Presidents Eisenhower & Kennedy
Correspondences - Contact Documents
150 pages of documents dealing with the relationship between Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy. The files date from March 1960 to September 1963.
Earlier material mainly concern briefings and meetings between then Senator and President-Elect Kennedy and President Eisenhower. Topics include North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) nuclear sharing, Laos, the Congo, Algeria, disarmament, nuclear test suspension negotiations, Cuba and Latin America, United States balance of payments and the gold outflow, and the need for a balanced budget. Personal messages and congratulations are found throughout.
Later material mainly covers briefings and meetings between President Kennedy and former President Eisenhower. Topics include Laos, Cuba, the United States limited war capability, and the flow of gold. Correspondence concerning the restoration of Eisenhower's former military rank is also included.
Highlights among the documents include:
During the 1960 presidential campaign, Senator Kennedy wrote to President Eisenhower about his concerns that the election might have a negative impact on the nuclear test ban treaty negotiations.
In August 1960, President Eisenhower contacted Senator Kennedy to pave the way for the Democratic presidential nominee to begin receiving briefings from the Department of Defense and the CIA on the vary of world situations.
A memo briefing book prepared by Kennedy advisor George W. Ball covers the domestic and international issues President-elect Kennedy would hold meetings on with President Eisenhower as part of the transition of power.
The day before Kennedy was sworn in as President, he dictated notes to his secretary Evelyn Lincoln about the meeting held with President Eisenhower earlier that day at the White House. The first topic involved a 45 minute conversation on the emergency procedures in place in case of an immediate attack. According to Kennedy, Eisenhower seemed eager to demonstrate the method of summering a helicopter to whisk the President away, as he picked up a telephone and gave the command, "Opal Drill Three."
Correspondences relate the effort s of President Kennedy to re-instate Eisenhower's rank as a five star general.
Letters and memos throughout this collection mark that the Kennedy Administration and the President himself conferred with President Eisenhower on world events.
The papers show that Eisenhower received briefings directly from CIA director John A. McCone.
A document relays that Eisenhower would give pubic support to JFK if he were to send American troops into Laos.
A memo From CIA Director McCone says that while discussing Laos, Eisenhower warned of the consequences of losing Southeast Asia, pointing out that if it is lost nothing would stop the southward movement of Communism through Indonesia and this would have the effect of cutting the world in half.
In June of 1963, President Kennedy sought out the help of Eisenhower to get his Civil Rights Bill through Congress.