Monday, May 22, 2017

Historical Information on 1963

The year of 1963 was the most important year of the Kennedy Presidency. It represented a new era and the end of JFK’s longevity. On January 2, 1963, near the Mekong River, the Battle of Ap Bac started. In that battle, the South Vietnamese had more men, air support, and American advisors. Yet, South Vietnam lost that battle. This would convince many people that South Vietnam couldn’t win without American combat troops. It caused others to desire to end the war once and for all. On January 26, James Donovan was ready to return to America from Cuba. Donovan was approached by Castro physician Rene Vallejo. He told Donovan that Cuba was interested in talking about re-establishing relations with Washington. On May 6, 1963, the eighth Secretary/Defense meeting took place in Hawaii. McNamara was part of it. There were plans for withdrawal that Kennedy ordered the year before they were submitted. The Kennedy administration stated that schedules were too slow and must be speed up. On May 10, after direct intervention by the White House, there is an agreement in Birmingham which includes integration, hiring practices, and the creation of a committee on both matters. Yet, reform would be slow in Birmingham. President John F. Kennedy gave his historic American University commencement address on June 10, 1963. It has been called the peace speech. The speech wanted peace in the world, détente with Russia, and a better society. People in America and in the USSR praised the speech as great and powerful. On June 11, Governor George Wallace brought in 825 state troops to block the entry of two African American students to the University of Alabama. Kennedy nationalized the Alabama National Guard afterwards to remove Wallace from blocking the front door. The University of Alabama now is integrated. RFK inspired JFK to give another historic speech on civil rights.

On June 11, 1963, President John F. Kennedy gave a speech where he advocated for equality and civil rights. He wants a civil rights bill to be passed by Congress. This was the most direct Presidential civil rights speech in a long time. Dr. King sent JFK a telegram to praise the speech. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. always wanted JFK to be more militant in advocating for civil rights and Kennedy changed to be more progressive by 1963. President John F. Kennedy sent his Civil Rights bill of 1963 to Congress on June 19. It would be a powerful bill and the first of its kind since 1875. Also, on June 11, 1963, the press reported on how Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc set himself on fire in Saigon. This was a protest against the regime of President Ngo Dinh Diem persecuting Buddhists based on their religion (and Diem’s anti-democratic policies in general). The sister in law of Diem, Madam Nhu, disrespected this event by calling it a “barbecue” and wanted volunteers to supply the gasoline for the next self-immolation. On July 1, 1963, President Kennedy visited Italy. He back l’apertura, which was an attempt to move the socialist party into the ruling Christian Democrats. In this act, JFK supported the socialist Party of Italy. This angered the media publisher Henry Luce and CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton. On July 17, 1963, President John F. Kennedy tells the press that he will be supporting Dr. Martin Luther King’s March on Washington. He is the first President to support such a historic march in public. He assigned Bobby Kennedy to supervise. The problem was that JFK censored any speech in the march that criticized him and many of his plans tried to sugarcoat the powerful militancy of SNCC (which was involved in the March along with countless civil rights leaders and activists. The March was the dream of A. Philip Randolph being fulfilled finally).

On August 5, 1963, Russia and America signed the Limited Atomic Test Ban Treaty in Moscow. Kennedy helped to get it passed by the Senate in a vote of 80-19 on September 23. The treaty was one of the greatest accomplishments of the Kennedy administration. On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his eloquent, powerful “I Have a Dream” speech in the March on Washington. It was a speech that not only had hope for justice, but it criticized the current state of injustices that black Americans experienced. It was critical of the current political situation state wide and nationally and it desired a change.  Dr. King, in his speech, criticized racism, segregation, police brutality, and economic oppression. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wanted all people to be free. Kennedy praised the speech. On September 20, Kennedy visited the United Nations to urge them to not abandon Congo. He convinced the UN to extend the peacekeeping mission for one year. On September 23, Kennedy asked for a cooperative venture to the moon with the USSR. This was part of the movement towards détente. On September 25, 1963, Kennedy’s tax cut bill passed the House under the Ways and Means Committee Chairman Wilbur Mills. In 1965, it will cut unemployment by 17% and boost GNP by over 20%. Yet, the capital improvements part is foregone. On October 1, in Hawaii, Kennedy substituted his own trip report (written in Washington) for McNamara and General Taylor’s report. He wanted to be sure that it forms the basis for his withdrawal plan. On October 4, Kennedy suspended diplomatic relations with the Dominican Republic until the military restore elected president Juan Bosch to power. On October 11, Kennedy approved of NSAM 263. This started his withdrawal plan with the removal of a thousand men from Vietnam by the end of 1963. On October 21, the Senate passed Kennedy’s Aid to Higher Education Act. This was the first education bill since 1945. LBJ would sign it on December 16, 1963. October 24, 1963 is the time when Kennedy met with journalist Jean Daniel before his trip to Cuba. JFK gives a long message to him to deliver to Castro. It is about the upcoming resumption of relations.

On October 31, and due to a tip by an informant named “Lee,” the Secret Service foiled an attempt to kill Kennedy in Chicago. Kennedy’s November 2 appearance is cancelled. On November 1, 1963, South Vietnamese generals, led by "Big Minh", overthrew the Diem government, arresting and then killing Diem and Nhu (they died on November 2, 1963). Kennedy was shocked by the deaths. He found out afterwards that Minh had asked the CIA field office to secure safe-passage out of the country for Diem and Nhu, but was told that 24 hours were needed to procure a plane. Minh responded that he could not hold them that long. This was a turning point in the Vietnam War. By this time, 16,000 American troop “advisors” were in Vietnam. Those involved in the coup were South Vietnamese generals who opposed Diem. Conein and Lodge had sided with the generals (from South Vietnam who opposed Diem). There is no evidence that John F. Kennedy directly ordered the coup personally against Diem. He did approve of Cable 243 (the Kennedy administration was split into those who supported the coup and opposed it), but he never ordered the murder of Diem and his brother. Kennedy according to sources suspects that Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge was involved in their deaths. He wanted to recall Lodge to Washington to fire him. Yet, John F. Kennedy was as assassinated in November 22, 1963.  Before leaving for Dallas, Kennedy told Michael Forrestal that "after the first of the year ... [he wanted] an in depth study of every possible option, including how to get out of there ... to review this whole thing from the bottom to the top." Just before his assassination, on November 18, JFK finalized a trip to Jakarta for 1964 to bolster the nationalist Sukarno and stop a confrontation with Malaysia. Soon, Kennedy was assassinated and the world mourns. The nation changed. LBJ is the new President and he takes a more militaristic tone involving the Vietnam War. After Kennedy's assassination, President Johnson passed NSAM 273 on November 26, 1963. It reversed Kennedy's decision to withdraw 1,000 troops, and reaffirmed the policy of assistance to the South Vietnamese. Jack Ruby killed Lee Harvey Oswald on national television on November 24, 1963. LBJ would support the Warren Commission Report (with members in it among those JFK fired or were members of Congress). John F. Kennedy lived a very short life, but his life has been discussed for a long time. President John F. Kennedy represented the idealism of what America could be and he expressed that idealism with his eloquent speeches. After the 100 years after his birth, we live in a new generation which seeks justice, true equality, and tranquility for the human race.

I could never be a libertarian because of many reasons. Libertarianism is about the near deification of the individual without much concern about collective power. It readily ignores human solidarity and it abhors government (even legitimate government to help the sick, the poor, the minorities, the elderly, women, and other human beings). Government should be by, of, and for the people (not dominated by corporate interests). The invisible free market is a myth, which has never existed in human history. Some people confuse bad government with legitimate government. We want legitimate government to promote the general welfare not bad government that represents oligarchical interests. Real government should fight against evil too. For example, the federal government was used to end Jim Crow and promote civil rights, labor rights, and voting rights. We desire justice and true justice is always bounded by integrity, character, and just treatment. Justice is about love for love and justice go together. That is why I believe in altruism, social justice, and human solidarity. If someone wants change, then that person must be humble and enact that change. We have the right to question, to show self-expression, and to defend our human rights. I also like to send great thanks for the great people here who show information about history, consciousness, Africa, fitness, exercise, spirituality, and other important issues. I also want to thank those who are gifted to show humor as humor is important to increase the inquisitive nature of our beings. So, we are all in this together as Brothers and Sisters. Love is more than an emotion. It's a feeling of warmth. It's a feeling of joy when there is tranquility, authentic communication, and honesty to do things out of a sincere motivation. A lot of people are searching for love. Some are blessed to find it. It takes patience to find real love, because love readily incorporates pristine sacrifice and a determination to develop that sense of peace that surpasses understanding. So, I do believe in love as I believe in promoting happiness in life.

By Timothy

No comments: