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    Dwight D. Eisenhower Typed Letter Signed. One page on White House letterhead, 7.25" x 10.5", June 21, 1957. Addressed to Norman Cousins and marked "PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL" at top. Eisenhower writes to clarify his position on the use of nuclear power and weaponry:

    "It seems to me that you have made a very personal interpretation of press conference statements which, even if fuzzy - as you imply - in the first uttering, were certainly amplified later in the same conference to say exactly what I meant.

    Of course I do not have the scientific competence to argue one side or the other of the question of the ultimate effects of radioactive fallout from bomb testings. What I had to say with respect to the composition of the signers of the so-called 'Pauling petition' was based on information similar to that given in the attached tear sheet from the 'U.S. News and World Report'

    With respects to America's intentions and good will in this matter, I call your attention to the fact that as long as 1947, this country, then enjoying a monopoly in the field, earnestly tried to put the whole development in the hands of an international organization... forever devoted to man's betterment.

    You may examine my own public statements over the past five years and find no wavering from this position. I ask - as I believe any reasonable American should ask - only some assurances that we are not exposing ourselves unnecessarily to unacceptable risks in the military field... Dwight Eisenhower.

    Eisenhower references Linus Pauling's petition, which he and his wife circulated in 1957 and 1958. The petition detailed the harmful effects of radioactive fallout and the dangers of nuclear bomb testing and appealed for peace. Despite Eisenhower's claims to be consistent in his position on nuclear power, his administration often took contradictory stances. After the Soviets successfully tested a hydrogen bomb in 1955, Eisenhower proposed a plan of disarmament. He gave a speech at the United Nations proposing that nuclear materials be used for peaceful purposes such as energy. Nevertheless, his administration continued to increase its reliance on nuclear weapons; it was precisely these contradictions that Cousins had likely addressed in his letter. Boldly signed by Eisenhower in black ink. Ex. Norman Cousins Estate.

    Condition: Lightly toned along top and bottom margins. Usual mail folds are present, else fine.

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    October, 2017
    19th Thursday
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