Saturday, May 16, 2015



Ottawa (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy made his first foreign trip as head of state fifty-four years ago today, May 16, 1961.  The President, accompanied by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy,  was in Canada for two days.

Air Force One landed at Uplands Airport at 3:32 p.m. local time where the Kennedys were received by Governor-General Major Georges P. Vanier and Prime Minister John Diefenbaker.

The President and First Lady were honored also with the presence of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a 100 man honor guard and the Canadian Air Force Band.

The President said his visit was intended "to bind even closer the friendly partnership" between Canada and the United States. 

Governor-General Vanier described President Kennedy as "a man whose standard of courage and integrity had been widely acclaimed."

For her part, Jacqueline Kennedy had brought along a new 9 piece wardrobe which she had assembled specifically for the trip to Canada.

Other Presidents of the United States to visit Ottawa during their term of office included Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S Truman.


"CANADA GREETS KENNEDYS," by Laurence Burd, Chicago Tribune, May 17, 1961,

Ottawa, Capital City of Canada
Photo by G. Baranski (2009)


Paris (JFK+50)In the aftermath of the shooting down of a U2 spy plane flying over Soviet air space, the scheduled summit meeting between President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Premier Nikita Khrushchev collapsed here in Paris fifty-five years ago today, May 16, 1960.

Khrushchev demanded that the President cancel all future U2 flights and punish those responsible for the flight of Francis Gary Powers over the Soviet Union.

When Mr. Eisenhower said that he would only "suspend" the flights and would give  no response to the proposal to punish those responsible for the U2 incident, the Soviet premier stalked out of the meetings.

A scheduled visit by President Eisenhower to Moscow was also cancelled.

Khrushchev looks at U-2 Wreckage