18. Letter From Chairmen Khrushchev and Brezhnev to President Kennedy0

Dear Mr. President, Personally and on behalf of the Soviet people we send to the American people, and to you personally, our sincere congratulations on the occasion of this important date in the life of the American people, namely, the 185th anniversary of achieving their independence. While sending our congratulations to you today, we want to express the hope that the recent Vienna meeting, and the exchange of opinions which took place there on questions of interest to both countries, will further the mutual efforts of our governments directed to the urgent solution of problems which long ago became pressing and which the last war left to us after the defeat of the aggressors. History imposed on our peoples, on their governments and on their leaders an enormous share of the responsibility for the preservation of peace, for the future of humanity. In order to carry out this great historical mission it is necessary to commence building, from both sides, enduring bridges of trust, of mutual understanding and of friendship. The Soviet Union has always striven and strives now to achieve this aim. The Soviet and the American peoples by right must go down in history as the two great peoples who made a decisive contribution to the cause of ensuring permanent peace on earth.

  • N. Khrushchev
  • L. Brezhnev1
  1. 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.
  2. Printed from a translation that indicates the original was signed by Khrushchev and Brezhnev.