JFKPOF-109-005-p0028: Photograph, Hanford Labs, Washington, September 1963: 24-29

President Kennedy decided to seek a brief postponement of the nuclear test ban talks with Britain and the Soviet Union that were due to resume in Geneva Feb. 7. White House aides said that the Administration wanted more time to draw up its disarmament position. (1:4) – January 25, 1961

The Atomic Energy Commission warned that a "threat to free world security was posed by the continuation of the unpoliced moratorium on atomic tests. It said that this country was prevented from making "major advances." (1:7) – 31 January 1961 The Soviet Union quietly accepted this United States' request for a six-week postponement of the nuclear test-ban conference in Geneva. President Kennedy had asked for a delay from Feb. 7 to March 21 to permit his Administration to review the problem and to consider new proposals. (1:3) – February 5, 1961

Administration studies indicate that a "missile gap" between this country and the Soviet Union has not developed. It is also understood the Soviets did not engage in a "crash" ballistic-missiles program. (1:1-2) – February 7, 1961

Spurred by President Kennedy's call for a speed-up in the missile program, the leaders of 3,000,000 union construction workers ordered their members to shun hasty strikes at missile bases. The leaders, meeting in Florida, directed all locals to exhaust all available peace machinery. (6:2-3) – February 16, 1961

The growing number of Soviet weapons and their availability to Communist China were cited by Army leaders in Congressional testimony as factors "we cannot wisely afford to ignore." (1:8) – February 25, 1961

In the long efforts to reach agreement with the Soviet Union on another major issue ’ an atomic test ban -- the White House is reported to be ready to make a concession on the crucial item of on-site inspections. (1:8) – March 3, 1961

The United States proposed putting off the disarmament debate in the resumed session of the General Assembly. (Text, pg. 3) – March 8, 1961

The United States and British delegations are preparing for the resumption tomorrow of negotiations in Geneva for a nuclear testing ban with the impression that the Soviet Union, after two and a half years, is losing interest in an agreement isolated from general disarmament. (1:4-5) – March 20, 1961

When the atomic test ban talks resume in Geneva today, the United States will offer concessions on some controversial issues but will stand fast on the key issue of inspection. The concessions will deal with Soviet inspection of atomic explosives to be used in this country’s seismic research program, the length of a voluntary, un-inspected moratorium on small underground weapons tests and tests in outer space. The three-power negotiations began in October, 1958. (1:7) – March 21, 1961

In Geneva, the Soviet Union put the future of the conferences on a treaty to ban nuclear tests in serious doubt. (1:6-7) – March 22, 1961

In two other disagreements with Eisenhower policy, the Administration decided (1) to build the world’s largest atomic power plant by converting a plutonium-producing reactor at Hanford, Wash., and (2) to continue two technical approaches to building an atomic plane, rather than one approach. (1:4) – March 25, 1961

The President told a British television audience that neither of their countries would "have any difficulties" in the missile race with the Soviet Union if it were not for the fact the democracies would not strike first. He said "we always have to consider what we have left" with which to retaliate. (1:8) – March 27, 1961

The Atomic Energy Commission announced the creation and identification of a new element ’ No. 103 on the atomic scale. (1:8) – April 13, 1961

The British Prime Minister disclosed to Commons that the two leaders, Kennedy-Macmillan, regarded the Soviet attitude toward nuclear test ban negotiations and the United Nations as a key to Moscow’s desire to improve relations. (1:2-3) – April 14, 1961

The Kennedy Administration was considering major revisions in military policy for NATO, with the United States the primary, if not the sole, custodian of nuclear weapons. (1:4) – April 16, 1961

Secretary of State Rusk prepared to urge the European allies at the NATO ministerial council meeting in Oslo to boost their conventional forces to the point that nuclear weapons become a "last resort." (1:8) – May 8, 1961

The North Atlantic Alliance received yesterday a United States pledge to commit Polaris nuclear missile submarines to forces assigned to NATO. Five of the submarines will be contributed initially, but more will be added as they become available. It was understood that the force would be under Unites States fleet commanders. (1:8) – May 10, 1961

The President dispatched Arthur Dean to Geneva to make "every reasonable effort" for a "workable and effective" nuclear test-ban treaty. (18:3) – May 25, 1961

The Atomic Energy Commission issued a critical self-indictment of its safety procedures and organization. The report was made because of the fatal accident in a small Army research reactor in Idaho last January. (24:3) – June 11, 1961

At the 317th session of the nuclear test talks in Geneva, the Soviets served notice yesterday that the negotiating stage of the conference was over. The United States and British delegates were given the choice of outright acceptance of the Soviet terms for a test ban treaty on merging the talks with broader disarmament negotiations. Democrats pressed the Administration to end the talks and resume nuclear tests. (1, Col. 8) – June 13, 1961

Chairman Holifield of the Congressional Atomic Energy Committee called for an end to the voluntary moratorium and a resumption of nuclear tests as soon as possible. Essentially, what he advocates is known as the "TNT approach" ’ "Test ’N’ Talk." (1:1) – June 15, 1961

In a new note to Moscow, The United States warned yesterday that it could not indefinitely run the risk that the Russians might be secretly testing nuclear weapons. Washington also rejected a Soviet proposal to merge the nearly three-year-old test ban talks in Geneva with pending disarmament negotiations. The note said flatly that Moscow appeared not to want a test ban treaty and it emphasized that the Soviet Union would have to bear the responsibility if the negotiations resulted in failure. (1:8, Text, pg. 2) – June 18, 1961

United States-Soviet talks in Washington on disarmament negotiations arrangements opened. A communiqué said only that the two sides had "exchanged views" on procedures and "the ways of solving the problems before them." (1:3) – June 20, 1961

Premier Khrushchev warned yesterday that the Soviet Union would start nuclear tests "immediately" if the West resumes such tests. He topped speech off by promising that he will sign peace treaty with East Germany by the end of the year. (1, Col. 8; Text, 6) – June 22, 1961

President Kennedy announced he had ordered a special committee to determine whether the Russians might be conducting secret tests. (1:6-7) – June 29, 1961

The United States and the Soviet Union exchanged new accusations over the stalemated negotiations to achieve a ban on nuclear weapons tests. Moscow rejected Washington’s proposals for inspection safeguards in a treaty. (1:2-3) – July 8, 1961

The Kennedy Administration’s proposal to convert the Hanford reactor into the world’s largest atomic power plant was narrowly defeated by the House. Lobbying by private utilities, coal interests and unions was said to have been intense. (1:2) – July 14, 1961

The United States and Britain called on the United Nations yesterday to halt alleged Soviet obstruction of efforts to ban nuclear tests. In a joint note they asked the General Assembly to take up the issue on an urgent basis at its next session. However, further talks by the three powers at Geneva were not ruled out. (1:8) – July 16, 1961

Former President Eisenhower has volunteered his support for the Kennedy Administration’s proposal to create a permanent "peace agency" with responsibility for planning and research on disarmament. (1:2) – August 6, 1961

The House rejected a plan to convert a plutonium-producing reactor at Hanford, Washington, into the world’s largest atomic power plant. The defeat could plunge the atomic power program deep into a bitter controversy over public and private power. (1:4) – August 9, 1961

At a wide-ranging news conference yesterday, President Kennedy said that he would make a "most critical" and probably "decisive" judgment this month of the Soviet Union’s willingness to arrange a well-policed ban on nuclear testing. He said that a special scientific study has convinced him "more urgently than ever" that without international inspection there could be no assurance of Soviet abstention from nuclear testing. (pg. 1:8; Pg. 6) – August 11, 1961

Impressive Republican support continued to line up behind President Kennedy’s proposal for a permanent, high-level disarmament agency. Henry Cabot Lodge, Christian A. Herter and Gen. Alfred M. Gruenther, among others sounded an unbroken chorus of endorsements on the second day of hearings. (1:7-8) – August 16, 1961

The Soviet Union announced early today it would resume testing of nuclear weapons. (1:8; Text, pg. 4) – August 31, 1961

The White House declared yesterday that the Soviet Union’s decision to resume nuclear weapons testing was "primarily a form of atomic blackmail, designed to substitute terror for reason." The statement, which was issued after a meeting of President Kennedy and the National Security Council with Congressional leaders of both parties, expressed confidence that the size and capabilities of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile were wholly adequate for the defense of the free world. The statement apparently reflected a high level decision to delay a U.S. resumption of nuclear tests at least until world indignation against Moscow had run its course. (1:8) – September 1, 1961

Another atomic fireball burst in the sky over Central Asia early yesterday, Washington reported. The Atomic Energy Commission said it was the second Soviet nuclear explosion in seventy-two hours. Both followed Moscow’s announcement that atmospheric nuclear tests were being resumed after a pause of nearly three years. Cautiously, United States official said the new blast did not necessarily mean that the Russians were rejecting the United States-British call for a new voluntary halt in such tests. (1:8) – September 5, 1961

Just a few hours after the United States detected the third Soviet nuclear test in five days, President Kennedy yesterday ordered a resumption of American tests. Unlike the Russian blasts, which have been atmospheric, the President said this country’s would be "in the laboratory and underground, with no fall out." Mr. Kennedy said the United States had striven for a test ban but now had no choice to end the voluntary moratorium. (1:8) – September 6, 1961

Premier Khrushchev declared yesterday that nuclear testing could be ended only by Western acceptance of the Soviet proposals for a German peace treaty and by complete disarmament. He laid down these conditions in a message to President Kennedy and Prime Minister Macmillan that rejected their proposal for a prohibition on nuclear testing in the atmosphere. Western Diplomats in Moscow expressed the view that the Soviet leader had renewed nuclear testing as one of a number of military measures directed at pressuring the West into accepting his terms for a German settlement. (1:8; Excerpts, 16) – September 10, 1961

The United States resumed atomic testing yesterday by setting off a small underground explosion in the Nevada desert. In announcing the explosion, President Kennedy said the United States was "forced reluctantly" to renew testing after nearly three years because the Soviet Union had "without warning, but after a great deal of preparation, resumed testing in the atmosphere." The announcement emphasized that the detonation had "produced no fall out *** in marked contrast" to the ten recent Soviet tests. (1:8; Text, 6) – September 16, 1961

On disarmament, Mr. Kennedy challenged the Soviet Union to turn the arms race into a "peace race." He backed this up by presenting a detailed program for "dismantling the national capacity to wage war." (1:5; Text, pg. 16) – September 26, 1961

Nuclear arms are the key to the Berlin crisis, according to many American diplomats and military men in Europe. They believe the United States must convince Moscow that it will use such weapons, if necessary, to defend its vital interests in Berlin. – October 4, 1961

As the Atomic Energy Commission reported that the Soviet Union had exploded the eighteenth nuclear device in its current test series that began Sept. 1. (3:1) – October 7, 1961

The more familiar type of nuclear explosion reverberated underground in Nevada, where the United States set off its third detonation since it resumed atomic tests last month. (17:5) – October 11, 1961

At the United Nations, the United States challenged the Soviet Union to sign a treaty immediately to end all nuclear weapon tests. And the United States renewed President Kennedy’s warning that Washington might have to resort to atmospheric tests unless the Russians stopped theirs. (10:2) – October 13, 1961

The Public Health Service announced that fall-out from Soviet nuclear tests had increased the amount of radioactive iodine 131 in milk and fresh foods in certain area of the United States. But health officials said the fall-out "does not warrant undue public concern." (1:8) – October 13, 1961

The Atomic Energy Commission has begun a survey into how much time and money it would take to restore the Eniwetok Proving Grounds for nuclear tests in the atmosphere. He study follows a conditional decision by the Administration to resume atmospheric testing if no favorable action is taken on the test ban issue at the current session of the United Nations General Assembly. (1:7) – October 19, 1961

The United States served notice yesterday that it would resume nuclear tests in the atmosphere unless a treaty prohibiting tests under effective controls was signed promptly. Adlai E. Stevenson also told the Political Committee of the United Nations General Assembly that the United States was ready to resume negotiations "tomorrow," in New York or Geneva, and would devote all its energies to speedy conclusion of an agreement. He said that if the Soviet Union would do the same and stop its tests, a treaty could be signed in thirty days "and this suicidal business ended before it ends us." (1:8) – October 20, 1961

Military Officials are pressing the Kennedy Administration to approve atomic testing in the atmosphere to develop a new arsenal of nuclear weapons, from bombs that would jam international communications to warheads that would knock down incoming missiles. (1:6) – November 2, 1961

At meetings marked by sharp American and Soviet exchanges yesterday, the United Nations adopted two resolutions aimed at ending nuclear tests. The General Assembly voted overwhelmingly for an immediate voluntary test halt, despite warnings by all the atomic powers that they would not heed it. The split was dramatized by a line-up of ten Western and ten Soviet-bloc nations against seventy-one countries favoring the moratorium. In Political Committee, and American-British can for new test-ban negotiations was adopted easily. (1:1) – November 7, 1961

Moscow surprised the West yesterday by accepting the American and British proposal to return to Geneva next week for further nuclear test ban talks. However, the Russians indicated they might set off more blasts if "any power" tested while negotiations went on. This seemed to be a bid for a new voluntary moratorium. Washington welcomed the Soviet acceptance, but served the right to test during the talks. (1:8; Soviet text, 2) – November 22, 1961

On the eve of renewed nuclear talks in Geneva, the Soviet Union yesterday proposed an immediate ban on atomic weapons tests in the atmosphere, outer space and under water. There would be no international controls. Moscow asked that France join the talks and sign the proposed treaty. The Soviet plan also suggested a voluntary halt of underground tests pending agreement on a control system as part of a general disarmament pact. (1:8; Text 12) – November 28, 1961

By acclamation the United Nations Political Committee agreed yesterday to seek a world agreement to halt the spread of nuclear weapons to countries that do not now have them. Another resolution, urging formation of a "non-nuclear club" for the same purpose was adopted over Western objections by a vote of 57 to 12, with 32 abstentions. The United States voted in opposition on the ground that this resolution might impose "harmful restrictions" on the right of peaceful nations "to protect themselves." (1, Col. 1) – December 1, 1961

The Atomic Energy Commission the New Mexico desert outside Carlsbad with an unexpectedly volatile atoms-for-peace explosion. Project Gnome, the first in a projected series of non-military nuclear blasts, proved to be anything but a dwarf. It burst through its 1,200-foot-deep shaft, ignited a chemical charge prematurely and jolted observers five miles away. The explosion releases a stream of radiation and a rolling cloud of dust, but the commission said there was not immediate danger of residents of the area. (1:1) – December 11, 1961

The Army announced that its Nike Zeus anti-missile missile had successfully intercepted a missile in flight for the first time. It released photographs of the Zeus weapon intercepting a Nike Hercules anti-aircraft missile in a test over New Mexico. (1:2-3) – December 22, 1961