How the JFK Assassination Changed American Politics

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The assassination of John F. Kennedy wasn't the first attempt of its kind. Like its predecessors, this unsolved political murder made the people stop and mourn the loss of a great leader. It also led to many changes in the following years. Click here for JFK assassination archives.

Below is an overview of how the assassination revolutionized American politics.

The Civil Rights Act Was Passed Earlier

After President Lyndon B. Johnson took office in 1964, he and his allies got the Civil Rights Act—one of his predecessor's agendas and his campaign pledge—passed. While Kennedy prevented segregation bills from being passed, he faced strong opposition and resistance regarding American civil rights in Congress.

However, despite all the pressure and resistance, he was determined to propose his bill in 1964. After his death, the baton passed to his brother Bobby Kennedy, who was equally determined to see it through. While the bill was always meant to be tabled in 1964, his assassination certainly escalated its passing.

The Cold War Got a New Life

Kennedy gained public favor after the way he resolved the Cuban Missile Crisis by having back-door discussions with Nikita Khrushchev through trusted third parties. Just when the US and Russia were on the verge of a full-scale war, Kennedy extended a well-received deal to the then-Russian premiere.

Unfortunately, Kennedy's assassination happened at the height of the Cold War. Russia restored its aggressive, hardline stance against the US after Presidents Lyndon, Nixon, Ford, and Carter took office, and the Cold War continued to rage on until the fall of the Berlin Wall. Thus, the JFK assassination lengthened the Cold War.

Cold War

More Lives Lost in the Vietnam War

Kennedy wanted to send advisors instead of troops to Vietnam, as evidenced by the disclosed planning documents dated two days before his death. His previous resolution patterns during the Cuban Missile Crisis and Bay of Pigs Invasion made it clear that he preferred diplomatic solutions to military interventions. Koji Masutani's2009 movie, Vietnam If Kennedy Had Livedsupports this idea.

When Johnson took office, he manipulated Congress to approve a disastrous resolution that allowed him to infiltrate Vietnam by sending thousands of troops. In the end, the Johnson and Nixon administrations supported a war that lasted tenodd years and killed 58,220 American troops and more than a million Vietnamese people.

The Civil Rights Act wasn't the only good thing to come out of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, nor were the Vietnam and Cold Wars the only consequences of his death. Learn more about the years following his death at Kennedys and King. Please support our cause, help us learn the truth behind the political assassinations of the 1960s, and be the first to discover newly disclosed documents related to the JFK assassination.

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