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    The Cold War

    During World War II, despite mutual suspicion and distrust, the United States and Great Britain joined the Soviet Union in an effort to defeat their common enemy, Nazi Germany. The alliance began to crumble immediately after the surrender of the Hitler government in May 1945. Tensions were apparent during the Potsdam Conference in July, where th...

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    The Space Race

    In 1961 responding to the Soviet Union’s lead in the exploration of space, President Kennedy challenged the United States to keep up in the "Space Race" and not fall behind the Soviets.  He said: “We have a long way to go in the space race. We started late. But this is the new ocean, and I believe the United States must sail on it and be in a po...

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    Cuban Missile Crisis

    In October 1962, an American U2 spy plane secretly photographed nuclear missile sites being built by the Soviet Union on the island of Cuba. Because he did not want Cuba and the Soviet Union to know that he had discovered the missiles, Kennedy met in secret with his advisors for several days to discuss the problem. After many long and difficult ...

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    Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

    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.  On August 5, 1963, after more than eight years of difficult negotiations, the United States, the United Kingdom, and th...

  • Digitized Moving Image
    President Kennedy’s Trip to Europe, May 30-June 5, 1961

    This segment features archival footage covering highlights of President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 trip to Europe. Included are scenes of President and Mrs. Kennedy in Paris, France; President Kennedy meeting over two days with the Soviet Union's Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev in Vienna, Austria; and President Kennedy and meeting Brit...

  • Webpage
    JFK Library Releases White House Tape on Space Race (August 22, 2001)

    Boston, MA – The John F. Kennedy Library today announced that it has made available for research a tape recording of a 73-minute White House meeting that took place on November 21, 1962 during which President Kennedy made clear his administration’s priority that the United States land on the moon before the Soviet Union.

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    New JFK Tape Offers Window on the Drafting of Presidential Statements During National Security Crises (October 24, 2001)

    Boston, MA:   On what marks the 39th anniversary of the imposition of a U.S. naval quarantine of Cuba in response to the Soviet Union’s introduction of nuclear missiles on the island, the John F. Kennedy Library today released a White House tape recording of the deliberations surrounding President Kennedy’s decision to lift that qu...

  • Webpage
    New JFK Exhibit Celebrates US-Latin American Friendship (May 26, 2001)

    Boston: When John F. Kennedy became president, he made a priority of changing U.S. policies towards Latin America, hoping to eliminate paternalism and exploitation from the U.S. stance toward the region. In March 1961, he proposed an Alliance for Progress to help create the political, social and economic framework for better living conditions in...

  • Webpage
    JFK Library Releases White House Tape of JFK Reflecting on Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (April 2, 2009)

    BOSTON– The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum announced today that it has declassified and made available for research  a presidential recording of a meeting between President Kennedy and four high level government scientists that took place in the Cabinet Room of the White House on July 31, 1963 during which President Kennedy express...

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