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President John F. KennedyÕs Vision For Peace: Eliminate the Threat of Nuclear Weapons and Promote Social Justice Here at Home

John F. Kennedy

Librería: The Raab Collection (Ardmore, PA, Estados Unidos de America)

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ÒAmericans are dedicated today to the delicate task of preserving peace in a troubled world lying under the cloud of nuclear catastrophe to assure that the terrors of war are not unleashedÉÓÒWe must with re-doubled effort strive to meet the great needs of our senior citizens, of our minorities, of our schools and demonstrate, through action and through progress, that we can continue to live up to the promise of America.ÓIn the 1950s, amidst the Cold War, scientists in the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union conducted tests and developed more powerful nuclear weapons. In 1959, radioactive deposits were found in wheat and milk in the northern United States. As scientists and the public gradually became aware of the dangers of radioactive fallout, voices were raised against nuclear testing. Leaders and diplomats of several countries began to address the issue, but conflicts arose over inspections to verify underground testing. They could reach no binding agreement, though the Soviet Union and the United States suspended nuclear tests in a moratorium that lasted from November 1958 to September 1961.John F. Kennedy had supported a ban on nuclear weapons testing since 1956. He believed a ban would prevent other countries from obtaining nuclear weapons, and took a strong stand on the issue in the 1960 presidential campaign. Once elected, Kennedy pledged to pursue all diplomatic efforts for a test ban treaty before resuming underground testing. He envisioned the test ban as a first step to nuclear disarmament. He met with Soviet Premier Khrushchev in Vienna in June 1961, just five weeks after the humiliating defeat of the U.S.-sponsored invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. Khrushchev took a hard line at the summit and in August 1961, he built the notorious Berlin Wall and halted all exodus from East Berlin to the West.The Soviet Union also resumed atmospheric testing, and over the next three months it conducted 31 nuclear tests. It exploded the largest nuclear bomb in historyÑ58 megatonsÑ4,000 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Discouraged and dismayed by the Soviet tests, Kennedy clung to hope for a test ban. In his address to the United Nations on September 25, 1961, he challenged the Soviet Union "not to an arms race, but to a peace race." His outreach was unsuccessful and he reluctantly resumed atmospheric testing on April 25, 1962.At this extremely tense time, Kennedy nonetheless maintained hopes for peace and a nuclear test ban; his eyes remained on that prize. But he felt that, to maximize the chances for peace, it was necessary not only to prevent nuclear war and have a prepared military, but to promote social justice here at home. He articulated this vision in a letter to the American Legion and its National Commander, Charles L. Bacon. The Legion was composed of veterans of AmericaÕs wars.Typed letter signed, on White House letterhead, Washington July 2, 1962, to Bacon. ÒIt gives me much pleasure to greet the American Legion on the occasion of your Forty-Fourth Annual Convention. All Americans are dedicated today to the delicate task of preserving peace in a troubled world lying under the cloud of nuclear catastrophe. There are two things we must do to assure that the terrors of war are not unleashed. First, we must be strong so that weakness does not tempt hostile nations into miscalculation. It has been encouraging to note that during the last months, our increased strength has produced more favorable tides in many parts of the world. We are giving unrelenting attention to the improvement and modernization of all segments of our national security system. Second, we must prove to all those uncommitted peoples who hover between the choice of freedom or of Communism, that our way can satisfy their needs. Words will not convince these peoples, but our actions will. Hence, we must with re-doubled effort strive to meet the great needs of our senior citizens, of our minorities, of our schools a. N° de ref. de la librería 10530

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Título: President John F. KennedyÕs Vision For Peace...

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The Raab Collection buys and sells rare important historical documents, bring to its endeavors a passion not only for the manuscript but the history behind it. We've built important historical collections for institutions and historical enthusiasts. Our pieces have found homes in many major institutions devoted to preserving history.

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