The August 28, 1963, march on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was attended by more than 250,000 people.
Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech was hosted by the march.
It was the largest protest ever held in the nation's capital.
The following decade gave a striking contrast to those who thought the fifties were dull.
The 1960s were a time of social turbulence, liberal activism, tragic assassinations, cultural conflict, and youth rebellion.
John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy were killed by assassins.
The politics of expectation shone brightly in John Kennedy's short tenure as president, despite the fact that he did not die with him.
His commitment to improving America's quality of life was given new meaning by his successor, Texan Lyndon B. Johnson, whose war on poverty and Great Society programs stripped Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal in their scope and promises.
Civil rights for people of color, equality for women, gay and lesbian rights, medical insurance, federal aid to the poor, and many other social issues had been ignored or put off for decades because of Johnson's energy and legislative savvy.
Johnson promised too much.
The Great Society fell victim to unrealistic hopes, poor execution, and the nation's involvement in Vietnam.
The nation entered the longest, most controversial, and least successful war in its history because of the deeply entrenched assumptions of the cold war.
Kennedy and his staff believed Americans had always been eager to conquer and exploit new frontiers, so they used the frontier metaphor as the label for their proposed domestic program.
Kennedy promised to be more aggressive in the cold war with the Soviet Union than Eisenhower was.
Nixon and Kennedy were both candidates in the 1960 presidential election.
Both were elected to Congress in 1946, and both preferred foreign affairs over domestic issues.
They were not the same.
Eisenhower had bad things to say about Nixon, who was his vice president for two terms.
The two Republican leaders had a difficult relationship.
Eisenhower wanted to dump Nixon in favor of other Republicans who he respected.
Nixon was the son of a shopkeeper.
He had fought his entire life to be a success, first as an attorney and then as a congressman.
He came to Washington to reverse the tide of New Deal liberalism.
During the McCarthy hysteria, his visibility rose when he led the anti- Communist hearings in Congress.
One of the most plicated political figures in American history was Nixon.
By 1960, he was known as "Tricky Dick," a cunning deceiver who hid his real ideas.
Kennedy told an aide that Nixon doesn't know who he is.
Nixon's decision to debate his opponent backfired.
Kennedy did not distinguish himself in the House or the Senate.
He was handsome, articulate, and blessed with youthful energy and wit.
Kennedy had a smile that lit up the room.
Cool and analytical, he was a political celebrity.
Kennedy had a bright mind, a Harvard education, a record of heroism in the Second World War, a rich and powerful Roman Catholic family, and a beautiful and accom plished young wife.
Kennedy's combination of the best qualities of Elvis Presley and Franklin D. Roosevelt played well in the first televised presidential debate.
70 million people watched the debate.
Nixon looked pale and haggard, and a number of viewers described him as menacing.
Kennedy looked tanned and confident, he was a New Frontier and a Great Society.
He made himself appear qualified for the nation's highest office by giving crisp answers.
His approval ratings went up the morning after the debate.
The elder Kennedy paid talented writers to produce his son's books, paid a pub lisher to print them, and helped engineer his son's elections to the House and Senate.
John Kennedy traveled 65,000 miles and made more than 350 speeches.
Kennedy was tired of reading about what Soviet and Cuban leaders were doing.
He wanted to know what the U.S. president was doing.
Although Kennedy worked to increase voter registration among African Americans, his response to the civil rights movement was ambiva lent.
Kennedy was similar to Eisenhower in his belief that racial unrest needed to be handled with caution.
He thought racial justice was more of a potential barrier to his election than an urgent moral crusade.
He needed the votes of southern whites to win the presidency.
Kennedy won the hearts of many black voters by helping to get Martin Luther King Jr. discharged from a Georgia prison after he was convicted of being in an all- white restaurant in a down town department store.
King's father changed his opinion on the election after Kennedy's efforts.
Reverend King said he expected to vote against Kennedy because of his religion.
Kennedy and Johnson won one of the closest presidential elections in history.
Kennedy captured 70 percent of the black vote, which was decisive in at least three key states.
Nixon thought the Democrats had stolen the election in Illinois and Texas, but the recount confirmed Kennedy's victory.
The first Roman Catholic elected president was John F. Kennedy.
He seemed to be self-assured at times.
He didn't mind that he had been elected by the narrowest of margins and didn't have a working major in Congress.
He thought he would be a great president.
Kennedy's inauguration ceremony on a cold, sunny, blustery January day introduced the nation to his distinctive elegance and flair.
He focused on foreign affairs in his speech.
Kennedy said that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans, who were born in this century, with war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace.
The presidency of fresh promise and new beginnings was heralded by such steely optimism.
Much of the glamour surrounding Kennedy was not real.
He suffered from serious medical problems, including a withering of the adrenal glands, venereal disease, and chronic back pain.
Powerful prescrip tion medicines or injections were taken daily to manage a bone disease, to deal with anxiety, and to control his allergies.
Marilyn Monroe, the girlfriend of a Chicago mob boss, was one of the women Kennedy had sex with in the White House.
There was a new wave of political figures who fought in the Second World War.
In the face of the cold war and the threat of nuclear conflict, they were known as the "pragmatic generation".
Kennedy often complained about "academics" who criticized statesmen without exercising responsibility themselves.
He and others in the White House couldn't afford to be professors.
Robert Kennedy was appointed as an attorney even though he had never tried a case or practiced law.
The Kennedys were instant celebrities.
Men admired JFK's youthful energy while women mimicked the First Lady's famous hairdo.
President Kennedy's New Frontier domestic program was not easy to launch.
Efforts to increase federal aid to education, medical insurance for the aged, and establish a cabinet- level department of urban affairs and housing were blocked by conservatives.
Kennedy submitted 355 legislative requests in his first year, but Congress only approved half of them.
The minimum wage was increased, the Housing Act earmarked nearly $5 billion for new public- housing projects in poverty- stricken inner- city areas, and the Peace Corps recruited idealistic young volunteers who would provide educational and technical service abroad.
Men will be paid the same as women in 1960-1968 jobs.
Efforts to provide more assistance for educational programs and medical care for the elderly never got out of committees.
Kennedy's greatest legislative success was caused by the news that the Soviets had launched the first manned space flight.
He convinced congress to commit 40 billion dollars to put an American on the moon.
Civil rights were the most important developments during the sixties.
In the South, racial segregation was still in place.
African Americans were not allowed to try on clothes before buying them.
President Kennedy did not promote racial equality until he was forced to do so.
Kennedy was reluctant to anger conservative southern Democrats because he knew that challenging the segregation was a political issue.
He and his brother had to support the civil rights movement.
After appointing Harris Wofford, a white law professor and campaigner for racial equality, as the special assistant for civil rights, President Kennedy told him to make substantial headway against.
Kennedy had a great skill but no moral passion about the need to end racial injustice according to Martin Luther King Jr.
Kennedy performed poorly in foreign rela tions.
Although he told a reporter that he wanted to break out of the confines of the cold war, he quickly found himself reinforcing its ideological assumptions.
Soon after his inauguration, Kennedy learned that Eisenhower had approved a secret CIA operation to train some 1,400 anti- Castro Cubans to invade their homeland in hopes of triggering a mass uprising against Castro.
Kennedy was reassured by the U.S. military leaders that the plan to invade Trinidad was doable, but the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff did not think that the news of the invasion would encourage Cubans to rebel.
The plan was endorsed by the Secretary of Defense, National Security advisor, and the new president.
The covert operation was a total failure.
Its assumptions were flawed, its strategy was faulty, and its tactics were bungled.
Castro had 20,000 soldiers waiting for him.
After the failed invasion of the Bay of Pigs, anti-Castro Cubans were captured.
A New Frontier and a Great Society 1960-1968 was failing and he refused pleas from the rebels for support from U.S. war planes that Kennedy had promised.
Kennedy pulled out the rug on the Cuban invaders, according to General Lemnitzer.
More than 1,200 invaders were killed and captured.
Kennedy and Castro were elevated in the eyes of the world.
The planners assumed that he would commit American forces if the invasion effort failed.
The Bay of Pigs fiasco was discussed by Kennedy and Eisenhower.
In reference to the failed invasion, Eisenhower told Kennedy that there was only one thing to do.
After the Bay of Pigs invasion, President Kennedy met Khrushchev at a summit conference.
Kennedy was badgered by Khrushchev, who bragged about communism and threatened to take control of Berlin.
Kennedy told a journalist that the summit was terrible.
He thinks I'm weak and rolled over me.
Kennedy asked for an estimate of how many Americans would be killed in a nuclear war with the Soviet Union.
70 million was the answer that was chilling.
In the face of Khrushchev's aggressive actions in Germany, Kennedy asked Congress for additional spending on defense and called up 156,000 members of the Army Reserve and National Guard.
Two people climb the Berlin Wall to talk with a family member.
He declared that "West Berlin" has become.
On August 13, 1961, the Soviets responded.
The wall was used as a propaganda weapon in the cold war.
The Berlin Wall showed the willingness of the Soviets to challenge the resolve of Europe.
Kennedy gave a televised address to alert the nation to the significance of the Berlin crisis.
The Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara embarked upon the most intensive arms race in history.
The number of nuclear missiles was increased fivefold and 300,000 troops were added to the armed forces.
They launched a civil defense program focused on the construction of nuclear shelters.
They commissioned an analysis of the implications of launching a full- scale nuclear strike against the Soviet Union in response to any attempt to invade West Berlin.
Nikita Khrushchev and the Soviets decided to challenge Kennedy again.
Khrushchev wanted to show that he was not afraid of the Americans and so he approved the deployment of Soviet missiles in Cuba.
Kennedy ordered the installation of missiles in Turkey along the Soviet border after the Bay of Pigs invasion.
On October 16, 1962, Kennedy learned that photos taken by U.S. spy planes showed some forty Soviet missile sites and twenty- five jet bombers in Cuba.
He told Bobby by phone about the trouble.
The president had to convince the Soviets to remove their missiles.
Kennedy was told by the air force chief of staff that he was in a bad fix.
Kennedy and the NSC considered several possible responses over the next thirteen days.
The NSC discussed the possibility of a nuclear exchange with the Soviets.
The NSC had two options: a "surgical" air strike on the missiles, followed by an invasion, or a naval blockade of Cuba in which U.S. warships would stop Soviet vessels and search them for missiles.