From bad to worse — JFK and Khrushchev at the Vienna Summit
In June 1961, President Kennedy and Chairman Khrushchev met in Vienna, Austria. The debacle of the Bay of Pigs had occurred that past spring and the construction of the Berlin Wall was underway.
Feelings on both sides were raw and the meetings between Kennedy and Khrushchev were grueling and mostly inconclusive: the Cold War continued. Its most fearsome moment, the Cuban Missile Crisis, was a little more than a year away.
Photo: President John F. Kennedy meets with Chairman Nikita Khrushchev at the U. S. Embassy residence, Vienna, Austria. June 3, 1961.
-from the JFK Library
SALT II Treaty
On this day, President Jimmy Carter and the Soviet Union’s Leonid Brezhnev sign the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks II (SALT II) Treaty in Vienna, limiting each nation’s strategic weapons. 6/18/79.
Khrushchev: “Force will be met by force. If the U.S. wants war, that’s its problem…It’s up to the U.S. to decide whether there will be war or peace.”
Kennedy: “I see it is going to be a very cold winter.”
-Remarks between Soviet Premier Khrushchev and President Kennedy after their first meeting in Vienna, June 4, 1961
Soviet Premier Khrushchev and President Kennedy meet in Vienna, June 4, 1961