Letter From President Kennedy to Chairman Khrushchev Washington, March 5, 1962. - History

Letter From President Kennedy to Chairman Khrushchev Washington, March 5, 1962. - History


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Letter From President Kennedy to Chairman KhrushchevWashington, March 5, 1962..

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: I have received your message of March 3,/1/ and I am glad to know of your agreement that the meeting in Geneva on March 14 should be opened by Foreign Ministers. I am particularly glad that Mr. Gromyko will be able to join with Lord Home and Secretary Rusk before the meeting for preliminary discussions; our hope is that these conversations might begin on March 12. It will be the purpose of the representatives of the United States, headed by Secretary Rusk, to make every possible effort to find paths toward disarmament.

Our object now must be to make real progress toward disarmament, and not to engage in sterile exchanges of propaganda. In that spirit, I shall not undertake at this time to comment on the many sentiments in your letter with which, as I am sure you know, the United States Government cannot agree. Let us, instead, join in giving our close personal support and direction to the work of our representatives, and let us join in working for their success.
Sincerely yours,
John F. Kennedy


Revelations from the Russian Archives Translation of Khrushchev letter to President Kennedy

Imagine, Mr. President, what if we were to present to you such an ultimatum as you have presented to us by your actions. How would you react to it? I think you would be outraged at such a move on our part. And this we would understand.

Having presented these conditions to us, Mr. President, you have thrown down the gauntlet. Who asked you to do this? By what right have you done this? Our ties with the Republic of Cuba, as well as our relations with other nations, regardless of their political system, concern only the two countries between which these relations exist. And, if it were a matter of quarantine as mentioned in your letter, then, as is customary in international practice, it can be established only by states agreeing between themselves, and not by some third party. Quarantines exist, for example, on agricultural goods and products. However, in this case we are not talking about quarantines, but rather about much more serious matters, and you yourself understand this.

His Excellency
Mr. John F. Kennedy
President of the United States of America
Washington

You, Mr. President, are not declaring a quarantine, but rather issuing an ultimatum, and you are threatening that if we do not obey your orders, you will then use force. Think about what you are saying! And you want to persuade me to agree to this! What does it mean to agree to these demands? It would mean for us to conduct our relations with other countries not by reason, but by yielding to tyranny. You are not appealing to reason you want to intimidate us.

No, Mr. President, I cannot agree to this, and I think that deep inside, you will admit that I am right. I am convinced that if you were in my place you would do the same.

&hellip This Organization [of American States] has no authority or grounds whatsoever to pass resolutions like those of which you speak in your letter. Therefore, we do not accept these resolutions. International law exists, generally accepted standards of conduct exist. We firmly adhere to the principles of international law and strictly observe the standards regulating navigation on the open sea, in international waters. We observe these standards and enjoy the rights recognized by all nations.

You want to force us to renounce the rights enjoyed by every sovereign state you are attempting to legislate questions of international law you are violating the generally accepted standards of this law. All this is due not only to hatred for the Cuban people and their government, but also for reasons having to do with the election campaign in the USA. What morals, what laws can justify such an approach by the American government to international affairs? Such morals and laws are not to be found, because the actions of the USA in relation to Cuba are outright piracy. This, if you will, is the madness of a degenerating imperialism. Unfortunately, people of all nations, and not least the American people themselves, could suffer heavily from madness such as this, since with the appearance of modern types of weapons, the USA has completely lost its former inaccessibility.

Therefore, Mr. President, if you weigh the present situation with a cool head without giving way to passion, you will understand that the Soviet Union cannot afford not to decline the despotic demands of the USA. When you lay conditions such as these before us, try to put yourself in our situation and consider how the USA would react to such conditions. I have no doubt that if anyone attempted to dictate similar conditions to you -- the USA, you would reject such an attempt. And we likewise say -- no.

The Soviet government considers the violation of the freedom of navigation in international waters and air space to constitute an act of aggression propelling humankind into the abyss of a world nuclear-missile war. Therefore, the Soviet government cannot instruct captains of Soviet ships bound for Cuba to observe orders of American naval forces blockading this island. Our instructions to Soviet sailors are to observe strictly the generally accepted standards of navigation in international waters and not retreat one step from them. And, if the American side violates these rights, it must be aware of the responsibility it will bear for this act. To be sure, we will not remain mere observers of pirate actions by American ships in the open sea. We will then be forced on our part to take those measures we deem necessary and sufficient to defend our rights. To this end we have all that is necessary.

Respectfully,
/s/ N. Khrushchev
N. KHRUSHCHEV
Moscow
24 October 1962


Documents on the often adversarial relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The majority of the documents are reports, telegrams, and memorandums that come from Russian archives. Many topics are covered, including the "German Question," the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Ethiopian Civil War, Jimmy Carter's presidency, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. (Image, Reagan Gorbachev on Governor's Island, 1988, Reagan Presidential Library, C50846-27)

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US State Department Translation, Communist Party of the Soviet Union Central Committee, Protocol no. 125 of Meeting of the Presidium, 'On Measure to be take in Connection with the Murder of US President J. F. Kennedy'

Condolence letters/telegrams from Leonid Brezhnev, Nikita Krushchev, and Nina Krushcheva to U.S. President L.B. Johnson and Jacqueline Kennedy conveying the sympathy and grief of the Soviet people

US State Department Translation, Telegram no. 03381 Concerning American Press Reports of Soviet and Cuban Connections to Lee Harvey Oswald

Telegrams from Andrei Gromyko, Soviet Ambassador to The United States, to the CC CPSU on measures to be taken and report on the "slanderous fabrications" in the American press regarding Oswlad's connections with the USSR

US State Department Translation, Cipher Telegrams No. 2000-2004, Anastas Mikoyan reports to CC CPSU after funeral of President Kennedy.

Pair of cipher telegrams from Anastas Mikoyan to Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He is summarizing his meetings with State Department officials regarding Soviet newspaper reports of the Kennedy assassination. He also discusses U.S. government officials' and Jackie Kennedy's deep appreciation for the Soviet government's decision to send representatives to Kennedy's funeral.

Top Secret Cipher Telegram from Anastas Mikoyan to CPSU Central Committee

Mikoyan reports his recent conversations with US officials following JFK’s assassination. He reports that it is likely that Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon Johnson, will likely maintain Kennedy’s policy on US-Soviet foreign relations. US Ambassador Thompson also talks to Mikoyan about US concerns about the Soviet press coverage of the assassination.

US State Department Translations, Communist Party of the Soviet Union Central Commitee, Soviet Communications with the United States following the Assassination of President Kennedy

Soviet communication with the United States concerning Lee Harvey Oswald's application for Soviet citizenship and other documents concerning Lee Harvey Oswald's visit to the USSR released following the assassination of President Kennedy.

Top Secret Cipher Telegram from Anatoly Dobrynin to CPSU Central Committee

Dobrynin reports that he met with US Secretary of State, Rusk, and gave him copies of the Soviet embassy’s correspondence with Lee Harvey Oswald.

US State Department Translation, Cipher Telegram Special no. 2086-2088 from Dobrynin

Cipher telegram to the Central Committee from Russian Ambassador Dobrynin detailing a meeting he had US ambassador Llewellyn Thompson. The telegram contains a copy of a letter Jacqueline Kennedy wrote to Nikita Khrushchev expressing her gratitude for the Krushcev's kindness throughout John's life.

Memorandum of conversation of the Ambassador of the USSR A.F. Dobrynin with Kissinger

In this July 1969 report to the Politburo, Soviet ambassador to Washington Anatoly Dobrynin recounts a wide-ranging conversation with national security adviser Henry A. Kissinger a half-year into President Richard M. Nixon’s first term. Dobrynin also offers his candid personal evaluation of Kissinger and the secret White House “backchannel” established by Nixon to circumvent the State Department and communicate directly with the Soviet leadership.

Record of a Conversation [with] H. Humphrey in the Izvestiya Newspaper's Editorial Offices

L.N. Tolkunov and Hubert Humphrey discuss Soviet-American and Sino-Soviet relations, as well as domestic politics in the United States.

Memorandum for President Nixon from Kissinger, "The Berlin Negotiations - New Guidelines"

National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger updates President Nixon on the status of the Four Power Berlin negotiations between the Soviet Union, East Germany, West Germany, and the United States.

Memorandum from Andropov to Ustinov, Regarding US Positions in the Anti-Ballistic Missile Negotiations

KGB chief Andropov analyzes the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty negotiations, particularly the US negotiating positions and the preferences of various Washington agencies.

Telegram by Ambassador Pignatti to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 'US-USSR Agreement on the prevention of nuclear war'

The document describes initial reactions to the signing of the Agreement on the Prevention of Nuclear War in Washington. The new agreement raises concerns over the bipolar focus of US-USSR relations, NATO's traditional strategy, and poses questions related to autonomous European defense.

Discussion between Zhou Enlai and Pham Van Dong

Zhou Enlai discusses his concerns regarding US negotiations in Cambodia.

Note regarding the Meeting between Ilie Verdeț and Ji Denggui

Ji Denggui and Ilie Verdeț discuss bilateral relations between China and Romania, nuclear proliferation and diarmament, Soviet-American relations, Comecon, European security, US policy toward Taiwan, Japan-Soviet relations, and economic development in China and Romania, among other topics.

Record of Conversation With US Attaché In the USSR Jack Matlock

US Attaché in the Soviet Union Jack Matlock was invited to discuss the Final Act of the European Conference in Helsinki. The Soviet Union publicized the text of the Final Act and faulted the United States for not doing the same. Looking at the principles of the Final Act, which the Soviet Union believes to be the bases for interstate relations in Europe, the government determined that radio stations such as "Liberty," "Free Europe," and "Voice of America" are not compatible with the goals and provisions. The Soviet government would like to improve relations with American journalists by first quickening the visa process and hope that the US would do the same for Soviet journalists.


Letter From President Kennedy to Chairman Khrushchev Washington, March 5, 1962. - History

I have your letter advising me of the celebration on July 25 of the tenth anniversary of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. This is indeed a great occasion. The achievements of the Puerto Rican people in this short period have been remarkable. Puerto Rico has furnished an example to the world of the benefits that can be achieved by close collaboration between a larger and a smaller community within the framework of freedom and mutual agreement. I am confident that I speak for the people of the United States as well as their government in expressing my pride and pleasure at Puerto Rico's achievements.

I am aware, however, as you point out, that the Commonwealth relationship is not perfected and that it has not yet realized its full potential, and I welcome your statement that the people of Puerto Rico are about to begin the consideration of this with the purpose of moving towards its maximum development. I am in full sympathy with this aspiration. I see no reason why the Commonwealth concept, if that is the desire of the people of Puerto Rico, should not be fully developed as a permanent institution in its association with the United States. I agree that this is a proper time to recognize the need for growth and, both as a matter of fairness to all concerned and of establishing an unequivocal record, to consult the people of Puerto Rico, as you propose to do, so that they may express any other preference, including independence, if that should be their wish.
Sincerely,

Note: In his letter, dated July 10, 1962, Governor Munoz pointed out that from the beginning the Constitutional Convention had recognized that there was room for growth within the Commonwealth relationship. He suggested the following as suitable lines along which Puerto Rico should proceed:

1. The indispensable principle of the Commonwealth is self-government for Puerto Rico in permanent association with the United States on the basis of common loyalty, common citizenship, mutual dedication to democracy, and mutual commitment to freedom.

2. The moral and juridical basis of the Commonwealth should be further clarified so as to eliminate any possible basis for the accusation, which is made by enemies and misguided friends of the United States and Puerto Rico, that the Commonwealth was not the free choice of the people of Puerto Rico acting in their sovereign capacity, but was merely a different kind of colonial arrangement to which they consented.

3. The governmental power and authority of the Commonwealth should be complete and any reservations or exceptions which are not an indispensable part of the arrangements for permanent association with the United States should be eliminated. Methods should be devised for forms of participation, appropriate to the Commonwealth concept, by the people of Puerto Rico in federal functions that affect them.

Governor Munoz continued by stating that it was his intention to request the Commonwealth legislature to enact a law pursuant to which proposals to perfect the Commonwealth within its association with the United States would be submitted to the people of Puerto Rico.

He added that he proposed to recommend that advocates of both independence and of federated statehood for Puerto Rico should be afforded the opportunity to present these alternatives to the electorate, so that no doubt whatever might be entertained either in Puerto Rico, in the United States, or elsewhere that the basic principle of self-determination had been thoroughly carried out.


Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Concerning the Federal Reserve System.

In my Economic Report to the Congress on January 20, I recommended two reforms affecting the Federal Reserve System: (1) revision of the terms of the Chairman and other members of the Board of Governors so that a new President will be able to nominate a Chairman of his own choice at the beginning of his term, and (2) giving adequate recognition to the important responsibilities of the Board of Governors by increasing their salaries.

Both of these reforms were proposed by the independent and nonpartisan Commission on Money and Credit in its Report last year. Both were endorsed in the Annual Report of the Joint Economic Committee of the Congress on my January 1962 Economic Report.

The Board consists of seven governors appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate for terms of 14 years, staggered so that one term expires on January 31 every second year. The Board shares important responsibilities for the policies of the System with Presidents of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks. By these arrangements the Congress has assured the System both continuity and independence from political influence.

Federal Reserve monetary policies affect, and are affected by, the economic and financial measures of other Federal agencies. Federal Reserve actions are an important part, but not the whole, of Government policies for economic stabilization and growth at home and for the defense of the dollar abroad. Therefore, as has been recognized throughout the history of the Federal Reserve, the principal officer of the System must have the confidence of the President. This is essential for the effective coordination of the monetary, fiscal, and financial policies of the government. It is essential for the effective representation of the Federal Reserve System itself in the formulation of Executive policies affecting the System's responsibilities.

Prior to 1935 the Federal Reserve Act provided that one member of the Federal Reserve Board "be designated by the President as Governor and one as Vice Governor" and specified no definite terms for these officers. Until 1927 the President customarily designated the Governor for one year at a time. Thereafter, until the Banking Act of 1935, a Board member was designated as Governor "until otherwise directed." The Banking Act of 1935 amended the Act to provide that the President shall designate a Chairman and Vice-Chairman from the membership of the Board of Governors "to serve as such for a term of four years." Evidently the term was set at four years in order to relate it to the Presidential term. However, the timing was not specified, and in practice the terms of the officers of the Board have never coincided with the Presidential term. In fact the timing is a matter of chance, subject to change whenever the offices of Chairman and Vice-Chairman are vacated by death or resignation. From 1936 to 1948, each term of the Chairman expired on January 31 of the final year of the Presidential term. At present it expires on March 31, 1963.

The draft bill which I am transmitting with this letter embodies amendments to the Federal Reserve Act to revise the terms of office as follows:

(a) Beginning in 1965, the term 6f the Chairman and Vice-Chairman will be four years beginning each February I following the election of the President. Should either office be vacated by death or resignation, the President would designate a member of the Board of Governors to fill the vacancy, not for four years but for the unexpired term. As a transitional arrangement, the term of a Chairman or Vice-Chairman appointed prior to January 31, 1965, will expire on that date.

(b) In order that the President may be able to appoint a Chairman of his own choice shortly after his inauguration, he must have an opening on the Board of Governors to fill at the same time. The terms of members of the Board now expire on January 31 in even years. To make them expire in odd years instead, it is proposed that the terms of incumbent governors be extended by one year.

Chairman Martin of the Board of Governors concurs in these proposed changes.

2. Increase in Salary Status

The Board of Governors has immense responsibilities for the health of the United States economy. The performance of its tasks requires specialized knowledge and good judgment in exceedingly complex fields of domestic and international economics and finance. The salaries of the Governors should be commensurate with their grave responsibilities, sufficient to attract outstanding men and to give them the prestige and status necessary for effective performance of their duties. As I said in my Economic Report, "The United States is behind other countries in the status accorded, by this concrete symbol, to the leadership of its 'central bank,' and I urge that the Congress take corrective action."

from 1913, when the Federal Reserve System was established, until 1925, and from 1935 to 1949, the salaries of members of the Board were the same as those of Cabinet members. At present, under the Federal Executive Pay Act of 1956, the salary of the Chairman is $20,500 and the salary of other Governors is $20,000. I recommend that the salary of the Chairman be fixed at $25,000, equal to that of Department heads, and that the salary of other Governors be fixed at $22,0000 The Chairman and the other Governors should, of course, receive further salary increases in accordance with their new status whenever the general scale of salaries of Federal executives is revised upward to make it consistent with the increases in civil service salaries I recommended in my message of February 19 on Federal Pay Reform. The draft bill transmitted herewith provides for the necessary amendments of the Federal Pay Act of 1956.

Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the Senate, and to the Honorable John W. McCormack, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The report of the Commission on Money and Credit is entitled "Money and Credit: Their Influence on Jobs, Prices and Growth" (Prentice-Hall, 1961, 282 pp.).


April 29, 1962: Paulings Protest Nuclear Testing

On April 28 and 29, 1962 Linus Pauling (Nobel Prize-winner for chemistry in 1954) and Ava Helen Pauling, with several hundred other demonstrators, marched in front of the White House to protest against the resumption of U.S. atmospheric nuclear testing.

The Paulings marched in advance of a White House dinner they were attending on the evening of April 29 for U.S. Nobel Prize winners.

Pauling had written to President John F. Kennedy twice that same year to make the same plea, on January 26 and on March 1, 1962. Here are excerpts from the January letter:

I urge that you not order the resumption of atmospheric tests of nuclear weapons by the United States.

So far the United States has carried out about twice as many test explosions of nuclear weapons as the Soviet Union. The megatonnage of the bombs tested by the Soviet Union is about 60 percent greater than that of the bombs tested by the United States, but it is the number of tests, rather than the total megatonnage, that determines the amount of information obtained. There is no doubt that the United States still has a great lead over the Soviet Union in nuclear weapons technology.

March 1, 1962 letter from Linus Pauling to President Kennedy. Source: Oregon State University’s Special Collections

It is not necessary for the protection of the United States and the American people for our government to resume nuclear testing in the atmosphere.

There is general agreement among biological scientists about the biological effects of radioactive fallout. No one can deny that the fission products produced by these tests in the atmosphere cause genetic mutations that will lead to the birth of grossly defective children.

Here are excerpts from the March letter:

President John F. Kennedy, White House:

Are you going to give an order that will cause you to go down in history as one of the most immoral men of all time and one of the greatest enemies of the human race?

Are you going to be guilty of this monstrous immorality, matching that of the Soviet leaders, for the political purpose of increasing the still imposing lead of the United States over the Soviet Union in nuclear weapons technology?

Below are more people’s history resources on nuclear weapons and nuclear power.

Related Resources

W. E. B. Du Bois to Coretta Scott King: The Untold History of the Movement to Ban the Bomb

Article. By Vincent Intondi. If We Knew Our History Series.
Intondi states: “African American leaders have long been concerned with broad issues of peace and justice — and have especially opposed nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, this activism is left out of mainstream corporate-produced history textbooks.”

A People’s Curriculum for the Earth: Teaching Climate Change and the Environmental Crisis

Teaching Guide. Edited by Bill Bigelow and Tim Swinehart. 400 pages. 2014. Rethinking Schools.
Articles, student readings, and teaching activities to understand environmental problems and imagine solutions.

African Americans Against the Bomb: Nuclear Weapons, Colonialism, and the Black Freedom Movement

Book – Non-fiction. By Vincent Intondi. 2015.
History of Black activists who fought for nuclear disarmament.

The Untold History of the United States: Young Readers Editions, Vols 1 (1898-1945) & 2 (1945-1962)

Book – Non-fiction. By Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick. Adapted by Susan Campbell Bartoletti and Eric S. Singer. Vol 1. 400 pages. 2014. Vol 2. 320 pages. 2019.
These are two volumes of illustrated histories, adapted for students from a documentary book and film of the same name.

Nuclear Savage: The Islands of Secret Project 4.1

Film. By Adam Jonas Horowitz. 2012. 60 and 87 min.
HIstory of the U.S. government’s testing of nuclear weapons and fallout on the people of the Marshall Islands.

Feb. 22, 1974: Sam Lovejoy Topples Nuclear Plant Tower

Sam Lovejoy, slipped onto the Montague Plains and sabotaged the 500 foot weather tower Northeast Utilities had erected to test wind direction at the site.


White House on the Armenian Genocide: We have to acknowledge history

WASHINGTON, DC – Τhe US administration under President Joe Biden believes it is important to acknowledge history in respect to the issue of the Armenian Genocide, a White House spokesperson has told Kathimerini.

“As a presidential candidate, President Biden commemorated the 1.5 million Armenian men, women, and children who lost their lives in the final years of the Ottoman Empire. He said then that we must never forget or remain silent about this horrific campaign,” the spokesperson said, replying to a request for reaction to a letter initiater by Senator Bob Menenez and co-signed by 36 other Senators of both parties.

“And we will forever respect the perseverance of the Armenian people in the wake of such a great tragedy. This administration is committed to promoting respect for human rights and ensuring such atrocities are not repeated. A critical part of that is acknowledging history.”

Menendez’s letter in full below, followed by the list of co-signee Senators:

We write today to strongly urge you to officially recognize the truth of the Armenian Genocide. In the past you have recognized the Armenian Genocide as genocide, including in your Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day statement during the 2020 campaign. We call on you to do so again as President to make clear that the US government recognizes this terrible truth.

From 1915 to 1923, the Ottoman Empire systematically sought to eliminate the Armenian population, killing 1.5 million Armenians and driving hundreds of thousands more from their homeland. We join the Armenian community in the United States and around the world in honoring the memory of these victims, and we stand firmly against attempts to pretend that this intentional, organized effort to destroy the Armenian people was anything other than a genocide. You have correctly stated that American diplomacy and foreign policy must be rooted in our values, including respect for universal rights. Those values require us to acknowledge the truth and do what we can to prevent future genocides and other crimes against humanity.

In December 2019, after decades of obstruction, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution introduced affirming the facts of the Armenian Genocide. The House also overwhelmingly passed its own resolution recognizing the facts of the Armenian Genocide in 2019. We appreciate that in your April 2020 Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day statement you pledged “to support a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide,” but Congress has already made its position clear. It is time for executive branch to do so as well.

As you said in your Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day statement last April, “It is particularly important to speak these words and commemorate this history at a moment when we are reminded daily of the power of truth, and of our shared responsibility to stand against hate – because silence is complicity.” Administrations of both parties have been silent on the truth of the Armenian Genocide. We urge you to break this pattern of complicity by officially recognizing that the Armenian Genocide was a genocide.

Joining Chairman Menendez in cosigning the letter to President Biden are: Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Robert Casey (D-PA), Susan Collins (R-ME), John Cornyn (R-TX), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Edward Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Jack Reed (D-RI), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) released the following statement concerning the letter:

“President Biden – by virtue of his own strong Senate record and the bipartisan House and Senate resolutions he backed as a candidate – is powerfully positioned to reject Turkey’s gag-rule, locking in permanent US government-wide condemnation and commemoration of the Armenian Genocide,” ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian said.

“Hellenic American Leadership Council Executive Director Endy Zemenides concurred. “The Biden Administration has fortunately started on the right foot and spoken to Turkey truthfully and bluntly. Yet the White House still needs to be truthful when it comes to the Armenian Genocide. President Biden’s record as a Senator and his statements as a candidate for the Presidency prove that he is aware of and committed to this truth. Now that he is the boss, the end of Turkey’s gag rule should be a no-brainer,” stated Zemenides.


LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

Welcome to the new Washington on the Brazos State Historical Foundation website.

As a strong, proud native Texan, I have always loved to boast “I am from Texas!” However, it was only after I moved to Washington County that I was “bitten” by the history bug and a burning desire to better understand the history of Texas. I found Washington on the Brazos to be the place to better understand how, against all odds, Texas became its own nation. Not a town or a state, but a nation that flourished for ten years before joining the United States of America. I gained a greater respect for the sacrifices of those who first settled this great state and a greater understanding of WHY Texans are so fiercely independent. Every man who signed the Texas Declaration of Independence knew that if he was captured by Santa Anna, he would face execution for treason. But, their will for independence far exceeded their fears. It’s that “Texas” thing again.

I am passionate about our responsibility to preserve the history of those hardy individuals that worked this land almost 200 years ago, for future generations, so they understand why it is special to be a Texan. It is our gift to them that they never lose that fierce independence spirit, and there is no better place to learn those life lessons than Washington on the Brazos. At this historic place, you do not just hear the story, you live the story through costumed interpreters and hands-on demonstrations that transport you back in time.

I so value the Historical Foundation and its important mission to preserve our rich Texas history, beginning with the heroic actions taken by the Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence.

Soon we will share the Historical Foundation’s incredible plan to enhance the visitor experience at Washington on the Brazos so that children of all ages—from 1 to 100—come back often. We don’t want people to say “The last time I was at Washington on the Brazos was in 7 th grade while studying Texas history.”

Consider becoming a partner in our mission to preserve Texas history, for generations to come. Find out more about the Historical Foundation here.

Please visit us soon, visit us often, and tell everyone you know about the place Where Texas Became Texas.

Cyndee Smith
President, Washington on the Brazos Historical Foundation

About

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President Kennedy's Special Message to the Congress on Urgent National Needs, May 25, 1961

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, my co-partners in Government, gentlemen and ladies:

The Constitution imposes upon me the obligation to "from time to time give to the Congress information of the State of the Union." While this has traditionally been interpreted as an annual affair, this tradition has been broken in extraordinary times.

These are extraordinary times. And we face an extraordinary challenge. Our strength as well as our convictions have imposed upon this nation the role of leader in freedom's cause.

No role in history could be more difficult or more important. We stand for freedom.

That is our conviction for ourselves--that is our only commitment to others. No friend, no neutral and no adversary should think otherwise. We are not against any man--or any nation--or any system--except as it is hostile to freedom. Nor am I here to present a new military doctrine, bearing any one name or aimed at any one area. I am here to promote the freedom doctrine.

The great battleground for the defense and expansion of freedom today is the whole southern half of the globe--Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East--the lands of the rising peoples. Their revolution is the greatest in human history.

They seek an end to injustice, tyranny, and exploitation. More than an end, they seek a beginning.

And theirs is a revolution which we would support regardless of the Cold War, and regardless of which political or economic route they should choose to freedom.

For the adversaries of freedom did not create the revolution nor did they create the conditions which compel it. But they are seeking to ride the crest of its wave--to capture it for themselves.

Yet their aggression is more often concealed than open. They have fired no missiles and their troops are seldom seen. They send arms, agitators, aid, technicians and propaganda to every troubled area. But where fighting is required, it is usually done by others--by guerrillas striking at night, by assassins striking alone--assassins who have taken the lives of four thousand civil officers in the last twelve months in Vietnam alone--by subversives and saboteurs and insurrectionists, who in some cases control whole areas inside of independent nations.

[At this point the following paragraph, which appears in the text as signed and transmitted to the Senate and House of Representatives, was omitted in the reading of the message:

They possess a powerful intercontinental striking force, large forces for conventional war, a well-trained underground in nearly every country, the power to conscript talent and manpower for any purpose, the capacity for quick decisions, a closed society without dissent or free information, and long experience in the techniques of violence and subversion.

They make the most of their scientific successes, their economic progress and their pose as a foe of colonialism and friend of popular revolution. They prey on unstable or unpopular governments, unsealed, or unknown boundaries, unfilled hopes, convulsive change, massive poverty, illiteracy, unrest and frustration.]

With these formidable weapons, the adversaries of freedom plan to consolidate their territory--to exploit, to control, and finally to destroy the hopes of the world's newest nations and they have ambition to do it before the end of this decade. It is a contest of will and purpose as well as force and violence--a battle for minds and souls as well as lives and territory. And in that contest, we cannot stand aside.

We stand, as we have always stood from our earliest beginnings, for the independence and equality of all nations. This nation was born of revolution and raised in freedom. And we do not intend to leave an open road for despotism.

There is no single simple policy which meets this challenge. Experience has taught us that no one nation has the power or the wisdom to solve all the problems of the world or manage its revolutionary tides--that extending our commitments does not always increase our security--that any initiative carries with it the risk of a temporary defeat--that nuclear weapons cannot prevent subversion--that no free people can be kept free without will and energy of their own--and that no two nations or situations are exactly alike.

Yet there is much we can do--and must do. The proposals I bring before you are numerous and varied. They arise from the host of special opportunities and dangers which have become increasingly clear in recent months. Taken together, I believe that they can mark another step forward in our effort as a people. I am here to ask the help of this Congress and the nation in approving these necessary measures.

II. ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL PROGRESS AT HOME

The first and basic task confronting this nation this year was to turn recession into recovery. An affirmative anti-recession program, initiated with your cooperation, supported the natural forces in the private sector and our economy is now enjoying renewed confidence and energy. The recession has been halted. Recovery is under way.

But the task of abating unemployment and achieving a full use of our resources does remain a serious challenge for us all. Large-scale unemployment during a recession is bad enough, but large-scale unemployment during a period of prosperity would be intolerable.

I am therefore transmitting to the Congress a new Manpower Development and Training program, to train or retrain several hundred thousand workers, particularly in those areas where we have seen chronic unemployment as a result of technological factors in new occupational skills over a four-year period, in order to replace those skills made obsolete by automation and industrial change with the new skills which the new processes demand.

It should be a satisfaction to us all that we have made great strides in restoring world confidence in the dollar, halting the outflow of gold and improving our balance of payments. During the last two months, our gold stocks actually increased by seventeen million dollars, compared to a loss of 635 million dollars during the last two months of 1960. We must maintain this progress--and this will require the cooperation and restraint of everyone. As recovery progresses, there will be temptations to seek unjustified price and wage increases. These we cannot afford. They will only handicap our efforts to compete abroad and to achieve full recovery here at home. Labor and management must--and I am confident that they will--pursue responsible wage and price policies in these critical times. I look to the President's Advisory Committee on Labor Management Policy to give a strong lead in this direction.

Moreover, if the budget deficit now increased by the needs of our security is to be held within manageable proportions, it will be necessary to hold tightly to prudent fiscal standards and I request the cooperation of the Congress in this regard--to refrain from adding funds or programs, desirable as they may be, to the Budget--to end the postal deficit, as my predecessor also recommended, through increased rates--a deficit incidentally, this year, which exceeds the fiscal 1962 cost of all the space and defense measures that I am submitting today--to provide full pay-as-you-go highway financing--and to close those tax loopholes earlier specified. Our security and progress cannot be cheaply purchased and their price must be found in what we all forego as well as what we all must pay.

III. ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL PROGRESS ABROAD

I stress the strength of our economy because it is essential to the strength of our nation. And what is true in our case is true in the case of other countries. Their strength in the struggle for freedom depends on the strength of their economic and their social progress.

We would be badly mistaken to consider their problems in military terms alone. For no amount of arms and armies can help stabilize those governments which are unable or unwilling to achieve social and economic reform and development. Military pacts cannot help nations whose social injustice and economic chaos invite insurgency and penetration and subversion. The most skillful counter-guerrilla efforts cannot succeed where the local population is too caught up in its own misery to be concerned about the advance of communism.

But for those who share this view, we stand ready now, as we have in the past, to provide generously of our skills, and our capital, and our food to assist the peoples of the less-developed nations to reach their goals in freedom--to help them before they are engulfed in crisis.

This is also our great opportunity in 1961. If we grasp it, then subversion to prevent its success is exposed as an unjustifiable attempt to keep these nations from either being free or equal. But if we do not pursue it, and if they do not pursue it, the bankruptcy of unstable governments, one by one, and of unfilled hopes will surely lead to a series of totalitarian receiverships.

Earlier in the year, I outlined to the Congress a new program for aiding emerging nations and it is my intention to transmit shortly draft legislation to implement this program, to establish a new Act for International Development, and to add to the figures previously requested, in view of the swift pace of critical events, an additional 250 million dollars for a Presidential Contingency Fund, to be used only upon a Presidential determination in each case, with regular and complete reports to the Congress in each case, when there is a sudden and extraordinary drain upon our regular funds which we cannot foresee--as illustrated by recent events in Southeast Asia--and it makes necessary the use of this emergency reserve. The total amount requested--now raised to 2.65 billion dollars--is both minimal and crucial. I do not see how anyone who is concerned--as we all are--about the growing threats to freedom around the globe--and who is asking what more we can do as a people--can weaken or oppose the single most important program available for building the frontiers of freedom.

All that I have said makes it clear that we are engaged in a world-wide struggle in which we bear a heavy burden to preserve and promote the ideals that we share with all mankind, or have alien ideals forced upon them. That struggle has highlighted the role of our Information Agency. It is essential that the funds previously requested for this effort be not only approved in full, but increased by 2 million, 400 thousand dollars, to a total of 121 million dollars.

This new request is for additional radio and television to Latin America and Southeast Asia. These tools are particularly effective and essential in the cities and villages of those great continents as a means of reaching millions of uncertain peoples to tell them of our interest in their fight for freedom. In Latin America, we are proposing to increase our Spanish and Portuguese broadcasts to a total of 154 hours a week, compared to 42 hours today, none of which is in Portuguese, the language of about one-third of the people of South America. The Soviets, Red Chinese and satellites already broadcast into Latin America more than 134 hours a week in Spanish and Portuguese. Communist China alone does more public information broadcasting in our own hemisphere than we do. Moreover, powerful propaganda broadcasts from Havana now are heard throughout Latin America, encouraging new revolutions in several countries.

Similarly, in Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand, we must communicate our determination and support to those upon whom our hopes for resisting the communist tide in that continent ultimately depend. Our interest is in the truth.

V. OUR PARTNERSHIP FOR SELF-DEFENSE

But while we talk of sharing and building and the competition of ideas, others talk of arms and threaten war. So we have learned to keep our defenses strong--and to cooperate with others in a partnership of self-defense. The events of recent weeks have caused us to look anew at these efforts.

The center of freedom's defense is our network of world alliances, extending from NATO, recommended by a Democratic President and approved by a Republican Congress, to SEATO, recommended by a Republican President and approved by a Democratic Congress. These alliances were constructed in the 1940's and 1950's--it is our task and responsibility in the 1960's to strengthen them.

To meet the changing conditions of power--and power relationships have changed--we have endorsed an increased emphasis on NATO's conventional strength. At the same time we are affirming our conviction that the NATO nuclear deterrent must also be kept strong. I have made clear our intention to commit to the NATO command, for this purpose, the 5 Polaris submarines originally suggested by President Eisenhower, with the possibility, if needed, of more to come.

Second, a major part of our partnership for self-defense is the Military Assistance Program. The main burden of local defense against local attack, subversion, insurrection or guerrilla warfare must of necessity rest with local forces. Where these forces have the necessary will and capacity to cope with such threats, our intervention is rarely necessary or helpful. Where the will is present and only capacity is lacking, our Military Assistance Program can be of help.

But this program, like economic assistance, needs a new emphasis. It cannot be extended without regard to the social, political and military reforms essential to internal respect and stability. The equipment and training provided must be tailored to legitimate local needs and to our own foreign and military policies, not to our supply of military stocks or a local leader's desire for military display. And military assistance can, in addition to its military purposes, make a contribution to economic progress, as do our own Army Engineers.

In an earlier message, I requested 1.6 billion dollars for Military Assistance, stating that this would maintain existing force levels, but that I could not foresee how much more might be required. It is now clear that this is not enough. The present crisis in Southeast Asia, on which the Vice President has made a valuable report--the rising threat of communism in Latin America--the increased arms traffic in Africa--and all the new pressures on every nation found on the map by tracing your fingers along the borders of the Communist bloc in Asia and the Middle East--all make clear the dimension of our needs.

I therefore request the Congress to provide a total of 1.885 billion dollars for Military Assistance in the coming fiscal year--an amount less than that requested a year ago--but a minimum which must be assured if we are to help those nations make secure their independence. This must be prudently and wisely spent--and that will be our common endeavor. Military and economic assistance has been a heavy burden on our citizens for a long time, and I recognize the strong pressures against it but this battle is far from over, it is reaching a crucial stage, and I believe we should participate in it. We cannot merely state our opposition to totalitarian advance without paying the price of helping those now under the greatest pressure.

VI. OUR OWN MILITARY AND INTELLIGENCE SHIELD

In line with these developments, I have directed a further reinforcement of our own capacity to deter or resist non-nuclear aggression. In the conventional field, with one exception, I find no present need for large new levies of men. What is needed is rather a change of position to give us still further increases in flexibility.

Therefore, I am directing the Secretary of Defense to undertake a reorganization and modernization of the Army's divisional structure, to increase its non-nuclear firepower, to improve its tactical mobility in any environment, to insure its flexibility to meet any direct or indirect threat, to facilitate its coordination with our major allies, and to provide more modern mechanized divisions in Europe and bring their equipment up to date, and new airborne brigades in both the Pacific and Europe.

And secondly, I am asking the Congress for an additional 100 million dollars to begin the procurement task necessary to re-equip this new Army structure with the most modern material. New helicopters, new armored personnel carriers, and new howitzers, for example, must be obtained now.

Third, I am directing the Secretary of Defense to expand rapidly and substantially, in cooperation with our Allies, the orientation of existing forces for the conduct of non-nuclear war, paramilitary operations and sub-limited or unconventional wars.

In addition our special forces and unconventional warfare units will be increased and reoriented. Throughout the services new emphasis must be placed on the special skills and languages which are required to work with local populations.

Fourth, the Army is developing plans to make possible a much more rapid deployment of a major portion of its highly trained reserve forces. When these plans are completed and the reserve is strengthened, two combat-equipped divisions, plus their supporting forces, a total of 89,000 men, could be ready in an emergency for operations with but 3 weeks' notice--2 more divisions with but 5 weeks' notice--and six additional divisions and their supporting forces, making a total of 10 divisions, could be deployable with less than 8 weeks' notice. In short, these new plans will allow us to almost double the combat power of the Army in less than two months, compared to the nearly nine months heretofore required.

Fifth, to enhance the already formidable ability of the Marine Corps to respond to limited war emergencies, I am asking the Congress for 60 million dollars to increase the Marine Corps strength to 190,000 men. This will increase the initial impact and staying power of our three Marine divisions and three air wings, and provide a trained nucleus for further expansion, if necessary for self-defense.

Finally, to cite one other area of activities that are both legitimate and necessary as a means of self-defense in an age of hidden perils, our whole intelligence effort must be reviewed, and its coordination with other elements of policy assured. The Congress and the American people are entitled to know that we will institute whatever new organization, policies, and control are necessary.

VII. CIVIL DEFENSE

One major element of the national security program which this nation has never squarely faced up to is civil defense. This problem arises not from present trends but from national inaction in which most of us have participated. In the past decade we have intermittently considered a variety of programs, but we have never adopted a consistent policy. Public considerations have been largely characterized by apathy, indifference and skepticism while, at the same time, many of the civil defense plans have been so far-reaching and unrealistic that they have not gained essential support.

This Administration has been looking hard at exactly what civil defense can and cannot do. It cannot be obtained cheaply. It cannot give an assurance of blast protection that will be proof against surprise attack or guaranteed against obsolescence or destruction. And it cannot deter a nuclear attack.

We will deter an enemy from making a nuclear attack only if our retaliatory power is so strong and so invulnerable that he knows he would be destroyed by our response. If we have that strength, civil defense is not needed to deter an attack. If we should ever lack it, civil defense would not be an adequate substitute.

But this deterrent concept assumes rational calculations by rational men. And the history of this planet, and particularly the history of the 20th century, is sufficient to remind us of the possibilities of an irrational attack, a miscalculation, an accidental war, [or a war of escalation in which the stakes by each side gradually increase to the point of maximum danger] which cannot be either foreseen or deterred. It is on this basis that civil defense can be readily justifiable--as insurance for the civilian population in case of an enemy miscalculation. It is insurance we trust will never be needed--but insurance which we could never forgive ourselves for foregoing in the event of catastrophe.

Once the validity of this concept is recognized, there is no point in delaying the initiation of a nation-wide long-range program of identifying present fallout shelter capacity and providing shelter in new and existing structures. Such a program would protect millions of people against the hazards of radioactive fallout in the event of large-scale nuclear attack. Effective performance of the entire program not only requires new legislative authority and more funds, but also sound organizational arrangements.

Therefore, under the authority vested in me by Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1958, I am assigning responsibility for this program to the top civilian authority already responsible for continental defense, the Secretary of Defense. It is important that this function remain civilian, in nature and leadership and this feature will not be changed.

The Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization will be reconstituted as a small staff agency to assist in the coordination of these functions. To more accurately describe its role, its title should be changed to the Office of Emergency Planning.

As soon as those newly charged with these responsibilities have prepared new authorization and appropriation requests, such requests will be transmitted to the Congress for a much strengthened Federal-State civil defense program. Such a program will provide Federal funds for identifying fallout shelter capacity in existing, structures, and it will include, where appropriate, incorporation of shelter in Federal buildings, new requirements for shelter in buildings constructed with Federal assistance, and matching grants and other incentives for constructing shelter in State and local and private buildings.

Federal appropriations for civil defense in fiscal 1962 under this program will in all likelihood be more than triple the pending budget requests and they will increase sharply in subsequent years. Financial participation will also be required from State and local governments and from private citizens. But no insurance is cost-free and every American citizen and his community must decide for themselves whether this form of survival insurance justifies the expenditure of effort, time and money. For myself, I am convinced that it does.

VIII. DISARMAMENT

I cannot end this discussion of defense and armaments without emphasizing our strongest hope: the creation of an orderly world where disarmament will be possible. Our aims do not prepare for war--they are efforts to discourage and resist the adventures of others that could end in war.

That is why it is consistent with these efforts that we continue to press for properly safeguarded disarmament measures. At Geneva, in cooperation with the United Kingdom, we have put forward concrete proposals to make clear our wish to meet the Soviets half way in an effective nuclear test ban treaty--the first significant but essential step on the road towards disarmament. Up to now, their response has not been what we hoped, but Mr. Dean returned last night to Geneva, and we intend to go the last mile in patience to secure this gain if we can.

Meanwhile, we are determined to keep disarmament high on our agenda--to make an intensified effort to develop acceptable political and technical alternatives to the present arms race. To this end I shall send to the Congress a measure to establish a strengthened and enlarged Disarmament Agency.

Finally, if we are to win the battle that is now going on around the world between freedom and tyranny, the dramatic achievements in space which occurred in recent weeks should have made clear to us all, as did the Sputnik in 1957, the impact of this adventure on the minds of men everywhere, who are attempting to make a determination of which road they should take. Since early in my term, our efforts in space have been under review. With the advice of the Vice President, who is Chairman of the National Space Council, we have examined where we are strong and where we are not, where we may succeed and where we may not. Now it is time to take longer strides--time for a great new American enterprise--time for this nation to take a clearly leading role in space achievement, which in many ways may hold the key to our future on earth.

I believe we possess all the resources and talents necessary. But the facts of the matter are that we have never made the national decisions or marshalled the national resources required for such leadership. We have never specified long-range goals on an urgent time schedule, or managed our resources and our time so as to insure their fulfillment.

Recognizing the head start obtained by the Soviets with their large rocket engines, which gives them many months of leadtime, and recognizing the likelihood that they will exploit this lead for some time to come in still more impressive successes, we nevertheless are required to make new efforts on our own. For while we cannot guarantee that we shall one day be first, we can guarantee that any failure to make this effort will make us last. We take an additional risk by making it in full view of the world, but as shown by the feat of astronaut Shepard, this very risk enhances our stature when we are successful. But this is not merely a race. Space is open to us now and our eagerness to share its meaning is not governed by the efforts of others. We go into space because whatever mankind must undertake, free men must fully share.

I therefore ask the Congress, above and beyond the increases I have earlier requested for space activities, to provide the funds which are needed to meet the following national goals:

First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish. We propose to accelerate the development of the appropriate lunar space craft. We propose to develop alternate liquid and solid fuel boosters, much larger than any now being developed, until certain which is superior. We propose additional funds for other engine development and for unmanned explorations--explorations which are particularly important for one purpose which this nation will never overlook: the survival of the man who first makes this daring flight. But in a very real sense, it will not be one man going to the moon--if we make this judgment affirmatively, it will be an entire nation. For all of us must work to put him there.

Secondly, an additional 23 million dollars, together with 7 million dollars already available, will accelerate development of the Rover nuclear rocket. This gives promise of some day providing a means for even more exciting and ambitious exploration of space, perhaps beyond the moon, perhaps to the very end of the solar system itself.

Third, an additional 50 million dollars will make the most of our present leadership, by accelerating the use of space satellites for world-wide communications.

Fourth, an additional 75 million dollars--of which 53 million dollars is for the Weather Bureau--will help give us at the earliest possible time a satellite system for world-wide weather observation.

Let it be clear--and this is a judgment which the Members of the Congress must finally make--let it be clear that I am asking the Congress and the country to accept a firm commitment to a new course of action, a course which will last for many years and carry very heavy costs: 531 million dollars in fiscal '62--an estimated seven to nine billion dollars additional over the next five years. If we are to go only half way, or reduce our sights in the face of difficulty, in my judgment it would be better not to go at all.

Now this is a choice which this country must make, and I am confident that under the leadership of the Space Committees of the Congress, and the Appropriating Committees, that you will consider the matter carefully.

It is a most important decision that we make as a nation. But all of you have lived through the last four years and have seen the significance of space and the adventures in space, and no one can predict with certainty what the ultimate meaning will be of mastery of space.

I believe we should go to the moon. But I think every citizen of this country as well as the Members of the Congress should consider the matter carefully in making their judgment, to which we have given attention over many weeks and months, because it is a heavy burden, and there is no sense in agreeing or desiring that the United States take an affirmative position in outer space, unless we are prepared to do the work and bear the burdens to make it successful. If we are not, we should decide today and this year.

This decision demands a major national commitment of scientific and technical manpower, materiel and facilities, and the possibility of their diversion from other important activities where they are already thinly spread. It means a degree of dedication, organization and discipline which have not always characterized our research and development efforts. It means we cannot afford undue work stoppages, inflated costs of material or talent, wasteful interagency rivalries, or a high turnover of key personnel.

New objectives and new money cannot solve these problems. They could in fact, aggravate them further--unless every scientist, every engineer, every serviceman, every technician, contractor, and civil servant gives his personal pledge that this nation will move forward, with the full speed of freedom, in the exciting adventure of space.

X. CONCLUSION

In conclusion, let me emphasize one point. It is not a pleasure for any President of the United States, as I am sure it was not a pleasure for my predecessors, to come before the Congress and ask for new appropriations which place burdens on our people. I came to this conclusion with some reluctance. But in my judgment, this is a most serious time in the life of our country and in the life of freedom around the globe, and it is the obligation, I believe, of the President of the United States to at least make his recommendations to the Members of the Congress, so that they can reach their own conclusions with that judgment before them. You must decide yourselves, as I have decided, and I am confident that whether you finally decide in the way that I have decided or not, that your judgment--as my judgment--is reached on what is in the best interests of our country.

In conclusion, let me emphasize one point: that we are determined, as a nation in 1961 that freedom shall survive and succeed--and whatever the peril and set-backs, we have some very large advantages.

The first is the simple fact that we are on the side of liberty--and since the beginning of history, and particularly since the end of the Second World War, liberty has been winning out all over the globe.

A second real asset is that we are not alone. We have friends and allies all over the world who share our devotion to freedom. May I cite as a symbol of traditional and effective friendship the great ally I am about to visit--France. I look forward to my visit to France, and to my discussion with a great Captain of the Western World, President de Gaulle, as a meeting of particular significance, permitting the kind of close and ranging consultation that will strengthen both our countries and serve the common purposes of world-wide peace and liberty. Such serious conversations do not require a pale unanimity--they are rather the instruments of trust and understanding over a long road.

A third asset is our desire for peace. It is sincere, and I believe the world knows it. We are proving it in our patience at the test ban table, and we are proving it in the UN where our efforts have been directed to maintaining that organization's usefulness as a protector of the independence of small nations. In these and other instances, the response of our opponents has not been encouraging.

Yet it is important to know that our patience at the bargaining table is nearly inexhaustible, though our credulity is limited that our hopes for peace are unfailing, while our determination to protect our security is resolute. For these reasons I have long thought it wise to meet with the Soviet Premier for a personal exchange of views. A meeting in Vienna turned out to be convenient for us both and the Austrian government has kindly made us welcome. No formal agenda is planned and no negotiations will be undertaken but we will make clear America's enduring concern is for both peace and freedom--that we are anxious to live in harmony with the Russian people--that we seek no conquests, no satellites, no riches--that we seek only the day when "nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

Finally, our greatest asset in this struggle is the American people--their willingness to pay the price for these programs--to understand and accept a long struggle--to share their resources with other less fortunate people--to meet the tax levels and close the tax loopholes I have requested--to exercise self-restraint instead of pushing up wages or prices, or over-producing certain crops, or spreading military secrets, or urging unessential expenditures or improper monopolies or harmful work stoppages--to serve in the Peace Corps or the Armed Services or the Federal Civil Service or the Congress--to strive for excellence in their schools, in their cities and in their physical fitness and that of their children--to take part in Civil Defense--to pay higher postal rates, and higher payroll taxes and higher teachers' salaries, in order to strengthen our society--to show friendship to students and visitors from other lands who visit us and go back in many cases to be the future leaders, with an image of America--and I want that image, and I know you do, to be affirmative and positive--and, finally, to practice democracy at home, in all States, with all races, to respect each other and to protect the Constitutional rights of all citizens.

I have not asked for a single program which did not cause one or all Americans some inconvenience, or some hardship, or some sacrifice. But they have responded and you in the Congress have responded to your duty--and I feel confident in asking today for a similar response to these new and larger demands. It is heartening to know, as I journey abroad, that our country is united in its commitment to freedom and is ready to do its duty.


Letter to the President, American Freedom From Hunger Foundation.

I am gratified at the efforts you and other distinguished citizens who serve as trustees of the American Freedom from Hunger Foundation have made to provide leadership for American citizens to participate in the worldwide Freedom from Hunger Campaign of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

United States participation in the International Freedom from Hunger Campaign will be highlighted by two related events in 1963. National Freedom from Hunger Week will be observed March 17-23 ,and the United States will be host to the World Food Congress in Washington, D.C., June 4-18. By Act of Congress in Public Law 87-841, the United States was authorized to invite the World Food Congress of the FAO to meet in this country, and the invitation was issued by the Secretary of Agriculture in November of last year.

In order to carry out its responsibilities as host nation to the World Food Congress, our Government will need the active support and participation of private citizens, business and voluntary groups and government agencies. The meeting is expected to be attended by delegates from over a hundred nations and marks the halfway point in the FAO's International Freedom from Hunger Campaign.

To coordinate government participation in this work and to furnish cooperation with the citizens' host committee, I am establishing an interdepartmental committee, under the chairmanship of Secretary of Agriculture Orville L. Freeman.

I look to the American Freedom from Hunger Foundation to provide active citizen leadership and, to that end, I ask that the trustees of the Foundation serve as a National Citizens' Host Committee for the World Food Congress.


Representative Ronny Jackson sends letter to President Biden calling for a cognitive test

WASHINGTON (KAMR/KCIT) — June 17, Congressman Ronny Jackson (R-TX) sent a letter to President Joe Biden, Physician to the President Kevin O’Connor, D.O. and Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, calling on President Biden to undergo a cognitive test, according to a news release.

Rep. Jackson said in statement, “The American people deserve to have absolute confidence in their President. They deserve to know that he or she can perform the duties demanded of the office, and they deserve to have full transparency on the mental state of their highest elected leader.”

The letter was co-signed by Reps. Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Andy Harris (R-MD), Brian Babin (R-TX), Jody Hice (R-GA), Claudia Tenney (R-NY), W. Gregory Steube (R-FL), Tom Tiffany (R-WI), Kat Cammack (R-FL), Jerry L. Carl (R-AL), Pat Fallon (R-TX), Diana Harshbarger (R-TN), and Beth Van Duyne (R-TX).

The full letter can be found here.

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