Monday, October 7, 2013


October 7, 2013


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy signed the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963 50 years ago today, October 7, 1963, in the Treaty Room at the White House.

The treaty, which took effect 3 days later, banned all nuclear tests except those conducted underground. 

JFK considered this treaty to be his greatest achievement as President of the United States.

JFK Signs the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
        The White House Treaty Room
                      October 7, 1963
          Photo by Robert Knudsen
               JFK Library Image

The President said:

"In its first two decades the age of nuclear energy has been full of fear, yet never empty of hope. Today the fear is a little less and the hope a little greater.  For the first time we have been able to reach an agreement which can limit the dangers of this age.

The agreement itself is limited, but its message of hope has been heard and the peoples and governments of the hundred other countries that have signed.  This treaty is the first fruit of labor in which multitudes have shared...

What the future can bring, no one of us can know (and)...this limited treaty can only survive if it has from others the determined support which I hereby pledge on behalf of the United States.

This small step toward safety can be followed by others longer and less limited.  With our courage and understanding enlarged by this achievement, let us press onward in quest of man's essential desire for peace."

Article 1 of the "Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Tests in Atmosphere, In Outer Space and Underwater" states...

"Each of the parties of this Treaty undertakes to prohibit, to prevent, and not to carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion, or any other nuclear explosion at any place under its jurisdiction or control;

a. in the atmosphere, beyond its limits, including outer space, or underwater, including territorial waters or high seas; or

b. in any other environment if such explosion causes radioactive debris to be present outside the territorial limits of the state under whose...control such explosion is conducted."


"Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, John F. Kennedy, 1963," United States Government Printing Office, Washington, 1964.


    Fitzgerald-Kennedy Marriage
                 October 7, 1914

Boston, Massachusetts (JFK+50) The parents of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, exchanged marriage vows 99 years ago today, October 7, 1914.

The Mayor of the city of Boston, Massachusetts, John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, gave away his daughter Rose.

The marriage ceremony was held in the private chapel of William Cardinal O'Connell at 25 Granby Street at 9 a.m.  Rose wore a white satin gown and her sister, Agnes, served as Maid of Honor while Mr. Kennedy's Harvard classmate, Joseph Donovan, was Best Man.

The Kennedys then went on a 2 week honeymoon at White Sulphur Springs  in West Virginia.


                          Nixon v. Kennedy
                             2nd TV Debate
                            October 7, 1960

Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) The Democratic and Republican candidates for President of the United States, John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, squared off 53 years ago tonight, on October 7, 1960, in the second of  four face-to-face televised debates.

This debate was held in Studio A of NBC affiliate WRC-TV on Massachusetts and Nebraska Avenues.

The debate was moderated by Frank McGee of NBC News.

The topics of this debate included foreign policy and civil rights.

Senator Kennedy was asked:

"In your acceptance speech you said that your campaign would be based on what you wanted to ask of the American people. What (do) you have in mind?"

JFK responded:

"If they elect me President, I will do my best to carry the United States through a difficult period.  I would not want people to elect me because I promise them the easy, soft life.  I think its going to be difficult, but I'm confident that this country can meet its responsibilities."*

61,900,000 viewers watched the 2nd televised debate.