Hyannis Port, Massachusetts (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy was interviewed fifty-three years ago today, November 25, 1961, by Aleksei I. Adzhubei, son-in-law of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and a journalist for Izvestia.
The interview, which began at 10:20 a.m. was attended by Alex A. Kalovsky, interpreter for the President, and Georgi Bolshikov, interpreter for Mr. Adzhubei as well as Pierre Salinger, JFK's press secretary and Jack Romagna, official White House reporter.
Mr. Adzhubei asked JFK a variety of questions about subjects such as Soviet-American relations, communism, Berlin, NATO and nuclear testing.
Mr. Adzhubei began the interview by saying...
"Your election...was met with great hope by public opinion in the USSR. What do you think about the present state of Soviet-American relations and what must be done...to improve (them)?"
President Kennedy responded...
"...not as satisfactory as I had hoped...(but) one of the first things that I did on becoming President was to commit the United States to an earnest effort to achieve a satisfactory agreement with the Soviet Union on the cessation of nuclear tests.
I felt that if we could achieve an agreement in this area, we could then move on to other areas of disarmament."
"I think the Soviet Union and the United States should live together in peace (but) it is (the) effort to push outward the communist system, on to country after country, that represents the greatest threat to peace."
Mr. Adzhubei did not agree with the President's representation of his country's policy. He responded...
"Our government believes that every people chooses such a system as they like..."
President Kennedy said the United States also supports the freedom of governmental choice and that we would be prepared to accept other nations choosing communism providing they chose that system by majority vote in free elections.
At the conclusion of the interview, President Kennedy said...
"I appreciate...your giving me....this opportunity to talk to the people of the Soviet Union and your courtesy in coming here.
I was in (your country) as a student in 1939 and I understand that there have been many changes and that the standard of living of people is rising.
Our two peoples have the most to gain from peace."
*Aleksei I. Adzhubei resigned following the removal of Nikita Khrushchev as Premier in 1964. He died at the age of 68 in 1993.
"JFK Interview by Aleksei I. Adzhubei, The American Presidency Project, 483, Transcript of Interview," www.presidency.ucsb.edu/
THE DAY OF MUFFLED DRUMS
Arlington, Virginia (JFK+50) Fifty-one years ago today, the 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, was laid to rest at the National Cemetery here in Arlington.
The National Day of Mourning proclaimed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, began just after 10 a.m. when JFK's casket was removed from the Capitol Rotunda by a military honor guard and placed on a horse drawn caisson.
From the White House, the procession made its way to nearby Saint Matthew's Cathedral on Rhode Island Avenue where a Low Mass was conducted by the Archbishop of Boston and Kennedy family friend, Richard Cardinal Cushing.
The procession continued past the Lincoln Memorial and across the bridge to Arlington National Cemetery. There, on the hill just below the Custis-Lee Mansion, the body of the 35th President of the United States reached it's final resting place.