.. iderable success. Congress passed a bill increasing minimum wage, and Congress passed his bill to create the Peace Corps. Which was an agency to perform social and humanitarian services overseas. The program’s goal was to create peace and friendship with nations.
Within two years the Peace Corps were working in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Kennedy ran into some problems after the conservative Republicans joined with the Southern Democrats to stop legislation they didn’t like. A Medicare bill, a civil rights bill, and a bill to create a Cabinet-level Department of Urban Affairs were all defeated8. Kennedy didn’t lose all of his approval because he get some of his bills passed. Congress passed a bill to lower tariffs, authorized a purchase of over $100 million in United Nations bonds, and Congress appropriated more than $1 billion dollars to send a man to the moon.
Kennedy began to lose popularity after he started forcing universities in the south to accept black students. People thought that he was limiting their rights as citizens. He continued to speak out against segregation and lost even more populairty. In 1959, after several attempts, a revolution led by Fidel Castro finally overthrew the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista y Zaldivar. During the next two years Castro became very hostile towards the United States.
After some problems with $1 billion dollars in properties and companies owned by the U.S., Castro began to proclaim his belief in Communism. Cuba then became part of the cold war. Kennedy approved an invasion of Cuba by CIA trained Cuban exiles. In April 1961, more then 1000 exiles landed in Cuba at a place called Bay of Pigs. Their plan was to move inland and join with anti-Castro forces to stage a revolt. Castro’s forces were there to meet the invaders, and the revolt didn’t happen. The CIA promised air support, but that never came.
The exiles were taken as prisoners. The prisoners were released in exchange for food and medical supplies valued at $53 million. In March 1961, Kennedy introduced the Alliance for Progress, which would strengthen democratic institution in the Latin American nation to prevent them from doing what Cuba did. In August in was established by the charter of Punte del Este. This would be a Latin American version of the Marshall Plan. All Latin American nations except Cuba joined , pledging ” to bring our people accelerated economic progress and broader social justice within the framework of personal dignity and individual liberty.”9 This brought the U.S popularity in Latin America.
On June 3, 1961, in Vienna, Autstria, Kennedy and Khrushchev met and reviewed the relationship between the U.S and the U.S.S.R. . There was a lot of hostility, considering that there was a shooting down of a U.S spy plane in Soviet air space. The Bay of Pigs invasion created hostility too. NO agreements were reached on any important issues.
The Soviet premier actually made it clear that the policies toward the Untied States would be even more strict. In August 1961, the Communists ordered that there be a wall put up between East and West Berlin. West Germany was under the control of the US, France and Britain. Those countries protested the wall, but since East Germany was Communist, it was done anyway. Allied forced weren’t even allowed to travel through Berlin. This was the beginning of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
This was the closest the world’s ever been to nuclear war. Khrushchev decided to supply Cuba with nuclear missiles that would be in range of the Eastern United States. He denied it when asked if he was supplying Cuba with missiles, but in the summer or 1962 there a US spy plane photographed a construction site managed by the Soviets and then spotted a missile on October 14th. For seven days Kennedy met with advisors on how to handle and respond to this, while the administration carried on as if nothing was wrong. On October 22nd, Kennedy told the nation about the missiles, demanded that the USSR remove the missiles and declared the water around Cuba a quarantine zone. Kennedy warned the USSR that if Cuba attacked the US it would be considered an attack on the US by USSR itself.
Troops were sent to Florida to prepare for invading Cuba and air units were alerted. American vessels blockaded any Soviet ships that looked suspicious and searched them. For several days Soviet ships avoided the quarantine zone while Kennedy and Khrushchev discussed this. On October 26th Khrushchev agreed to remove all of the missiles. Before the US could respond to that note, Krushchev sent another trying to negotiate other terms.
The USSR removed and dismantled all of the mistled and offered the US an on-site inspection. Kennedy promised not to invade Cuba and to remove missiles from Turkey. Cuba, angry at the Soviet submission refused the promised inspection. US spy planes revealed that the missile bases were being dismantled. Kennedy was a hero, he had avoided nuclear war and possibly World War III. As a result of him displaying courage and strength.
On November 22, 1963, President and Mrs. Kennedy were in Dallas, Texas. They were trying to win support from the state that Kennedy had barely carried in 1960. AS the motorcade approached an underpass, two shots were fired in rapid succession. One bullet passed through Kennedy’s neck and struck Governor Connally in the back.
The other bullet hit the president in the head. His car sped to Parkland Hospital. At 1:00PM he was pronounced dead, he had never regained consciousness. Less then 2 hours after the shooting, on the residential plane, Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the 36th president of the United States.
That afternoon, Lee Harvey Oswald, who was employed in the warehouse, was arrested in a movie theatre and charged with murder. On November 24 the body of President Kennedy was carried on a horse drawn carriage from the White House to the Rotunda of the Capitol.10 Hundreds of thousands of people filed passed the coffin of the president. The grave was marked by an eternal flame that was lit by his wife and his brothers.