19. Telegram From President Kennedy to Chairmen Khrushchev and Brezhnev0

I wish to thank you personally and on behalf of the American people for your greetings on the occasion of the 185th Anniversary of the Independence of the United States.1 It is a source of satisfaction to me that on our 185th Anniversary the United States is still committed to the revolutionary principles, of individual liberty and national freedom for all peoples, which motivated our first great leader. I am confident that given a sincere desire to achieve a peaceful settlement of the issues which still disturb the world’s tranquillity we can, in our time, reach that peaceful goal which all peoples so ardently desire. A special responsibility at this time rests upon the Soviet Union and the United States. I wish to assure the people of your country of our desire to live in friendship and peace with them.

John F. Kennedy
  1. 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.
  2. Document 18.