81. Editorial Note

At 10 p.m. on July 25, 1961, President Kennedy addressed the nation on the Berlin crisis. After reviewing the course of events since his meeting with Khrushchev in Vienna June 3-4, and stressing the grave Soviet threat to Berlin, the President stated that the United States could not and would not permit the Soviet Union to drive it “out of Berlin, either gradually or by force.” The President then summarized six steps in the military field that he was going to take as well as measures for civilian defense. With regard to negotiations, Kennedy stated his willingness to discuss the question and emphasized the importance of the Soviet challenge to the Atlantic Community. For text of the speech, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1961, pages 533-540. For an account of the drafting of the speech, see Sorensen, Kennedy, pages 590-592.