After the United States and Soviet Union survived the Cuban Missile Crisis and its immediate aftermath, the next steps for the two superpowers would be critical. This episode looks at Kennedy’s peace speech at American University and the limited test ban treaty negotiated between Khrushchev and Kennedy, that some say saved the world a second time in. It looks ahead at the positive and negative steps made towards Kennedy’s vision of a world with fewer nuclear weapons and what challenges today’s leaders face involving the spread of nuclear weapons.
Featuring interviews with Michael Dobbs, Nina Khrushcheva, Fredrik Logevall, Tim Naftali, Tom Nichols, and Serhii Plokhy.
View the transcript from this episode.
From the JFK Library Archives
View documents and photographs referenced in this episode.
Press Conference, March 21, 1963
Excerpt, Commencement Address at the American University, June 10 1963
World Peace, June 10, 1963
Address to the Nation on the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, July 26, 1963
From the JFK Library
JFK Library Forum: The Cuban Missile Crisis and the First Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, October 9, 2012 (via C-SPAN)
JFK Library Forum: The Cold War and the Nuclear Arms Race, October 9, 2012 (via C-SPAN)
Library of Congress: "Daisy" Ad (1964): Preserved from 35mm in the Tony Schwartz Collection, September 7, 1964
LBJ Library: Signing of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and President Johnson's speech, July 1, 1968
WABC-TV Vault: 'The Day After:' Nuclear-attack TV movie horrifies America in 1983, November 20, 1983
See full source list for this series.
Hosts and producers: Matt Porter and Jamie Richardson
Co-producer: Rick King
Supervisory Producer: Valerie Linson
Research Assistants: Sara Laroussi and Megan McKee
Independent Fact Checker: Ben Schafer
Thank you to The Miller Center at the University of Virginia for providing the White House tapes used in this series.
Thank you to JFK Library archives staff for assistance with researching and digitizing additional material.
Special thank you to Ambassador Caroline Kennedy for permission to use the audio from Jacqueline Kennedy’s 1964 oral history interview.
Podcast Art: Brian Kang
Music: Premium Beat by Shutterstock