ideology and fearful that his ultimate goals might include attacks on U.S. investments and properties in Cuba, American officials were nearly unanimous in opposing his revolutionary movement. Most of the leading mobsters in Havana, including Meyer Lanksy did not flee immediately but instead drove round the Havana Casinos collecting as much of their money as they could, the night's takings that they were able to rescue amounting to several million dollars.
7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6Xn4ip HiwE
8. Blacks delivered Illinois, and Michigan. Appointed advisors from Ivy League Colleges – “the best and the brightest.” “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” Peace Corps – You can make a difference! 60,000 applied (none asked about a salary). Alliance for Progress - aimed to establish economic cooperation between the U.S. and Latin America. JFK inspired college students, along with sit-ins and atomic fear. Many joined the National Student Association, the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), and the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Harvard – 15,000 rallied at Madison Square Garden to end the nuclear arms race.
9. JFK forced to focus on Communism abroad and Civil Rights at home. Before his inauguration, John F. Kennedy was briefed on a plan by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) developed during the Eisenhower administration to train Cuban exiles for an invasion of their homeland. President Eisenhower approved the program in March 1960. The CIA set up training camps in Guatemala, and by November the operation had trained a small army for an assault landing and guerilla warfare. The original invasion plan called for two air strikes against Cuban air bases. A 1,400- man invasion force would disembark under cover of darkness and launch a surprise attack. The main force would advance across the island to Matanzas and set up a defensive position. The United Revolutionary Front would send leaders from South Florida and establish a provisional government. The success of the plan depended on the Cuban population joining the invaders. The first mishap occurred on April 15, 1961, when eight bombers left Nicaragua to bomb Cuban airfields. The CIA had used obsolete World War II B-26 bombers, and painted them to look like Cuban air force planes. The bombers missed many of their targets and left most of Castro's air force intact. As news broke of the attack, photos of the repainted U.S. planes became public and revealed American support for the invasion. President Kennedy cancelled a second air strike. The brigade prisoners remained in captivity for 20 months, as the United States negotiated a deal with Fidel Castro. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy made personal pleas for contributions from pharmaceutical companies and baby food manufacturers, and Castro eventually settled on $53 million worth of baby food and medicine in exchange for the prisoners.
10. Kennedy never again trusted the CIA.
11. Kennedy’s ratings a staggering 80% approval. Get the focus off of Cuba – Space! “…it will be an entire nation [going to the moon] Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth, aboard Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962, on the Mercury-Atlas 6 mission, circling the globe three times during a flight lasting 4 hours, 55 minutes, and 23 seconds. This made Glenn the third American in space and the fifth human being in space.
12. Freedom Rides – 7 blacks and 6 whites On Sunday, May 14, 1961—Mother's Day—scores of angry white people blocked a Greyhound bus carrying black and white passengers through rural Alabama. The attackers pelted the vehicle with rocks and bricks, slashed tires, smashed windows with pipes and axes and lobbed a firebomb through a broken window. As smoke and flames filled the bus, the mob barricaded the door. "Burn them alive," somebody cried out. "Fry the goddamn niggers." An exploding fuel tank and warning shots from arriving state troopers forced the rabble back and allowed the riders to escape the inferno. Even then some were pummeled with baseball bats as they fled. The bus passengers assaulted that day were Freedom Riders, among the first of more than 400 volunteers who traveled throughout the South on regularly scheduled buses for seven months in 1961 to test a 1960 Supreme Court decision that declared segregated facilities for interstate passengers illegal. Later activists spent 2 months in a brutal Mississippi prison because Kennedy didn’t want to interfere with local law.
13. Kremlin threatens to close western access to Berlin. JFK – “All Europe is at stake in West Berlin.” McNamara preferred “flexible response” over Ike’s “massive retaliation.” August – Krushchev built the wall. Also announced he would begin testing nuclear weapons again. Kennedy responds with brinkmanship – underground testing.
14. Many in the US were openly anti-nuclear. Women Strike for Peace – 50,000 housewives in over 60 cities. End the Arms Race – Not the Human Race African Americans in the south push to register to vote. Fannie Lou Hamer – attempted to register in Mississippi Lost her job Jailed Received a $9,000.00 water bill (house had no running water) Bob Moses took three locals to register Arrested and jailed; 2nd time, beating and stitches Herbert Lee Shot in the head by a Mississippi State Representative During trail, white jury ruled that he shot in self defense against the unarmed man
15. In October 1962, an American U-2 spy plane secretly photographed nuclear missile sites being built by the Soviet Union on the island of Cuba. After many long and difficult meetings, Kennedy decided to place a naval blockade, or a ring of ships, around Cuba. The aim of this "quarantine," as he called it, was to prevent the Soviets from bringing in more military supplies But the leaders of both superpowers recognized the devastating possibility of a nuclear war and publicly agreed to a deal in which the Soviets would dismantle the weapon sites in exchange for a pledge from the United States not to invade Cuba. In a separate deal, which remained secret for more than twenty-five years, the United States also agreed to remove its nuclear missiles from Turkey. <iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/W50RNAbmy3M" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
16. Birmingham = Bombingham (Library removed a book that displayed black and white rabbits) Sit-in and arrests inspires King to proclaim injunction against sit- ins immoral – duty to violate unethical orders and laws. March planned for April 12, Good Friday. MLK Jailed – Letter From Birmingham Jail.
17. The Children’s Crusade began on May 2. Almost a thousand students marched on City Hall that day, with more than six hundred arrested. The jails and detention centers were so full that Eugene “Bull” Connor, Birmingham’s commissioner of public safety, attempted to dissuade further marching the next day, May 3, by using police dogs and fire cannons to turn back the children. Having seen this, I knew what we would be facing. I marched on May 4. We left my church, Sixth Avenue Baptist, where I’d received training, went to Sixteenth Street Baptist, and then walked toward downtown. Though I do not have a great singing voice, I can carry a tune, and I had been taught to lead the other children in song. And so I sang one of the Negro spirituals. What is the most effective way to really upset children? Talking trash about their mothers. As expected, police officers lining the route taunted us and tried to get us to react. We had been trained to ignore their words and to focus on our goal of continuing downtown and kneeling on the steps of City Hall, and so we kept on marching and singing. The police then moved to contain the marchers, their dogs ready to attack. We could feel the tension when someone in the crowd threw a rock or when the dogs or fire hoses were brought near. And yet, because of the music and the discipline, the children continued moving in an orderly way. I was in a small group that broke off from the crowd as many other children were being stopped or detained. I made it all the way to the steps of City Hall. What was my job when I got there? To kneel, to pray for our freedom, and to tell whoever was there our purpose: freedom to have the basic rights of other American citizens, to get a good education, and to have access to public accommodations, from water fountains and restrooms to restaurants and movie theaters. It was that simple. My students ask me, “Well, Doc, why would they put somebody in jail for that?” The law stated that you needed a permit to hold a protest, even a peaceful one, and the city withheld from Dr. King and the other leaders a permit to peacefully assemble. I can’t tell you how my knees were shaking as I arrived at the steps of City Hall. And who was there but Bull Connor himself. Connor, a former radio announcer, was in his sixth term as the elected official overseeing the city’s police and fire departments. He was widely known for his aggressive support of the city’s segregation ordinances. He had recently threatened to close and sell off the city’s parks rather than follow a court order to integrate them. An imposing man with a booming voice, he was obviously angry on the day of the march because of the TV cameras. He looked at me and said, “What do you want, little Nigra?” Remember, I was not a courageous kid. I looked up at him, scared, and managed to say, in my Birmingham accent, “Suh, we want to kneel and pray.” He spat in my face. Then my fellow demonstrators and I were gathered up and shoved into a police wagon waiting nearby.
18. Excerpts: Today I have stood, where once Jefferson Davis stood, and took an oath to my people. It is very appropriate then that from this Cradle of the Confederacy, this very Heart of the Great Anglo-Saxon Southland, that today we sound the drum for freedom as have our generations of forebears before us done, time and time again through history. Let us rise to the call of freedom- loving blood that is in us and send our answer to the tyranny that clanks its chains upon the South. In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny . . . and I say . . . segregation today . . . segregation tomorrow . . . segregation forever. The true brotherhood of America, of respecting the separateness of others . . . and uniting in effort . . . has been so twisted and distorted from its original concept that there is a small wonder that communism is winning the world. We invite the negro citizens of Alabama to work with us from his separate racial station . . . as we will work with him . . . to develop, to grow in individual freedom and enrichment. We want jobs and a good future for BOTH races . . . the tubercular and the infirm. This is the basic heritage of my religion, if which I make full practice . . . . for we are all the handiwork of God. But we warn those, of any group, who would follow the false doctrine of communistic amalgamation that we will not surrender our system of government . . . our freedom of race and religion . . . that freedom was won at a hard price and if it requires a hard price to retain it . . . we are able . . . and quite willing to pay it. <iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/ embed/6C-kBVggFrs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
19. Medgar Evers was an African-American civil rights activist whose murder drew national attention. Born in Mississippi, he served in World War II before going to work for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). After attempting to segregate the University of Mississippi Law School in 1954, he became the NAACP field secretary in Mississippi. Evers was subjected to threats as the most visible civil rights leader in the state, and he was shot to death in June 1963. Although accused killer Byron De La Beckwith escaped conviction, the unearthing of new evidence decades later resulted in Beckwith’s retrial and imprisonment.
20. In September 1954, right after the Geneva Accords were signed on 20 July 1954, dividing Vietnam into north and south at the 17th parallel, President Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote to the new Prime Minister of the Bao Dai government, Ngo Dinh Diem, promising United States support to ensure a noncommunist Vietnam. Following through on that commitment, direct United States aid to South Vietnam began in January 1955, and American advisors began arriving in February to train the South Vietnamese army. By early 1955, Diem had consolidated his control by suppressing the religious sects in the Mekong Delta and brutally suppressing unrest in Saigon. He also launched a campaign against Communists in South Vietnam, in which 25,000 Communist sympathizers were arrested and more than 1,000 killed according to claims by the Communists. In August 1955, Diem issued a statement formally refusing to participate with the North Vietnamese in consultations to prepare for national elections as called for by the Geneva Agreement. In October, he easily defeated Bao Dai in a seriously tainted referendum and became President of the new Republic of Vietnam. Partly in response to Diem's anti-Communist campaign, the Vietnamese Communists stepped up terrorist activities in the South, assassinating several hundred officials of the Diem government. In 1957, Diem‘s Saigon government arrested another 65,000 suspected Communists and killed more than 2,000. Repression by the Diem regime led to the rise of self-defense units in various parts of South Vietnam, units often operating on their own without any Communist party direction, in armed opposition to Diem.
21. Kennedy expanded the number of advisors in-country from 1,600 in 1960 to 16,000 in 1963. Buddhist leaders set themselves on fire to protest the new leadership. Kennedy approved a brutal murder of the president of South Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem, and his powerful brother and adviser, Ngo Dinh Nhu, on November 2, 1963, which was a major turning point in the war in Vietnam.
22. Signed the Equal Pay Act (too many loopholes) Silent Spring exposed “every human is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals.” As a response, Kennedy created national seashores of Cape Cod, Padre Island in Texas, and Point Reyes in California. In Philly, he urged the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Then…he went to Dallas. Cape Cod Padre Island, TX Point Reyes, N. California
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