Marc Schulman

 


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Vienna Summit

 

Kennedy and Khrushchev in Vienna

President Kennedy and Soviet Premier Khrushchev met at a summit conference in Vienna on June 4th. The summit, which was initially seen as a diplomatic triumph, seems, in retrospect, to have been a failure. After the summit, Khrushchev underestimated Kennedy, leading to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Kennedy began his trip to Europe and summit with Krushchev with a visit to Paris. Airforce One touched down in Paris at 10:17 on the morning of May 31, 1961. There, in the course of two days, he had a series of very successful meetings with French President de Gaulle. The French people warmly embraced President Kennedy and even more so Jacqueline, whose French ancestry and personal elegance inspired the French to consider her a daughter of France.

Kennedy then met with Premier Krushchev in Vienna for two days of meetings. The summit covered a whole range of items, including Laos, disarmament, and general issues of ideology. The main issue on the agenda, however, was Berlin. Krushchev was threatening to sign a peace agreement with East Germany that might impinge on the rights of the West.

Progress was made on Laos, but the two leaders clashed on other matters. At a final meeting Krushchev stated: "Force will be met by force. If the US wants war, that's its problem ... Its up to the US to decide whether there will be war or peace ... The decision to sign a peace treaty is firm and irrevocable, and the Soviet Union will sign it in December if the US refuses an interim agreement." Kennedy responed: "Then, Mr. Chairman, there will be a war. It will be a cold winter."

Kennedy left the meeting shocked to the core. He thought that he would be able to charm Krushchev into working things out. Now, after the meetings, he felt that war was a very real possibility.

Construction on the railroad began swiftly in 1828. The first stage of the railroad was built from the Port of Baltimore to Sandy Hook. In its infancy, the railroad ran horse drawn carriages along its lines. However, by 1829 the B &O Railroad was already testing the "Tom Thumb" (the first railroad locomotive built in the United States.) In 1830, the Tom Thumb took the Directors of B & O on a 13-mile trip. This trip took 57 minutes.

In January, the first mile and half of rails were open to the public to test out. The test area was continually expanded. By May, the line was open to the public all the way to Ellicott’s Mills. In August, the famous race between a horse and the Tom Thumb took place. From that moment on, no one looked back. Construction continued at a rapid pace. By 1834, the railroad line had reached all the way to Into Virginia (now West Virginia) to Harper's Ferry.