Description

    John F. Kennedy Typed Letter Signed "John Kennedy". One page on White House letterhead, 6.75" x 9", February 1, 1962. A letter addressed to Norman Cousins thanking him for sending an article on the Congo from the Saturday Review:

    "I appreciate your sending me the latest copy of SATURDAY REVIEW. The article on Congo was excellent. Although things have gone better recently the matter continues to be of great concern because of the widespread misery. Laos is still full of danger. There is no place where the policy of recent years has been more shortsighted. To extricate ourselves without war or surrender is a most difficult operation, but we shall persist."

    A short letter, dense with content regarding world affairs in combating the spread of Communism in Asia and Africa. The Republic of the Congo gained its independence in 1960, but soon after became the stage of a proxy conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States. It had been hoped that the Congo would develop a pro-Western government, but a series of civil wars soon set up a dangerous dynamic that included involvement from the United Nations, Belgium, and the Soviet Union. The crisis would continue until 1965.

    Kennedy also references Laos, which was another hotbed of contention in the war against the spread of Communism. At the time Kennedy wrote this letter, there was ongoing discussion about the neutrality of Laos. The U.S. was in talks with the Soviet Union, China, North Vietnam, Burma, Cambodia, Thailand, France, South Vietnam, India, Canada, Poland, and Laos with the hopes of having all foreign forces withdraw from Laos. Talks had begun the previous year, and an agreement would be signed in July 1963. The North Vietnamese immediately violated the agreement. Kennedy's letter eerily foresees the Vietnam War that would ensue shortly after his assassination. Ex. Norman Cousins Estate.

    Condition: Small areas of soiling at top left corner and at bottom margin. Further soiling and blue ink transfer on verso. Usual mail folds are present.


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    October, 2017
    19th Thursday
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