Herblock Looks at 1962: Fifty Years Ago in Editorial Cartoons, Part II
In 1962, the second year of his presidency, John F. Kennedy (1917–1963) used his executive authority to impose economic and social change in the United States. He fought resistance from both Congress and the American people and moved forward with his program, called the “New Frontier,” to eradicate poverty, inequality, and prejudice. His administration successfully enforced desegregation at the University of Mississippi. It mandated that American industry benefit the American people. Kennedy persuaded Congress to stimulate the stagnant economy by ordering tax cuts. He also sided publicly with the Supreme Court ruling against school prayer.
Today, John F. Kennedy is often portrayed as a heroic president, but fifty years ago many Americans resisted his new policies. The 1962 mid-term election served as a referendum on Kennedy’s New Frontier program, with record numbers of African Americans enrolled as voters. Their support permitted the Democratic Party to hold sway in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Despite the promise of change, Herblock remained cynical about politicians and the backroom negotiations that went into running for office.
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