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  • John F. Kennedy | president of United States | Britannica.com
    announced his presidential candidacy His chief rivals were the senators Hubert H Humphrey of Minnesota and Lyndon B Johnson of Texas Kennedy knocked Humphrey out of the campaign and dealt the religious taboo against Roman Catholics a blow by winning the primary in Protestant West Virginia He tackled the Catholic issue again by avowing his belief in the separation of church and state in a televised speech before a group of Protestant ministers in Houston Texas Nominated on the first ballot he balanced the Democratic ticket by choosing Johnson as his running mate In his acceptance speech Kennedy declared We stand today on the edge of a New Frontier Thereafter the phrase New Frontier was associated with his presidential programs Kennedy John F campaign button Americana Encyclopædia Britannica Inc Another phrase the Kennedy style encapsulated the candidate s emerging identity It was glamorous and elitist an amalgam of his father s wealth John Kennedy s charisma and easy wit Jacqueline Kennedy s beauty and fashion sense the suits and pillbox hats she wore became widely popular the charm of their children and relatives and the erudition of the Harvard advisers who surrounded him called the best and brightest by author David Halberstam Kennedy Nixon debates televised debate 1960 Stock footage courtesy The WPA Film Library Kennedy won the general election narrowly defeating the Republican candidate Vice President Richard M Nixon by a margin of less than 120 000 out of some 70 000 000 votes cast Many observers then and since believed vote fraud contributed to Kennedy s victory especially in the critical state of Illinois where Joe Kennedy enlisted the help of the ever powerful Richard J Daley mayor of Chicago Nixon had defended the Eisenhower record Kennedy whose slogan had been Let s get this country moving again had deplored unemployment the sluggish economy the so called missile gap a presumed Soviet superiority over the United States in the number of nuclear armed missiles and the new communist government in Havana A major factor in the campaign was a unique series of four televised debates between the two men an estimated 85 120 million Americans watched one or more of the debates Both men showed a firm grasp of the issues but Kennedy s poise in front of the camera his tony Harvard accent and his good looks in contrast to Nixon s five o clock shadow convinced many viewers that he had won the debate As president Kennedy continued to exploit the new medium sparkling in precedent setting televised weekly press conferences Kennedy John F inaugural address 1961 CWO Donald Mingfield U S Army Signal Corps John F Kennedy Presidential Library He was the youngest man and the first Roman Catholic ever elected to the presidency of the United States His administration lasted 1 037 days From the onset he was concerned with foreign affairs In his memorable inaugural address he called upon Americans to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle against the common enemies of man tyranny poverty disease and war itself He declared In the long history of the world only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger I do not shrink from this responsibility I welcome it The energy the faith the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it and the glow from that fire can truly light the world And so my fellow Americans ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country Brigade 2506 Three Lions Hulton Archive Getty Images The administration s first brush with foreign affairs was a disaster In the last year of the Eisenhower presidency the Central Intelligence Agency CIA had equipped and trained a brigade of anticommunist Cuban exiles for an invasion of their homeland The Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously advised the new president that this force once ashore would spark a general uprising against the Cuban leader Fidel Castro But the Bay of Pigs invasion was a fiasco every man on the beachhead was either killed or captured Kennedy assumed sole responsibility for the setback Privately he told his father that he would never again accept a Joint Chiefs recommendation without first challenging it Kennedy John F Cuban missile crisis The Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev thought he had taken the young president s measure when the two leaders met in Vienna in June 1961 Khrushchev ordered a wall built between East and West Berlin and threatened to sign a separate peace treaty with East Germany The president activated National Guard and reserve units and Khrushchev backed down on his separate peace threat Kennedy then made a dramatic visit to West Berlin where he told a cheering crowd Today in the world of freedom the proudest boast is Ich bin ein I am a Berliner In October 1962 a buildup of Soviet short and intermediate range nuclear missiles was discovered in Cuba Kennedy demanded that the missiles be dismantled he ordered a quarantine of Cuba in effect a blockade that would stop Soviet ships from reaching that island For 13 days nuclear war seemed near then the Soviet premier announced that the offensive weapons would be withdrawn See Cuban missile crisis Ten months later Kennedy scored his greatest foreign triumph when Khrushchev and Prime Minister Harold Macmillan of Great Britain joined him in signing the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Yet Kennedy s commitment to combat the spread of communism led him to escalate American involvement in the conflict in Vietnam where he sent not just supplies and financial assistance as President Eisenhower had but 15 000 military advisers as well Apollo program Kennedy John F Encyclopædia Britannica Inc Because of his slender victory in 1960 Kennedy approached Congress warily and with good reason Congress was largely indifferent to his legislative program It approved his Alliance for Progress Alianza in Latin America and his Peace Corps which won

    Original URL path: http://www.britannica.com/biography/John-F-Kennedy (2016-02-13)
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  • Alexander the Great | king of Macedonia | Britannica.com
    Macedonia born 356 bce Pella Macedonia northwest of Thessaloníki Greece died June 13 323 bce Babylon near Al Ḥillah Iraq king of Macedonia 336 323 bce who overthrew the Persian empire carried Macedonian arms to India and laid the foundations for the Hellenistic world of territorial kingdoms Already in his lifetime the subject of fabulous stories he later became the hero of a full scale legend bearing only the sketchiest

    Original URL path: http://www.britannica.com/biography/Alexander-the-Great (2016-02-13)
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  • Joseph Stalin | prime minister of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics | Britannica.com
    great purges Khrushchev s secret speech Khrushchev addresses the 20th Congress of the Communist Party 1956 AFP Getty Images In late 1934 just when the worst excesses of Stalinism seemed to have spent themselves the Secretary General launched a new campaign of political terror against the very Communist Party members who had brought him to power his pretext was the assassination in Leningrad on December 1 of his leading colleague and potential rival Sergey Kirov That Stalin himself had arranged Kirov s murder as an excuse for the promotion of mass bloodshed was strongly hinted by Nikita Khrushchev first secretary of the party in a speech denouncing Stalin at the 20th Party Congress in 1956 Stalin used the show trial of leading Communists as a means for expanding the new terror In August 1936 Zinovyev and Kamenev were paraded in court to repeat fabricated confessions sentenced to death and shot two more major trials followed in January 1937 and March 1938 In June 1937 Marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky at the time the most influential military personality and other leading generals were reported as court martialed on charges of treason and executed Such were the main publicly acknowledged persecutions that empowered Stalin to tame the Soviet Communist Party and the Soviet elite as a whole He not only liquidated veteran semi independent Bolsheviks but also many party bosses military leaders industrial managers and high government officials totally subservient to himself Other victims included foreign Communists on Soviet territory and members of the very political police organization now called the NKVD All other sections of the Soviet elite the arts the academic world the legal and diplomatic professions also lost a high proportion of victims as did the population at large to a semi haphazard galloping persecution that fed on extorted denunciations and confessions These implicated even more victims until Stalin himself reduced the terror though he never abandoned it Stalin s political victims were numbered in tens of millions His main motive was presumably to maximize his personal power Role in World War II Yalta Conference Churchill Roosevelt and Stalin Army Signal Corps Collection National Archives Washington D C During World War II Stalin emerged after an unpromising start as the most successful of the supreme leaders thrown up by the belligerent nations In August 1939 after first attempting to form an anti Hitler alliance with the Western powers he concluded a pact with Hitler which encouraged the German dictator to attack Poland and begin World War II Anxious to strengthen his western frontiers while his new but palpably treacherous German ally was still engaged in the West Stalin annexed eastern Poland Estonia Latvia Lithuania and parts of Romania he also attacked Finland and extorted territorial concessions In May 1941 Stalin recognized the growing danger of German attack on the Soviet Union by appointing himself chairman of the Council of People s Commissars head of the government it was his first governmental office since 1923 Barbarossa Operation Encyclopædia Britannica Inc Stalin s prewar defensive measures were exposed as incompetent by the German blitzkrieg that surged deep into Soviet territory after Hitler s unprovoked attack on the Soviet Union of June 22 1941 Khrushchev claimed that Stalin was shocked into temporary inactivity by the onslaught but if so he soon rallied and appointed himself supreme commander in chief When the Germans menaced Moscow in the winter of 1941 he remained in the threatened capital helping to organize a great counter offensive The Battle of Stalingrad in the following winter and the Battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943 were also won by the Soviet Army under Stalin s supreme direction turning the tide of invasion against the retreating Germans who capitulated in May 1945 As war leader Stalin maintained close personal control over the Soviet battlefronts military reserves and war economy At first over inclined to intervene with inept telephoned instructions as Hitler did the Soviet generalissimo gradually learned to delegate military decisions Tehrān Conference Encyclopædia Britannica Inc Stalin participated in high level Allied meetings including those of the Big Three with Churchill and Roosevelt at Tehrān 1943 Yalta 1945 and Potsdam 1945 A formidable negotiator he outwitted these foreign statesmen his superior skill has been acclaimed by Anthony Eden then British foreign secretary Last years Stalinism Stock footage courtesy The WPA Film Library After the war Stalin imposed on eastern Europe a new kind of colonial control based on native Communist regimes nominally independent but in fact subservient to himself He thus increased the number of his subjects by about a hundred million But in 1948 the defection of Titoist Yugoslavia from the Soviet camp struck a severe blow to world Communism as a Stalin dominated monolith To prevent other client states from following Tito s example Stalin instigated local show trials manipulated like those of the Great Purge of the 1930s in Russia in which satellite Communist leaders confessed to Titoism many being executed Far from continuing his wartime alliance with the United States and Great Britain Stalin now regarded these countries and especially the United States as the arch enemies that he needed after Hitler s death At home the primacy of Marxist ideology was harshly reasserted Stalin s chief ideological hatchet man Andrey Zhdanov a secretary of the Central Committee began a reign of terror in the Soviet artistic and intellectual world foreign achievements were derided and the primacy of Russians as inventors and pioneers in practically every field was asserted Hopes for domestic relaxation widely aroused in the Soviet Union during the war were thus sadly disappointed Increasingly suspicious and paranoid in his later years Stalin ordered the arrest announced in January 1953 of certain mostly Jewish Kremlin doctors on charges of medically murdering various Soviet leaders including Zhdanov The dictator was evidently preparing to make this Doctors Plot the pretext for yet another great terror menacing all his senior associates but he died suddenly on March 5 according to the official report so convenient was this

    Original URL path: http://www.britannica.com/biography/Joseph-Stalin (2016-02-13)
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  • Richard Nixon | president of United States | Britannica.com
    U S died April 22 1994 New York New York 37th president of the United States 1969 74 who faced with almost certain impeachment for his role in the Watergate scandal became the first American president to resign from office He was also vice president 1953 61 under Pres Dwight D Eisenhower For a discussion of the history and nature of the presidency see presidency of the United States of

    Original URL path: http://www.britannica.com/biography/Richard-Nixon (2016-02-13)
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  • Vladimir Ilich Lenin | prime minister of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics | Britannica.com
    Ilich Lenin original name Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov born April 10 April 22 New Style 1870 Simbirsk Russia died January 21 1924 Gorki later Gorki Leninskiye near Moscow founder of the Russian Communist Party Bolsheviks inspirer and leader of the Bolshevik Revolution 1917 and the architect builder and first head 1917 24 of the Soviet state He was the founder of the organization known as Comintern Communist International and the posthumous

    Original URL path: http://www.britannica.com/biography/Vladimir-Ilich-Lenin (2016-02-13)
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  • Exploring Korea and China: Fact or Fiction Quiz | Britannica.com
    you re done try again to beat your best score vm state secondsLeft fixedLength 2 QUESTION vm state currentQuestion 1 of vm questions length Timer Score vm state score Exploring Korea and China Fact or Fiction vm state secondsLeft fixedLength 2 QUESTION vm state currentQuestion 1 of vm questions length Timer Score vm state score Exploring Korea and China Fact or Fiction 0 vm state nextLabel Quiz Results Exploring Korea and China Fact or Fiction vm state numberCorrect vm questions length correct vm state score vm maxPoints points Replay Share your score Log in to save your score History Texas Revolution Sports Recreation Bull s eye Sports Society Structures of Government Fact or Fiction Health Medicine Characteristics of the Human Body Animals Butterflies and Moths Fact or Fiction Are you a Quizmaster Log in to save your score and compete against the community Compare your score Max Score vm maxPoints New Best Score vm state score vm communityAverage number 0 Your Score Community Average High scores Your results vm state responsesVisible Hide Show Answers Questions Correct vm state numberCorrect vm questions length Total Score vm state score vm maxPoints Question Question index 1 Your Answer No response vm state responses

    Original URL path: http://www.britannica.com/quiz/exploring-korea-and-china-fact-or-fiction (2016-02-13)
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  • USA Facts Quiz | Britannica.com
    score When you re done try again to beat your best score vm state secondsLeft fixedLength 2 QUESTION vm state currentQuestion 1 of vm questions length Timer Score vm state score USA Facts vm state secondsLeft fixedLength 2 QUESTION vm state currentQuestion 1 of vm questions length Timer Score vm state score USA Facts 0 vm state nextLabel Quiz Results USA Facts vm state numberCorrect vm questions length correct vm state score vm maxPoints points Replay Share your score Log in to save your score History Warfare Fact or Fiction Society Nobel Prize Geography Exploring Chile Fact or Fiction Science Precious Metals and Stones Fact or Fiction Technology Acoustics and Radio Technology Fact or Fiction Are you a Quizmaster Log in to save your score and compete against the community Compare your score Max Score vm maxPoints New Best Score vm state score vm communityAverage number 0 Your Score Community Average High scores Your results vm state responsesVisible Hide Show Answers Questions Correct vm state numberCorrect vm questions length Total Score vm state score vm maxPoints Question Question index 1 Your Answer No response vm state responses index isCorrect Your Correct Answer Back to Top Pop Culture Titanic The Movie

    Original URL path: http://www.britannica.com/quiz/usa-facts (2016-02-13)
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  • 8 Philosophical Puzzles and Paradoxes | Britannica.com
    equally good alternatives the will is otherwise compelled to choose what appears to be the best Imagine a hungry donkey who is placed between two equidistant and identical bales of hay Assume that the surrounding environments on both sides are also identical The donkey cannot choose between the two bales and so dies of hunger which is absurd The paradox was later thought to constitute a counterexample to Leibniz s principle of sufficient reason one version of which states that there is an explanation in the sense of a reason or cause for every contingent event Whether the donkey chooses one bale or the other is a contingent event but there is apparently no reason or cause to determine the donkey s choice Yet the donkey will not starve Leibniz for what it is worth vehemently rejected the paradox claiming that it was unrealistic 4 The surprise test Will Deni McIntyre Corbis A teacher announces to her class that there will be a surprise test sometime during the following week The students begin to speculate about when it might occur until one of them announces that there is no reason to worry because a surprise test is impossible The test cannot be given on Friday she says because by the end of the day on Thursday we would know that the test must be given the next day Nor can the test be given on Thursday she continues because given that we know that the test cannot be given on Friday by the end of the day on Wednesday we would know that the test must be given the next day And likewise for Wednesday Tuesday and Monday The students spend a restful weekend not studying for the test and they are all surprised when it is given on Wednesday How could this happen There are various versions of the paradox one of them called the Hangman concerns a condemned prisoner who is clever but ultimately overconfident The implications of the paradox are as yet unclear and there is virtually no agreement about how it should be solved 3 The lottery Encyclopædia Britannica Inc You buy a lottery ticket for no good reason Indeed you know that the chance that your ticket will win is at least 10 million to one since at least 10 million tickets have been sold as you learn later on the evening news before the drawing assume that the lottery is fair and that a winning ticket exists So you are rationally justified in believing that your ticket will lose in fact you d be crazy to believe that your ticket will win Likewise you are justified in believing that your friend Jane s ticket will lose that your uncle Harvey s ticket will lose that your dog Ralph s ticket will lose that the ticket bought by the guy ahead of you in line at the convenience store will lose and so on for each ticket bought by anyone you know or don t

    Original URL path: http://www.britannica.com/list/8-philosophical-puzzles-and-paradoxes (2016-02-13)
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