John F. Kennedy photo

Letter to the Incorporators of the Communications Satellite Corporation.

October 18, 1962

[Released October 18, 1962. Dated October 15, 1962]


The Senate in its closing days was unable to act on your nomination as an incorporator of the Communications Satellite Corporation. Consequently, I am by this letter appointing you on a recess basis.

On the occasion of your appointment, I would like to take this opportunity to set forth some observations and suggestions that may be of assistance to you and the other incorporators as you assume your duties.

Although the incorporators are not officers or employees of the United States, they will, I know, find it necessary and desirable to maintain close contacts with various agencies of the Government, including the Department of Justice, the Department of State, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Federal Communications Commission, the National Aeronautics and Space Council, and the Director of Telecommunications Management. To facilitate these contacts, the incorporators should consider the Director of the Bureau of the Budget as their chief point of liaison with the Government until such time as the corporation is established. In this interim period, I shall look to the Director to be the focal point within the Government for matters relating to the Communications Satellite Corporation, to coordinate the interests of the various agencies, to report to me periodically on the progress of the incorporators' work, and to provide such assistance as may be required in financing the work of the incorporators. In the early stages, the Government would be willing to provide office space, meeting rooms, and secretarial help. I have asked the Director of the Bureau of the Budget to be of assistance to the incorporators in connection with these administrative arrangements. I have asked Mr. Philip Graham to serve as chairman of the incorporators (ad interim) until such time as the group can adopt its own rules of procedure and make its own choice of a chairman.

The first task of the incorporators is to effect the incorporation of the new enterprise under District of Columbia law. The Department of Justice has reserved the name "Communications Satellite Corporation" at the Office of the D.C. Superintendent of Corporations and will transfer the right to its use to the incorporators, who may use this name or select another at their discretion.

While the incorporators may wish to retain private counsel to perform the principal work incident to the establishment of the corporation, attorneys of the Department of Justice and lawyers of other agencies will be available to assist in this task. Since the Act requires the approval of the President before the articles of incorporation can be filed, I suggest that private counsel and designated Government attorneys work together closely.

The flotation of common stock will clearly be a matter of priority. The determination of the amount of the initial offering will undoubtedly depend upon scientific considerations as well as financial factors. Prime consideration of the incorporators with respect to the flotation of stock will be to ensure the widest possible ownership by private investors.

I fully expect that the work which you and the other incorporators will perform in connection with the Communications Satellite Corporation will be in the highest tradition of the public service.



Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to each of the following appointees: John T. Connor of New Jersey, George Feldman of New York, Beardsley Graham of Kentucky, Sam J. Harris of New York, Edgar F. Kaiser of California, David M. Kennedy of Illinois, George L. Killion of California, A. Byrne Litschgi of Florida, Leonard Marks of the District of Columbia, Bruce G. Sundlun of Rhode Island, Sidney J. Weinberg of New York, and Leonard Woodcock of Michigan. On the same day the President sent a similar letter to Philip L. Graham of the District of Columbia designating him Chairman of the Incorporators (ad interim).

John F. Kennedy, Letter to the Incorporators of the Communications Satellite Corporation. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under


Simple Search of Our Archives