• This excerpt from "Why a nuclear test ban treat?" discusses the need for nuclear disarmament. Courtesy of University of Minnesota via HathiTrust.

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    Why a nuclear test ban treaty?
    • Date
    • 1963]
    • Creator
    • United States. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.
    • Description
    • Brings together, with minor editorial changes, statements of key government officials.
    • Rights
    • Public domain. Learn more at http://www.hathitrust.org/access_use
    • Partner
    • HathiTrust
    • Contributing Institution
    • University of Minnesota.

  • Signing of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, October 7, 1963. Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.

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    Signing of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
    • Creator
    • President (1961-1963 : Kennedy). Office of the Naval Aide to the President. 1961-1963.
    • Description
    • Signing of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. (center) President Kennedy. (first row) Senator John Pastore, Senator J.W. Fulbright, Senator George Aiken, Senator Everett Dirksen, Senator Leverett Saltonstall, Senator Thomas H. Kutchel, Vice President Johns... more
      Signing of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. (center) President Kennedy. (first row) Senator John Pastore, Senator J.W. Fulbright, Senator George Aiken, Senator Everett Dirksen, Senator Leverett Saltonstall, Senator Thomas H. Kutchel, Vice President Johnson. (second row) unidentified man, Senator Mike Mansfield, John J. McCloy, unidentified man, W. Averell Harriman, Senator George Smathers, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Senator Hubert Humphrey, William C. Foster, Senator Howard W. Cannon. White House, Treaty Room. less
    • Rights
    • Unrestricted.
    • Partner
    • National Archives and Records Administration
    • Contributing Institution
    • John F. Kennedy Library

  • On 20 September 1963, President Kennedy delivered a speech in the UN General Assembly Hall that frankly acknowledged that suspicion between the United States and the Soviet Union was at an all-time high on the heels of the so-called “Cuban missile crisis.” This letter is a commemoration of that event. Courtesy of the United Nations.

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    Letter dated 29 July to all Permanent Missions and Permanent Observer Missions to the United Nations regarding the Special Event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the United States President John F. Kennedy historic last address at the United Nations which will be held on 12 September 2013.
    • Date
    • 2013
    • Rights
    • Courtesy of the United Nations.

The Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 became the catalyst for possible cooperation in space between the United States and the Soviet Union. This confrontation, during which Kennedy sought to overthrow the communist Castro regime, brought both nations to the brink of launching nuclear weapons. After a tense period, both nations were compelled to avoid the devastation that would result from nuclear warfare. In August 1963, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States signed the Limited Test Ban Treaty, which banned all nuclear tests underwater, in the atmosphere, and in space.

Following the signing, on September 20, 1963, John F. Kennedy made a speech before the United Nations General Assembly proposing that the US and the Soviet Union join forces to reach the Moon. The joint expedition was intended to improve American-Soviet relations. However, the political climate at the time would not support such a bold proposal for cooperation. Most Americans firmly believed that the US would be the first nation on the Moon. The nation's attitude was clear when, in December 1963, Congress passed a bill stating, "No part of any appropriation made available to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration by this Act shall be used for expenses of participating in a manned lunar landing to be carried out jointly by the United States and any other country without consent of the Congress."