President Kennedy’s speech to the graduating class of American University in Washington DC on June 10, 1963, represented the beginning of his “strategy for peace” to wind down the Cold War. His bold proposal for a joint U.S.-Soviet moon flight was part of this strategy.
Kennedy’s vigorous style and clear mind never had a more important goal — or more powerful enemies.
While JFK’s proposal has been forgotten in popular memory and sometimes overlooked by historians, it was understood as highly significant at the time. Kennedy was pushing, not just a scientific endeavor, but a peaceful end to the Cold War.
JFK speaks to the UN on Sept. 20, 1963. (UN photo credit, Teddy Chen.)
Yes. It happened on September 20, 1963, according to History.com. It is one of the lesser known but more important events in the last months of President Kennedy’s life and presidency.
In the fall of 1963, JFK was on a political roll. His approval ratings had climbed. He had overcome the grumbling of the Pentagon and all but secured Senate ratification of the popular Limited Test Ban Treaty, banning nuclear explosions in space. Then he went to New York to say something daring.
Under the suggestive title “Castro Figured Out The JFK Case in Five Days”, an English version of his speech at the University of Havana on November 27, 1963, is available from CTKA.
In due course, the Warren Commission was provided with a slightly different version, but its members feared and rejected Castro’s line of argument depicting JFK’s assassination as part of a broader “plan against peace, against Cuba, against the Soviet Union, against humanity, against progressive and even liberal sectors of the United States.”
Gen. Maxwell Taylor with Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, left, and JFK. (Credit: Robert Knudsen/JFK Library)
I ask because I don’t know the answer. In a crisis like a presidential assassination, the role of the nation’s top soldier is worth understanding. But I don’t know how Taylor responded Can any help me out here?
Taylor was known in CIA traffic as GPPHOTO, perhaps in recognition of his manly photogenic style. Robert Kennedy named one of his sons after him, a measure of the personal affection the Kennedys had for the general.
In May 1964, top CIA officials stonewalled the official investigation of the murder of President John F. Kennedy by concealing or downplaying evidence about the Cuban contacts of the accused assassin, according to newly declassified documents.
The documents, released online last month by the National Archives, show how two CIA spymasters concocted a series of false and misleading statements that served to steer the Warren Commission investigation away from evidence that might point to a conspiracy.
The long-secret records, stamped with the words “Reproduction Prohibited,” shed new light on two key issues related to the death of JFK: 1) the agency’s plots to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro at the time JFK was killed; and 2) the CIA’s pre-assassination knowledge of Lee Harvey Oswald, the 24-year-old ex-Marine, who was arrested for killing Kennedy.
The new files show the JFK investigation was not “botched” as Politico and NPR have reported. Rather, the documents show hwo the probe was controlled by two top CIA officials.
On May 29, 1963, Kennedy and about two dozen others boarded the 104-foot Sequoia, the presidential yacht, for a dinner party cruise down the Potomac River. It was a family-and-friends-only affair. Aside from a few Secret Service agents, the roster of guests gleamed with a touch of Hollywood — actors David Niven (“Separate Tables” and “The Pink Panther”) and Peter Lawford (a Rat Packer who was married to Patricia Kennedy, the commander in chief’s sister).
By late July, Johnson could no longer risk waiting until the Democratic convention to remove Kennedy from vice presidential consideration. The president called his attorney general on Monday, July 27, and asked him to come to the White House—Tuesday, if he could—to talk over “some other matters.”