35. Letter From Chairman Khrushchev to President Kennedy0

Dear Mr. President: On behalf of the people of the Soviet Union and myself personally I congratulate you and the American people on the occasion of the successful launching of a spaceship with a man on board.

One more step has been taken toward mastering the cosmos and this time Lieutenant Colonel John Glenn, a citizen of the United States of America, has been added to the family of astronauts. The successful launching of spaceships signalizing the conquest of new heights in science and technology inspire legitimate pride for the limitless potentialities of the human mind to serve the welfare of humanity. It is to be hoped that the genius of man, penetrating the depth of the universe, will be able to find ways to lasting peace and ensure the prosperity of all peoples on our planet earth which, in the space age, though it does not seem so large, is still dear to all of its inhabitants.

If our countries pooled their efforts—scientific, technical and material—to master the universe, this would be very beneficial for the advance of science and would be joyfully acclaimed by all peoples who would like to see scientific achievements benefit man and not be used for “cold war” purposes and the arms race.

Please convey cordial congratulations and best wishes to astronaut John Glenn.

N. Khrushchev
  1. 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 cable from Moscow. The transliterated Russian text is ibid. Another copy of this message is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series,USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence. Also printed in Department of State Bulletin, March 12, 1962, p. 411, and Pravda, February 24, 1962.
  2. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.