Not the “New Frontier” they intended. JFK was no dove. He was no peacenik. The legacy of his administration is greatly muddled in the public mind I think, by his tragic assassination. It was JFK and “Mac” the knife, who ushered in “the greatest arms race in history” according t o Ambrose.
Really? The nuclear weapons race between the USSR and the USA? It wasn’t the Republicans? It wasn’t Nixon or Reagan, or affable old Ike? Nope. Not according to Ambrose. The arms race, which produced the ability to destroy our world many times over, though maybe exacerbated by Nixon and Reagan, started with Kennedy.
“13 days” is a great film about the Cuban Missile Crisis that I used to show my tenth graders. Well worth watching and good extra credit for this unit. Get a handle on JFK and his administration’s stance vis-a-vis Cuba and you’re in the hunt for a solid quiz score.