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Unit_13: 1960-1974

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The Big Picture:

The U.S. emerged from WWII and into the Cold War. Meanwhile African-Americans were ready to wage a war of their own against discrimination and for their rights guaranteed in the Constitution.  The Civil Rights movement included numerous successes and a diversity of leaders, including Jackie Robinson’s integration of professional baseball, nonviolent protest of Martin Luther King, Jr., the radical actions of Malcolm X. The presidencies of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson brought incredible changes for Americas in the 1960s. Major civil rights laws were passed, new government programs expanded welfare and social safety nets to disadvantaged citizens, new foreign policy events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis heighted Cold War tensions and anxieties. In 1965, the United States began sending military troops to support the democratic government of South Vietnam.  With casualties mounting on the battlefront and increasing deployment of Americans to Asia, the Vietnam conflict sparked to anti-war protest in America. In addition, numerous groups of Americans demanded equality, including young people, African Americans, women, Mexican-Americans, and people accused of crimes. Conservative Americans reacted to the counter-culture protests by electing Richard Nixon into office in 1968. Despite great success in foreign policy, Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate scandal led to widespread distrust of the government.