Friday, October 17, 2014



Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Fifty-two years ago today, on October 17, 1962, 
President John F. Kennedy received a letter from Adlai Stevenson, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, asking him to speak to Premier Nikita Khrushchev about Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba.

Mr. Stevenson wrote...

"(It) should (be) made...clear that the existence of the nuclear missile bases is negotiable.  Because an attack would very likely result in Soviet is important that we have as much of the world with us as possible.  To start...a nuclear war is bound to be divisive at best and the judgments of history seldom coincide with the tempers of the moment."

According to James M. Lindsay on "The Water's Edge,"  EXCOM met at 8:30 a.m. in the State Department on October 17, 1962.

Mr. Lindsay writes that JFK was not present at this meeting but most of the participants, including CIA director John McCone, believed Premier Khrushchev had put the missiles in Cuba to put pressure on our position in West Berlin.

Lindsay also says that JFK directed Mr. McCone to go to Gettysburg to brief former President Dwight D. Eisenhower.


"The Kennedys:  A Chronological History," by Harvey Rachlin, World Almanac, New York, 1986.

"TWE Remembers: JFK Solicits Ike's Advisers, Cuban Missile Crisis Day 2," 


Saratoga, New York (JFK+50) 237 years ago today, October 17, 1777, British General John Burgoyne was forced to surrender his entire army to the Continentals under General Horatio Gates here at Saratoga.

Four days befpre, Burgoyne had been surrounded by 20,000 American troops.
Unable to hold out any longer or escape the trap, General Burgoyne agreed to terms marking the first surrender of a British force in the Revolutionary War.

Historians have determined that the Battle of Saratoga represents the turning point of the Revolutionary War.  Shortly afterwards, the French signed a treaty of alliance with the United States providing military aid to the Americans.

Battle of Saratoga
Commemorative Stamp (1927)


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy welcomed the President of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito* and his wife, Jovanka, to the White House fifty-one years ago today, October 17, 1963.

During a ceremony on the South Lawn, JFK said...

"We are glad to have you you can see something of the United States.  I am glad you are going to the South and then to the West.  This is a vigorous and progressive people that you will see."

Later at a White House luncheon, JFK said...

"You have an extraordinary career in war and in peace, and while there are differences in viewpoint which separate our governments, nevertheless, this administration....believe(s) strongly in the independence of your country and...the extraordinary efforts you are making  to maintain that independence..."

The Titos and the Nixons
October 28, 1971
White House Photo

*Josip Broz Tito (1892-1980) was born in Croatia-Slavonia and joined the Austrio-Hungarian army in 1913.  He fought against the Russians in WWI and became a POW.   After the war, he became leader of "the most effective anti-Nazi resistance movement in Europe."  Tito served as President of the Communist League of Yugoslavia from 1939 to 1980.