Despite the breezy pronunciamento of the First Lady's wowing of Parisians, President Kennedy was faced with the daunting task of keeping Cold War tensions reasonably at bay while pledging continuing support of a united Europe. As was indicated in the wrap-up (which follows the Press Conference that starts this post), Paris was the warm prelude to the anticipated icy First Act of talks with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna on the 4th. And then there was Charles De Gaulle and the matter of the French and the Atomic Bomb. Still, Europe was emerging from the affects of the War (which had only concluded some fifteen years earlier) and there was a lot of optimism to go around.
JFK: “All of the power relationships in the world have changed in the last fifteen years, And therefore our policies must take these changes into account. First is the change in Europe itself. In the 1940’s Europe, much of it was destroyed. Its productive capacity liquidated, divided by a bitter war. Inflation rampant. And only those who were optimists of the most extreme sort could have predicted the astonishing renaissance of Western Europe today. Its people have energy and confidence. Its economic growth rate is higher than the New World, either Canada or the United States. Its dollar shortages have been converted into balances which have even disturbed the monetary stability of the United States. There were those who said that Europe after the war would be a prisoner again of its ancient rivalries. Today this continent offers the world the most outstanding examples of strength through unity. After fifteen years of extraordinary creative effort and administrative invention, the development of the OEEC, the European Payments Union, the Iron and Steel community, the Common Market and the OECD. And all of these have only laid the foundation for an even closer economic and political unity.”
All on this day in 1961 beginning with President Kennedy's remarks and Press Conference at a Luncheon and then a wrap-up of the days activities via an NBC Radio special.