John F. Kennedy photo

Exchange of Greetings on Independence Day Between the United States and the Soviet Union.

July 04, 1961

Leonid I. Brezhnev Chairman, Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, U.S.S.R. N. S. Khrushchev Chairman, Council of Ministers, U.S.S.R.

I wish to thank you personally and on behalf of the American people for your greetings on the occasion of the 185th Anniversary of the Independence of the United States.

It is a source of satisfaction to me that on our 185th Anniversary the United States is still committed to the revolutionary principles of individual liberty and national freedom for all peoples, which motivated our first great leader. I am confident that given a sincere desire to achieve a peaceful settlement of the issues which still disturb the world's tranquillity we can, in our time, reach that peaceful goal which all peoples so ardently desire. A special responsibility at this time rests upon the Soviet Union and the United States.

I wish to assure the people of your country of our desire to live in friendship and peace with them.


Note: The message, dated July 3, 1961, from Mr. Khrushchev and Mr. Brezhnev follows: Dear Mr. President:

Personally and on behalf of the Soviet people we send to the American people, and to you personally, our sincere congratulations on the occasion of this important date in the life of the American people, namely, the 185th Anniversary of achieving their independence. While sending our congratulations to you today, we want to express the hope that the recent Vienna meeting, and the exchange of opinions which took place there on questions of interest to both countries, will further the mutual efforts of our governments directed to the urgent solution of problems which long ago became pressing and which the last war left to us after the defeat of the aggressors. History imposed on our peoples, on their governments, and on their leaders an enormous share of the responsibility for the preservation of peace, for the future of humanity. In order to carry out this great historical mission it is necessary to commence building, from both sides, enduring bridges of trust, of mutual understanding and of friendship. The Soviet Union has always striven and strives now to achieve this aim. The Soviet and the American peoples by right must go down in history as the two great peoples who made a decisive contribution to the cause of ensuring permanent peace on earth.
The messages were released at Hyannis, Mass.

John F. Kennedy, Exchange of Greetings on Independence Day Between the United States and the Soviet Union. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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