John F. Kennedy photo

Exchange of New Year Greetings Between the United States and the Soviet Union..

December 31, 1961

Nikita Khrushchev

Chairman, Council o/Ministers, U.S.S.R. Leonid Brezhnev Chairman, Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, U.S.S.R.

As the year 1961 approaches its close I wish to extend to the people of the Soviet Union and to you and your families my most sincere wishes and those of the American people for a peaceful and prosperous New Year. The year which is ending has been a troubled one. It is my earnest hope that the coming year will strengthen the foundations of world peace and will bring an improvement in the relations between our countries, upon which so much depends. It is our grave responsibility to fulfill that hope. As President of the United States, I can state on behalf of the government and the American people that we will do our best to do so.


Note: The Soviet leaders' message, dated December 29, 1961, follows:
Dear Mr. President:

In these few last hours of the expiring 1961 we are sending to the people of the United States the sincerest wishes for peace and happiness in the New Year and likewise our best wishes of personal happiness to you and to your entire family. Right now on the doorstep of the New Year the nations live with new hope that the coming year will be such a threshold in the development of events when there will be undertaken efficient steps in the cause of liquidation of centers of military danger. There is no doubt that on the state of affairs in Soviet-American relations depends very much whether humanity will go towards peace or war. At the meeting in Vienna the President of the United States and Chairman of Ministers of the USSR agreed that history imposed a great responsibility on our peoples for the destinies of the world. The Soviet people regard the future optimistically. They express hopes that in the coming year our countries will be able to find ways towards closer cooperation, will be able to find a basis for concerted actions and efforts for the good of all humanity.

On the part of the Soviet Union, as before, there will be no lack of resolution to do everything in its power in order to ensure durable and lasting peace on our planet.

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

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