The Vietnam War and Civil Rights Demonstrations dominated the 1960s, which also saw the assassinations of US Presidents John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the first man landing on the moon. To most Americans, the 1960s began as the dawn of a new age. John F. Kennedy, a handsome and charismatic politician, was elected President of the United States on January 20, 1961. His assumption that "the government possessed big solutions to big problems," as one historian put it, seemed to set the tone for the rest of the decade. The golden age, however, never came to pass. On the contrary, by the end of the 1960s, the country seemed to be disintegrating. As the Democratic Party splintered and America became deeply entangled in the Vietnam War, Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society" splintered.