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Office of the Historian

Kennedy-Khrushchev Exchanges


1. Message From Chairman Khrushchev to President-elect Kennedy

Source:American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1960, p. 476. No classification marking.


2. Message From President-elect Kennedy to Chairman Khrushchev

Source:American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1960, p. 476. No classification marking.


3. Message From Chairmen Khrushchev and Brezhnev to President Kennedy

Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. No classification marking. The source text is a Department of State translation of a commercial telegram from Moscow. Another copy of this message is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence. This message is also printed in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States:John F. Kennedy, 1961, p. 3, and American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1961, p. 559.


4. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 711.11-KE/1-2161. Unclassified; Niact. Drafted by McSweeney and Veliotes (SOV) and cleared by Goodpaster, Kretzmann, and Rusk. Another copy of this message is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence. Also printed in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States:John F. Kennedy, 1961, p. 3, and American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1961, p. 560.


5. Telegram From President Kennedy to Chairman Khrushchev

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 761.13/2-1361. Unclassified. Drafted by Rusk. A typed note on the source text indicates it was sent by commercial telegram. A copy of this message is also in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence, and Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204.


6. Message From Chairman Khrushchev to President Kennedy

Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. No classification marking. The source text is a Department of State translation of a commercial telegram from Moscow. Other copies of this message are in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence, and Department of State, Central Files, 761.13/2-1561. The transliterated Russian text is ibid.


7. Letter From President Kennedy to Chairman Khrushchev

Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. No classification marking. At the top of the source text is written “2/22/62?”. The final drafting of this message was done at a meeting at the White House on February 21 attended by the President, Rusk, Thompson, Harriman, Bohlen, Kohler, and Bundy. No record of this meeting has been found, but it is noted in Rusk’s Appointment Book (Johnson Library) and the President’s Appointment Book (Kennedy Library), and is also mentioned in the first sentence of a February 26 memorandum from Rusk to Kennedy scheduled for publication in volume V. At noon on February 22 Rusk, Kohler, and Harriman briefed French Ambassador Alphand and British Ambassador Caccia on the content of this message stating that it was general in nature and informing them that specific questions would be addressed in further messages after consultations with their governments. (Memorandum of conversation; Department of State, Central Files, 611.61/2-2261) Regarding delivery of this letter to Khrushchev, see vol. V, Document 28. Printed in part in Claflin, The President Wants To Know, pp. 50-51.


8. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 711.11-KE/2-1261. Official Use Only; Niact. Drafted at the White House. Also printed in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States:John F. Kennedy, 1961, p. 257.


9. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Another copy of this message is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence. A slightly different translation is printed in Department of State Bulletin, May 8, 1961, p. 662, and American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1961, p. 295. The Russian-language text was transmitted as an enclosure to despatch 747 from Moscow, May 3. (Department of State, Central Files, 611.37/5-361)


10. Letter From President Kennedy to Chairman Khrushchev

Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. No classification marking. The source text is a press release from the Office of the White House Press Secretary, which was marked for release at 6:45 p.m. April 18. Another copy of this message is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence. Also printed in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States:John F. Kennedy, 1961, pp. 286-287;American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1961, pp. 296-297; and Claflin, The President Wants To Know, pp. 59-60.


11. Letter From Chairman Khrushchev to President Kennedy

Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. No classification marking. Transmitted in telegram 2562 from Moscow, April 11. A copy of section 1 of 3 of that telegram is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence. The source text was transmitted as an enclosure to despatch 1183 from Moscow, May 11, and indicates it was “translated from Russian.” The Russian-language text was transmitted as an enclosure to despatch 747 from Moscow, May 3. (Department of State, Central Files, 611.37/5-361) A slightly different text is printed in Department of State Bulletin, May 8, 1961, pp. 664-667.


12. Message From Chairman Khrushchev to President Kennedy

Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. No classification marking. The source text is a Department of State translation of a commercial telegram from Moscow. The transliterated Russian text is ibid.


13. Telegram From Chairman Khrushchev to President Kennedy

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 911.802/5-661. No classification marking. Another copy of this message is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series,USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence. A slightly different translation is in Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. The Russian-language text is ibid.


14. Letter From President Kennedy to Chairman Khrushchev

Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. No classification marking. Drafted by Hartley (S/S-RO) on May 7 and cleared by Davis, Farley (S/AE), and McCloskey (P). The source text, titled “Suggested Reply,” is double spaced.


15. Telegram From the Department of State to Secretary of State Rusk at Geneva

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence. Secret; Niact; Verbatim Text. Repeated to Moscow. Another copy is in Department of State, Central Files, 761.13/5-1661. A copy of the Russian-language text is ibid., Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204.


16. Letter From President Kennedy to Chairman Khrushchev

Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. No classification marking. Another copy of this message is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence.


17. Letter From President Kennedy to Chairman Khrushchev

Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. No classification marking.


18. Letter From Chairmen Khrushchev and Brezhnev to President Kennedy

Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. No classification marking. The source text is a Department of State translation. Another copy is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, USSR, Khrushchev Correspond-ence. Also printed in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States:John F. Kennedy, 1962, p. 493, and American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1961, p. 593.


19. Telegram From President Kennedy to Chairmen Khrushchev and Brezhnev

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 711.11-KE/7J461. Unclassified. Drafted by Davis and cleared by the White House and Rusk. Another copy of this message is ibid., Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204, and in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence. Also printed in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States:John F. Kennedy, 1961, p. 493, and American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1961, p. 594.


21. Letter From Chairman Khrushchev to President Kennedy

Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 77 D 163. No classification marking. According to Salinger, this letter was handed to him by Bolshakov, at the Carlyle Hotel in New York on September 30, who said that it was for the President’s eyes only. (With Kennedy, p. 198) Another copy is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence. A copy of the Russian text, dated September 28, and also given to Salinger on September 30, is in Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 77 D 163. This is the first in a series of letters and messages between Kennedy and Khrushchev, transmitted through special emissaries, that subsequently became known as the “Pen Pal Correspondence.”


22. Letter From President Kennedy to Chairman Khrushchev

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence. Top Secret. No drafting information appears on the source text. Another copy is in Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 77 D 163.


23. Letter From Chairman Khrushchev to President Kennedy

Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 77 D 163. No classification marking. This text was delivered to Salinger at the White House at 12:15 p.m. on November 11 by Georgi Bolshakov, editor of USSR magazine. (Memorandum for the President, November 11; ibid.) Another copy of this letter is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence.


24. Letter From Chairman Khrushchev to President Kennedy

Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 77 D 163. Top Secret. Another copy is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence.


25. Letter From President Kennedy to Chairman Khrushchev

Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 77 D 163. Top Secret. Another copy is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence.


26. Letter From President Kennedy to Chairman Khrushchev

Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 77 D 163. No classification marking. Another copy is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series,USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence.


27. Letter From Chairman Khrushchev to President Kennedy

Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 77 D 163. No classification marking. Attached to the source text was a 3-paragraph letter of transmittal from Bohlen to Thompson that stated that it was a “translation as received from the Russians.” Another copy of this message and the Russian-language text is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence.


28. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union

Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. Official Use Only; Priority. Another copy is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series,USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence. Also printed in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States:John F. Kennedy, 1961, p. 819. The transliterated Russian text is in Department of State, Central Files, 711.11-KE/12-2961.


29. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union

Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. Official Use Only; Priority. Another copy is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series,USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence. Also printed in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, 1961, p. 819, and in Claflin, The President Wants To Know, p. 141.


30. Message From Chairman Khrushchev to President Kennedy

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence. No classification marking. The source text is a Soviet translation. Another copy of the source text is in Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 77 D 163; it is attached to a brief note from Rusk to McNamara stating that Bundy had handed it to him the morning of January 18. A January 18 note from Bohlen to Rusk states that the message was received by the Attorney General and that the Russian translation was given to President Kennedy. Under cover of his note to Rusk, Bohlen forwarded a “very quick, rough translation” that is similar to but not identical to the source text. (Ibid.) In his February 15 letter to Khrushchev (Document 34), President Kennedy referred to the source text as “the message which you sent me through my brother.”