Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy proposed a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty* 51 years ago today, June 10, 1963.
The President presented the proposal as the keynote speaker at the graduation ceremonies of American University here in the Nation's Capital.
In the address, President Kennedy, in a break from cold war tradition, made peace overtures to the Soviet Union.
The President said that despite philosophical differences...
"we can still hail the Russian people for their many achievements--in science and space, in economic and industrial growth, in culture and in acts of courage."
JFK also called for a...
"genuine peace, the kind that makes life on earth worth living..."
JFK went on to announce that talks would soon begin in Moscow between the Soviets, British and American representatives to work out a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty.
The President added...
"In the final analysis our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet, we all breath the same air, we all cherish our children's future, and we are all mortal."
*Officially known as the Treaty banning nuclear weapons tests in the atmosphere, in outer space, a.k.a. the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, it was ratified by the US Senate on Sept 24, 1963 and signed by JFK on Oct 10, 1963.
The need for the treaty was evidenced by the concern about radioactive fallout from testing in the atmosphere and outer space.
Most countries signed and ratified with the exception of China, France and North Korea.