In September, 1963, CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite sat down with President Jack Kennedy and interviewed him up in Massachusetts. To talk about the issues he was dealing with. Jack Kennedy, knew the power of TV about as well, or better than anyone in the 1960s and even 1950s. So he probably wanted to do this type of interview and to layout for the country what he was working on and wanted to accomplish. This interview happened fourteen months before the 1964 presidential election. And just a little over two months before he was assassinated and in late 1963.
President Kennedy, had an economy that was weakening and was trying to get a jobs plan through Congress. That included a large tax cut that cut taxes across the board. Including bringing the top rate down from 90 to 70% and the bottom rate from 25 to 20%. And this economic plan contributed to creating the economic boom of the 1960s. President Kennedy was also dealing with civil rights and making sure that Federal Court orders were being carried out. And that African-American students were able to go to once segregated schools and so-forth.
And this is the time that President Kennedy came out strongly in favor of civil rights and introduced a civil rights bill to Congress. And of course President Kennedy was also dealing with the United States early involvement in the Vietnam Civil War as well. President Kennedy, had a lot on his plate to deal with in 1963 and it would’ve been nice to see him at least try accomplish all the things that he wanted to do to deal with these issues. A lot of what President Lyndon Johnson got passed in Congress was finishing off the agenda that President Kennedy put forward and sent to Congress. But was unable to get through the House and Senate.