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FOREIGN OFFICE FILES: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Series One: USA - Politics & Diplomacy, 1960-1974
(Public Record Office Class FO 371: American Department - United States)

Part 1: The John F Kennedy Years, 1960-1963

BRIEF CHRONOLOGY, 1960-1961

1960
January: John F Kennedy announces that he is standing for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. Richard M Nixon announces that he is a candidate for the Republican Party's presidential nomination.
February: Sit-in protests against segregated lunch counters in Greensboro, North Carolina.
May: An American U-2 spy-plane is shot down over the USSR, its pilot Gary Powers is captured.
Despite the opposition of a number of Southern Senators, Congress passes civil rights legislation to fight discrimination against black voters.
July: Kennedy wins Democratic presidential nomination at the party's National Convention in Los Angeles.
September: First of a series of televised debates between Kennedy and Nixon.
October: Three more debates between the two presidential candidates are broadcast.
November: John F Kennedy elected 35th president of the USA

1961
January: America severs diplomatic links with Cuba. Kennedy is inaugurated as President.
March: Peace Corps established by Kennedy. Macmillan meets President Kennedy to discuss Laotian crisis.
March: 23rd Amendment provides for Congressional representation for Washington. Alliance for Progress programme, to provide economic aid to Latin America, established by Kennedy.
Kennedy announces resumption of US atmospheric nuclear testing, 18 months after Soviets.
April: Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin completes first manned orbit of the Earth. Bay of Pigs invasion. Failure of the venture leads to CIA Director Allen Dulles' resignation.
May: Freedom Riders begin their campaign in Birmingham, Alabama. Kennedy visits France.
First US manned space flight undertaken by Commander Alan Shepard.
June: Kennedy and Khrushchev meet in Vienna and reaffirm their support for the neutrality of Laos.
Kennedy signs the Housing Act.
August: First meeting of Alliance for Progress in Uruguay. East German authorities close the border with the West, and build the Berlin Wall.
September: US begins underground nuclear testing.
October: USSR conducts atmospheric nuclear tests.
December: Kennedy tours Colombia, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Kennedy meets Macmillan in Bermuda.

1962
February: Gary Powers released by Soviet Union. John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the Earth. Kennedy meets the Mayor of West Berlin, Willy Brandt.
March: Kennedy announces plans for the resumption of US atmospheric nuclear tests.
May: Kennedy sends American forces to help combat communist gains in Laos.
June: Kennedy travels to Mexico.
July: Telstar communications satellite launched.
September: Serious rioting breaks out when James Meredith becomes the first non-white student to enrol in the University of Mississippi.
October: Trade Expansion Act signed by Kennedy. US spy planes discover Soviet missile sites on Cuba. Kennedy orders naval blockade of Cuba; Soviet ships withdraw after US agrees not to attack Cuba.
November: US lifts naval quarantine of Cuba.
December: Kennedy and Macmillan meet in the Bahamas.

1963
April: Martin Luther King arrested in Birmingham, Alabama.
June: Idea of a 'hot line' between the White House and the Kremlin agreed upon. Kennedy visits Germany, Britain, Ireland and Italy.
August: US, USSR and UK agree to a nuclear test ban treaty. Martin Luther King leads civil rights march on Washington. American-Soviet 'hot line' established.
September: 4 children killed when a bomb explodes in a Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama; in the ensuing riots two further civil rights protesters are killed.
October: US Senate ratifies test ban treaty.
November: South Vietnamese generals seize power, President Diem killed. Kennedy assassinated in Dallas, Texas; Lyndon Johnson is sworn in as President. Lee Harvey Oswald, Kennedy's alleged assassin, is shot by Jack Ruby. Kennedy buried in Arlington National Cemetery. President Johnson establishes the Warren Commission to investigate Kennedy's assassination.

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