Exam preparation materials


Rapid Review Guide

To achieve the perfect 5, you should be able to explain the following:

• The events that dramatically altered America including protests and cultural rebellion in the 1960s are seen by some in a positive light and others in a negative light.

• John Kennedy projected a new image of presidential leadership, although few of his domestic programs were actually passed by Congress.

• The Cuban Missile Crisis was the critical foreign policy crisis of the Kennedy administration, and may have brought the world close to world war.

• After Kennedy’s death Lyndon Johnson was able to get Congress to pass his Great Society domestic programs, which included Head Start and Medicare.

• Nonviolence remained the major tactic of the civil rights movement throughout the 1960s, although some black leaders began to advocate “black power.”

• Women strove to achieve equal rights in the 1960s through the National Organization for Women and consciousness-raising groups.

• Lyndon Johnson determined early in his presidency that an escalation in the war in Vietnam would be necessary, and more materials and men went to Vietnam from 1965-1968.

• The military in Vietnam was frustrated by the military tactics of the enemy and by faltering support at home.

• The Tet Offensive did much to turn American public opinion against the war.

• Student protesters held increasingly large demonstrations against the war; SDS was the main organization of student activists.

• Members of the counterculture advocated a personal and not a political rebellion in this era.

• Richard Nixon removed American troops from Vietnam through the policy of Vietnamization; the South Vietnamese government fell two years after American troops departed.

Time Line

1960: John Kennedy elected president

Sit-ins beginning

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) formed

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) formed

1961: Freedom Rides

Bay of Pigs invasion

Construction of Berlin Wall

First American travels in space

1962: James Merideth enters University of Mississippi

SDS issues Port Huron Statement

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson published

Cuban Missile Crisis

The Other America by Michael Harrington published

1963: John Kennedy assassinated; Lyndon Johnson becomes president

Civil rights march on Washington

The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan published

President Diem ousted in South Vietnam

1964: Beginning of Johnson’s War on Poverty programs

Civil Rights Act enacted

Free Speech Movement at Berkeley begins

Tonkin Gulf Resolution

Johnson reelected

1965: Elementary and Secondary Education Act passed

Johnson sends more troops to Vietnam

Voting Rights Act passed

Murder of Malcolm X

Watts riots burn section of Los Angeles

1966: Stokely Carmichael calls for “black power”

Formation of Black Panther party

Formation of National Organization for Women (NOW)

1967: Riots in many American cities

Antiwar demonstrations intensify

1968: Martin Luther King assassinated

Robert Kennedy assassinated

Student protests at Columbia University

Battle between police and protesters at Democratic National Convention

Richard Nixon elected president

American Indian Movement (AIM) founded

Tet Offensive

My Lai Massacre

1969: Woodstock Music Festival

1970: United States invades Cambodia

Killings at Kent State, Jackson State

1971: Pentagon Papers published by the New York Times

1972: Nixon reelected

1973: Vietnam cease-fire announced; American troops leave Vietnam Roe v. Wade decision

1975: South Vietnam falls to North Vietnam, ending the Vietnam War

Review Questions

1. The initial fate of the Freedom Riders demonstrated that

A. Southerners had largely accepted Northern orders to integrate bus stations and other public facilities

B. state governments were at the forefront in the enforcement of civil rights laws

C. television news broadcasts had a powerful hold on the American public

D. by 1961 the federal government was committed to vigorously protecting the civil rights of all citizens

E. some Southern governors were beginning to moderate their positions

(Correct Answer: C. The images of burned buses and beaten freedom riders horrified many Americans. At this point neither the federal or state governments protected the rights of freedom riders.)

2, The Tet Offensive demonstrated that

A. American forces were fairly close to a decisive victory in Vietnam

B. military and civilian officials had been less than candid with the American people on the progress of the war

C. the Victcong could defeat American soldiers in the battlefield

D. cooperation between Americans and the South Vietnamese army was improving

E. despite much criticism, the policies of General Westmoreland were proving to be effective

(Correct Answer: B. The Tet Offensive was a military defeat for the Vietcong. However, it did prove that victory was not “around the corner,” which is what many military officials were publicly claiming.)

3. The membership rolls of Students for a Democratic Society were at an all-time high when

A. the struggles of the civil rights movement in the South were shown on national television

B. Nixon invaded Cambodia

C. Nixon intensified the bombing to its highest levels of the war in 1972

D. more young men were being sent to Vietnam between 1965 and 1967

E. the organization began to plan violent acts against the government

(Correct Answer: D. By the time of the invasion of Cambodia and the massive bombing at the end of the war, SDS had split into factions. The civil rights movement attracted a relatively small number of new members to SDS.)

4. Some Northern blacks were attracted to the call for “black power” for all of the following reasons except

A. Martin Luther King and others in the civil rights movement seemed more interested in improving the position of Southern blacks

B. ghetto sections of Northern cities remained poor, and many residents there felt little hope

C. Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael evoked powerful images of black pride

D. vast numbers of Northern blacks had joined the Nation of Islam

E. economic despair still gripped many blacks living in Northern cities

(Correct Answer: D. All of the other reasons caused some Northern blacks to abandon Martin Luther King’s call for integration. Only a small proportion of blacks ever joined the Nation of Islam.)

5. Highlights for feminist leaders of this era included all of the following except

A. the founding of Ms.

B. the formation of NOW

C. the drive for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment

D. the increased awareness of “women’s issues” in society

E. the publication of The Feminine Mystique

(Correct Answer: C. After a long struggle, the drive to get the ERA in the Constitution was finally abandoned when it became obvious that not enough state legislatures would ever pass it.)

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