John F. Kennedy & Nikita Khrushchev 1961 Vienna Summit Original Press Photo

The Vienna summit was a summit meeting held on June 4, 1961, in Vienna, Austria, between President John F. Kennedy of the United States and First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev of the Soviet Union. The leaders of the two superpowers of the Cold War era discussed numerous issues in the relationship between their countries.

The summit took place five days after the assassination of President of the Dominican Republic Rafael Trujillo

Kennedy and Khrushchev first met at the Vienna Summit in June 1961. Prior to meeting face to face, their contact began when Khrushchev sent Kennedy a message on November 9, 1960, congratulating him on his presidential election victory and stating his hope that "relations between [the U.S. and USSR] would again follow the line along which they were developing in Franklin Roosevelt's time." He also told Kennedy that the USSR desired to negotiate with the U.S. on issues relating to "disarmament ... a German peace treaty ... and other questions which could bring about an easing and improvement of the entire international situation." In a reply message, Kennedy thanked Khrushchev and similar niceties continued until 1961.

On February 22, 1961, Kennedy sent Khrushchev a letter stating, "I hope it will be possible, before too long, for us to meet personally for an informal exchange of views." This was the first time either man suggested a diplomatic meeting. Kennedy felt "that if he could just sit down with Khrushchev" the two leaders could work out their interstate conflicts. Yet, Kennedy's advisers told him not to meet with Khrushchev so soon after the presidential election. The American ambassador to Moscow, Llewellyn E. Thompson, feared that Kennedy misjudged Khrushchev's personality and intentions. Likewise, U.S. diplomat Charles Bohlen "worried that JFK underrated Khrushchev's determination to expand world communism." Nevertheless, Khrushchev accepted Kennedy's summit proposal, and the leaders began to make plans for their official meeting. Meanwhile, Cold War rivalries between the two powers escalated in Germany, Laos, and Cuba. These regional conflicts became major items on the Vienna Summit agenda.

Offered is an original 9” x 7” UPI (stamped on back) press photo with King Features Syndicate stamp on back.  Original paper caption dated 6/6/1961 from happier times before the Cold War ramped up.


Item: 12684

Price: $95.00
John F. Kennedy & Nikita Khrushchev 1961 Vienna Summit Original Press Photo