The early 1960's brought a new tide of idealism where Americans voiced their disdain for the current situation of the United States. Sit-ins, kneel-ins, sleep-ins, wade-ins, read-ins, play-ins, and watch-ins occurred. Books such as "The Other America", by Michael Harrington, shined the light on poverty in America, while Betty Friedan's "The Feminine Mystique" openly spoke of sexism women faced. When the author wrote "the sense of new beginnings" that prevailed in the early 60's in the text, he was writing about the American people's rejection of the complacency that abounded in the 1950's. Americans started reflecting on their lives, and finding that there was a lot left to be desired. Many embraced President Kennedy, awaiting for massive social reform. Unfortunately, the assassination of the President, growing racial strife, and U.S involvement in Vietnam prematurely ended the ideals that could have made the 1960's more successful towards ending racial prejudice and poverty. .
The New Frontier was Kennedy's theme to promote "more sacrifice instead of more security." His made economic growth his domestic priority. He doubled the rate of economic growth, decreased unemployment, and held inflation to just 1.3 percent a year. There was still contempt, however, that tax loopholes were ignored, and that Kennedy promoted military spending at the expense of social welfare. .
Civil rights was not the main issue that Kennedy was going to address full on. In 1961, however, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) planned many "freedom rides," in which protestors exercised their right to sit anywhere in public transportation on the interstate. Throughout the South, protestors were beaten and arrested. It took vicious attacks in Montgomery for President Kennedy to take action by sending federal marshals and pressing the Interstate Commerce Commission to enforce the Supreme Court ruling. When Eugene Connor assaulted non-violent demonstrators with force in Birmingham, Alabama, Kennedy was finally moved enough to attempt to halt segregation.