Washington, D.C.-Moscow, USSR (JFK+50) The United States and Soviet governments announced 51 years ago today, June 20, 1963, that an agreement had been reached to establish direct telephone communication between the two superpowers.
The idea for the so called Hot Line* came as a result of the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis during which the world came close to nuclear war.
President John F. Kennedy believed the new technology would benefit the two nations in times of crisis.
"This age of fast moving events requires quick, dependable communication, in times of emergency".
The Hot Line was first used during the Six Day War between Israel and Egypt in 1967.
*A Hot Line is defined as a communication link in which a call is automatically directed to the preselected destination without any additional action by the user when the instrument is off the hook.
If a 1960s model desk telephone set, like the one pictured below, had been used, JFK would have simply lifted off the handset and he would have spoken directly to someone at the Kremlin.
A standard desk telephone, however, was never used for the hot line. Typewriter technology, as seen in the video below, was first used followed by telecopier and e-mail.
The original hot line was installed at the Pentagon, not at the White House.
CIVIL RIGHTS LEADERS VISIT WHITE HOUSE
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Civil Rights leaders paid a visit to the White House 51 years ago today, June 20, 1963, to listen to President John F. Kennedy's plea to call off the "March on Washington" scheduled for August.
President Kennedy was concerned that the march would further delay passage of his civil rights proposals in Congress.
The leaders went away, however, with the President's approval for the march to demand educational and employment reforms.
GREAT SEAL ADOPTED BY CONGRESS 232 YEARS AGO TODAY
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (JFK+50) 232 years ago today, June 20, 1782, the United States Congress approved "The Great Seal of the United States of America." The approval came after six years of debate on the issue.
In keeping with the theme of 13 states, the Seal consists of various items numbering 13...such as stars, stripes, arrows, etc.
The main focal point of the Seal is the American Bald Eagle holding in one talon, a bundle of arrows and an olive branch. The arrows symbolize "defense" while the olive branch symbolizes "peace".
The Latin phrase E Pluribus Unum or One Out of Many is printed on a ribbon held in the beak of the eagle.
In one of his State of the Union Addresses, President John F. Kennedy said...
"In one talon the eagle holds an olive branch and in the other a bundle of arrows. We intend to give equal attention to both."