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Lot 21: Eisenhower, Dwight D. Typed letter signed ("Ike"), 2 pages (10 3/8 8 x 7 1/8 in.; 264 x 181 mm.)
December 18, 2012
Calabasas Hills, CA, USALive Auction
21. Eisenhower, Dwight D. Typed letter signed (“Ike”), 2 pages (10 3/8 8 x 7 1/8 in.; 264 x 181 mm.), “Gettysburg, Pennsylvania,” 14 June 1961. To Lewis L. Strauss in Washington, D.C., marked CONFIDENTIAL at the head and foot of each page.
Eisenhower articulates his concerns on atomic testing after leaving office.
Eisenhower writes in full: I am not familiar with the present Administration’s position on the question of resuming atomic tests, assuming USSR refusal to permit effective reciprocal inspection of any agreement for cessation. I think you are aware of my own attitude, expressed and repeated in governmental circles in the late months of 1960, that the time has come to terminate the moratorium. You will remember, of course, that I have previously announced my Administration’s determination to avoid any kind of tests that would add to the contamination of the air. Even though I believed (and still do) that the contamination created by normal testing is insignificant. It was and is my opinion that all of the information we need could be obtained by underground, supplemented as necessary by outerspace tests.
You are also familiar with the conclusion I voiced to you and to others to announce resumption of the tests as of some time late in 1960, assuming, as I did then, that Dick Nixon would be elected President of the United States. Because of the unfortunate outcome of the election and the long term effect of the projected decision which was to be publicly announced, I concluded that the incoming Administration should have a free hand in making its own decision in the matter. I would like to know whether this agrees with your own memory or whether you have any existing documents to which you might refer. The above reflects accurately my memory, but my concern is that I cannot recall the identity of the person or persons with whom I was discussing the subject.