The Turbulent Sixties

Study Guide


I. You should be able to identify and state the historical significance of the following:

John F. Kennedy

Robert F. Kennedy

Robert S. McNamara

Charles deGaulle

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lee Harvey Oswald

Lyndon B. Johnson

Barry Goldwater

Malcolm X

Stokely Carmichael

J. William Fulbright

Eugene McCarthy

Hubert H. Humphrey

Richard M. Nixon

George Wallace

Ngo Dinh Diem

II. You should be able to define and state the historical significance of the following:

Flexible Response

Peaceful coexistence

Credibility Gap


Freedom Rides

Black Power

III. You should be able to describe and state the historical significance of the following:

New Frontier

Peace Corps

Vienna Summit

Trade Expansion Act

Viet Cong

Alliance for Progress

Bay of Pigs

War on Poverty

Great Society

Tonkin Gulf Resolution

Civil Rights Act of 1964

Cuban Missile Crisis

Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

March on Washington

Twenty-fourth Amendment

Voting Rights Act

Operation Rolling Thunder

Pueblo Incident

Tet Offensive


Peace Corps

Berlin Wall

Medicare and Medicaid

Watts Riot

IV. Discussion Questions:

Compare the personalities and backgrounds of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson

Assess President Kennedyís successes and failures in foreign policy.

Was Lyndon Johnson more effective in foreign or domestic policy? Why?

Trace U.S. involvement in Viet Nam from 1961 to 1986.

Trace the changes in the Civil Rights Movement from 1960 to 1968.

Account for the election of Richard Nixon in 1968.

Did John F. Kennedy promise more as a candidate than he delivered as President? Explain.

Explain the public fascination with John F. Kennedy while he was president and since his assassination. Has the Kennedy Presidency become more myth than reality in the collective memory of Americans?

"Americaís involvement in Vietnam presented a grisly demonstration of how the doctrine of flexible response contained lethal logic. AVOTS.

Why did the civil rights movement become more radical and violent as the 1960ís progressed? What changes occurred in the motives, assumptions, and leadership of the movement?

Assess Americaís role in Vietnam in the 1960ís. Consider:

Diemís Assassination.

The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

The Policy of gradual escalation

The bombing campaign.

Evaluate Kennedyís handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Was it worth the risk of nuclear war?

Evaluate Lyndon Johnsonís Great Society program. Were his goals realistic? Were they admirable? Why did it receive such heavy support in Congress?

Compare and contrast the presidential leadership of Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy. In what ways were they similar, and in what ways were they different? Should either be ranked among Americaís "ten best" Presidents?

"John F. Kennedy was acclaimed more for the ideals he had enunciated and the spirit he had kindled than for the concrete goals he had achieved. AVOTS.

Why was President Johnson more successful than President Kennedy in getting domestic reform legislation through Congress?

Even with his image as a loser, Richard M. Nixon was able to win the Presidential election of 1968. How was he able to do so? What issues and events worked to his advantage?

V. Practice Quizzes Online:


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