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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • January 20, 1961

    John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address

    Kennedy's inaugural address, in which he discusses US foreign policy and relations with the rest of the world, especially the Eastern Bloc.

  • January 31, 1961

    Department of State Memorandum of Conversation, 'Ambassador Reid's Review of His Conversation with President Kennedy'

    Days after his inauguration, President Kennedy met with Ogden Reid, who had just resigned as US ambassador to Israel, for a comprehensive briefing on US-Israel relations, including the problem of the Dimona nuclear reactor.

  • March 15, 1961

    Message by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate General for Political Affairs and Security (DGAP), 'American attitude toward NATO - President Kennedy's declarations'

    Letter from the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs analyzing President Kennedy’s State of the Union Address. Despite stating his commitment to cooperating with NATO, the minister suspects that Kennedy has other priorities. The letter suggests that if the Kennedy expresses hesitancy in creating a nuclear force, European nations including Italy will move forward with or without American support.

  • April 01, 1961

    Memorandum by Admiral Corrado Tagliamonte to the Minister of Defense, 'American attitude toward NATO. President Kennedy's declarations'

    Report submitted to the Italian Minister of Defense regarding President Kennedy’s opinion that NATO should not construct a special nuclear force since the US has already developed a nuclear deterrent. According to the Kennedy, the creation of an additional deterrent would be useless and a waste of resources.

  • April 08, 1961

    Memorandum by the Aeronautical Attaché and the Military Attaché in Washington, 'USA. President Kennedy's message to Congress on the Defense budget 1961-1962'

    Description of NATO’s new directives for the 1961-1962 year, as they were presented by President Kennedy. NATO has decided on a comprehensive defense strategy which includes increasing the nuclear capabilities of submarines, airplanes, and long-range missiles while developing new non-nuclear weapons.

  • May 06, 1961

    State Department Telegram 5245 to US Embassy United Kingdom, forwarding message from President Kennedy to Prime Minister Macmillan

    In this telegram, President Kennedy expresses doubts about aiding the French nuclear program to British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. He maintained that such an action would shake NATO and signify a "major reversal" in U.S. opposition to "Nth country programs,"subsequently increasing Germany's desire to acquire nuclear weapons.

  • May 08, 1961

    Department of State Cable 5245 to Embassy United Kingdom, Message from President Kennedy to Prime Minister Macmillan

    President Kennedy writes British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan to discuss the implications for NATO and West German security if the US or UK assisted the French nuclear program.

  • May 18, 1961

    Memorandum, by L.D. Battle, Executive Secretary, to McGeorge Bundy, Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, 'American Scientists’ Visit to Israel’s Dimona Reactor'

    President Kennedy told the new US ambassador to Israel, Walworth Barbour, that he was concerned about Israel’s insistence on a secret visit as well as the "absence of a 'neutral' scientist" in the visit to Dimona. The State Department took the position that it was better to put up with Ben-Gurion’s "sensitivities" about secrecy than "have no visit" at all

  • May 30, 1961

    Memorandum of Conversation, 'President Kennedy, Prime Minister Ben-Gurion, Ambassador Avraham Harman of Israel, Myer Feldman of the White House Staff, and Philips Talbot, Assistant Secretary, Near East and South Asian Affairs'

    US memorandum of conversation of Prime Minister Ben-Gurion and President Kennedy's discussion in New York.

  • June 07, 1961

    Ambassador Harman’s Record of Ben-Gurion/Kennedy Meeting, with attachment on the 'Atomic Reactor' (and transcript), sent with cover letter by Mordechai Gazit to Israeli Foreign Ministry

    Israeli record of conversation between Prime Minister Ben-Gurion and President Kennedy in New York.

  • November 21, 1961

    Memorandum of Conversation, Private Conversations Between the President and Chancellor Adenauer, 'Germany'

    The ongoing crisis over West Berlin brought Adenauer to Washington for talks on strategy, diplomacy, and contingency planning. During this discussion, Kennedy wanted to determine where the Chancellor stood on the nuclear questions, specifically whether his government would continue to observe the 1954 declaration renouncing the production of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

  • March 12, 1962

    Alexei Adzhubei's Account of His Visit to Washington to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

    Alexei Adzhubei, Khrushchev’s son-in-law and the editor-in-chief of Izvestia, reports on his meetings with US journalists and officials in Washington, DC. Especially significant was his 30 January meeting with President John F. Kennedy in which Kennedy compared the communist revolution in Cuba with the 1956 Hungarian Revolution suppressed by the Soviet Union. Adzhubei also described Kennedy's comments on German reunification.

  • September 19, 1962

    Ministry of Defence, 'Notes on Talks During the Minister of Defence’s Visit to the United States, September 1962, Nuclear Problems in Europe'

    In September 1962, British Defence Minister Peter Thorneycroft traveled to Washington for discussion on defense cooperation. During a flight with President Kennedy and Secretary of Defense McNamara, they discussed the French nuclear program and the possibility of French-German nuclear cooperation.

  • October 18, 1962

    From the cable on the conversation between Gromyko and Kennedy

    Gromyko reported on his meeting with Kennedy. The Soviet representative argued that Cuba was never a threat to the US and Washington should end its hostile activities against Havana. He also warned Kennedy of the possibility of nuclear war in the event of an invasion of Cuba. Gromyko reiterated the Moscow's intention of supporting Cuba only in economic and defensive issues. Kennedy, however, pointed out that it was difficult to explain the surge in Soviet military aid to Cuba. The US president reaffirmed that Washington did not have any plan to invade Cuba, at least after Bay of Pigs and Operation Mongoose. The US was only preventing actions that could have led to war. Gromyko reemphasized the peaceful rivalry of the two ideological systems and proposed a meeting between the two leaders.

  • October 19, 1962

    Cable from USSR ambassador to the USA Dobrynin to Soviet Foreign Ministry

    Dobrynin reports a speech made by Kennedy during a closed conference, where he discusses Cuba.

  • October 20, 1962

    Cable from Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko on 18 October 1962 meeting with President Kennedy (excerpts)

    Gromyko expresses that the Soviet government is committed to assist Cuba in the face of a US blockade. Kennedy says that the recent build up Soviet supplies to Cuba negatively affected the US population and Congress and that his actions were meant to calm public opinion; also that the US had no intention of invading Cuba.

  • October 24, 1962

    Letter from Khrushchev to John F. Kennedy

    Khrushchev expresses outrage at Kennedy’s establishment of quarantine in Cuba.

  • October 24, 1962

    Telegram from Soviet Ambassador to the USA Dobrynin to the USSR MFA

    Dobrynin relays the results of a meeting with R. Kennedy during which R. Kennedy is outraged at the “deception” of the Soviet Union by putting long-range missiles in Cuba.

  • October 26, 1962

    Telegram from Soviet delegate to the UN Zorin to USSR Foreign Ministry (2) on the meeting with U Thant on October 26, 1962

    U Thant’s response to Khrushchev’s reply to his previous message. U Thant expresses satisfaction to Khrushchev and Kennedy’s responses to his previous messages.

  • October 27, 1962

    Cable from Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko to USSR Ambassador to Cuba Alekseev

    A message from Gromyko to Alekseev to relay a message to Castro regarding American invasion.