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3 Oct 2014
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This Sceptred Isle

The Bay of Pigs and the Building of the Berlin Wall
In June 1961, the new American President, John F Kennedy met Nikita Khrushchev of the Soviet Union. Khrushchev was contemptuous of Kennedy. Kennedy had authorised the invasion of Cuba, was putting troops and weapons into Laos and Vietnam, had carried out bigger nuclear tests than ever before, had signed an agreement with Britain to base American Polaris missile submarines in Scotland - a nuclear stone's throw from the Soviet Union - and was encouraging the rearming and modernising of the West German army. The Germans were long-time Russian enemies and feared in Moscow more than the Americans were. The meeting came to nothing and on August 13th 1961 the East Germans closed the Berlin checkpoint. On August 17th, the best the Americans, the British and the French could do was send protest notes to Moscow calling for an end to restrictions in Berlin. The Russian response was simple. They started to built the Berlin Wall.

Jack Kennedy
Jack Kennedy

  • Known as Jack
  • The first Roman Catholic President of the United States (his inauguration was January 1961)
  • The youngest man to be elected to the White House
  • Assassinated in Dallas in 1963
  • Married Jackie Onassis.
  • His younger brother, Robert became Attorney General, he too was assassinated (June 1968)
  • Did not manage any great legislative programme
  • Allowed the CIA inspired Bay of Pigs, an attempt to overthrow Castro in Cuba, fiasco to go ahead

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1957 Macmillan becomes Tory Prime Minister
Treaty of Rome
1958 The EEC begins
Life Peerages Act is passed
1959 Oil is discovered in the North Sea
The Vietnam War begins
1960 Cyprus and Nigeria become independent
1961 South Africa leaves the Commonwealth
1962 Cuban Missile Crisis
The National Economic Development Council is formed
1963 The Profumo Affair
Macmillan resigns due to ill-health
Douglas-Home becomes Prime Minister
JF Kennedy assassinated
1964 Labour win General Election. Harold Wilson Prime Minister
1965 Death of Winston Churchill dies
Sir Alec Douglas-Home resigns as leader of the Conservative Party and is succeeded by
Edward Heath
1966 Barclay's Bank introduces the first British credit card

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