Eisenhower Reaches out to the Russian People
On March 4, 1953 President Dwight D. Eisenhower drafted this statement for the Russian people while Joseph Stalin was gravely ill. Stalin died the next day on March 5, 1953.
Draft statement by President Eisenhower on Joseph Stalin, 03/04/1953
September 21 - MiG-15 from a North Korean Defector
HQ. FEAF, TOKYO —- Pictured here is the Russian-built MIG-15 fighter interceptor which was flown to a U.S. Air Force base at Kimpo near Seoul Monday September 21, by a North Korean officer pilot, in a daring flight to freedom. The flier was interviewed by world-wide press media representatives Tuesday, September 22. The MIG-15 is being studied by U.S. Air Force authorities. ca. 09/22/1953
60 years ago on September 21, 1953, North Korean pilot No Kum-Sok defected to South Korea with this MIG-15 aircraft. He later received a $100,000 reward for his actions under “Operation Moolah,” an initiative by the U.S. Air Force to obtain and study Soviet fighter technology.
Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water Between the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union, 08/05/1963
On August 5, 1963, the Limited Test Ban Treaty was signed by the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union. After Senate approval, it was signed by President Kennedy on October 7, 1963. The treaty went into effect on October 10, 1963, and banned nuclear weapons testing in the atmosphere, in outer space, and under water.
On August 5, 1963, after more than eight years of difficult negotiations, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union signed the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
The Limited Nuclear Test Ban treaty was signed in Moscow on August 5, 1963, by U.S. Secretary Dean Rusk, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, and British Foreign Secretary Lord Home—one day short of the 18th anniversary of the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
Over the next two months, President Kennedy convinced a fearful public and a divided Senate to support the treaty. The Senate approved the treaty on September 23, 1963, by an 80-19 margin. Kennedy signed the ratified treaty on October 7, 1963.
- prohibited nuclear weapons tests or other nuclear explosions under water, in the atmosphere, or in outer space
- allowed underground nuclear tests as long as no radioactive debris falls outside the boundaries of the nation conducting the test
- pledged signatories to work towards complete disarmament, an end to the armaments race, and an end to the contamination of the environment by radioactive substances.
-from the JFK Library
Operation “Little Vittles”
In July 1948 Berlin Airlift pilot Gail Halvorsen began handing out and later dropping candy via handkerchief parachutes to the children who had gathered to watch at Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport. With the approval of superiors and the support of confectionery companies, “Operation Little Vittles” was born and “Candy Bombers” and “Raisin Bombers” began dropping care packages to the children of Berlin.
50 years ago - JFK in Berlin
On June 26, 1963, John F. Kennedy stood at Rudolph Wilde Platz (now John F. Kennedy Platz) in West Berlin to deliver one of his most well-known speeches. His visit to the divided city followed appearances across Germany, from Bonn to Cologne, to Frankfurt. In Berlin, 120,000 people gathered to listen to President Kennedy deliver his remarks:
“Freedom is indivisible and when one man is enslaved, all are not free. When all are free, then we can look forward to that day when this city will be joined as one and this country and this great Continent of Europe in a peaceful and hopeful globe…
All free men, wherever they may live, are Citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’”
From the JFK Library
"Ich bin ein Berliner"
President John F. Kennedy’s Remarks at the Berlin Rathaus Reading Cards June 26, 1963
50 years ago on June 26, 1963, President John F. Kennedy delivered one of his most memorable speeches that electrified an adoring crowd gathered in the shadow of the Berlin Wall. Almost 2 years after the construction of the Berlin Wall and 15 years after the Berlin Airlift, Kennedy paid tribute to the spirit of Berliners with his pronouncement of solidarity: “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner).
Although Kennedy deviated from his notes and improvised much of his speech, he spelled out his pivotal phrase phonetically on this note card.
The Berlin Airlift begins 65 years ago, June 24, 1948
WORLD IN FILM. Issue no. 176, 100 DAYS OF BLOCKADE, 1948
On June 24, 1948, Soviet forces began a blockade of West Berlin, severing all land connections between the city and western Europe. In response, U.S. and British Commonwealth Forces launched the Berlin Airlift (aka “Operation Vittles” for the Americans) to supply their garrisons and the population of Berlin.
At its height, the airlift delivered 5000 tons of supplies daily, including food, milk and coal, with aircraft arriving at Berlin every 30 seconds (at multiple airports). The blockade was eventually lifted on May 12, 1949.
The White House to Kremlin “Hotline”
Hot Line Teletype Machine
Lyndon B. Johnson Museum Collection
Established 50 years ago on June 20, 1963 and announced on August 30, 1963 by the Kennedy White House, the Kremlin-White House teletype “Hotline” was established in the aftermath to the Cuban Missile Crisis - to be used only in an emergency to ensure clear communication between the President and the Soviet Premier.
The White House Hotline teletype machine was used for the first time for communication between President Lyndon Johnson and Soviet Premier Alexsei Kosygin during the Six Day War in the Middle East.
Frenchman’s Flat, Nevada - Atomic Cannon Test - History’s first atomic artillery shell fired from the Army’s new 280-mm artillery gun. Hundreds of high ranking Armed Forces officers and members of Congress are present. The fireball ascending, 05/23/1953
(Ed. note - Although the caption provided with the photo states 5/23/1953, most records indicate this test occurred on May 25, 1953.)
Operation Cue - May 5, 1955
Part of the overall “Operation Teapot” series of nuclear test explosions in Nevada, Operation Cue was a civil defense exercise to intended to observe the effects of nuclear weapons on a civilian infrastructure, including the construction of test houses populated with mannequins.
Photographs of Operation Cue from the Records of the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization, 1947 - 1962