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Reel Number: H2027-03-P6
Color: Black and White
Year / Date: 1961
TC Begins: 19:39:09
TC Ends: 19:42:07
1961 - Speech, President Kennedy: Special Message To Congress, TRACK ONLY R1 of 2 Pt 6 of 6 Continued... This Administration has been looking hard at exactly what civil defense can & cannot do. It cannot be obtained cheaply. It cannot give an assurance of blast protection that will be proof against surprise attack or guaranteed against obsolescence or destruction. And it cannot deter a nuclear attack. 19:39:32 We will deter an enemy from making a nuclear attack only if our retaliatory power is so strong & so invulnerable that he knows he would be destroyed by our response. (applause) If we have that strength, civil defense is not needed to deter an attack. If we should ever lack it, civil defense would not be an adequate substitute. 19:40:04 But this deterrent concept assumes rational calculations by rational men. And the history of this planet, & particularly the history of the 20th century, is sufficient to remind us of the possibilities of an irrational attack, a miscalculation, an accidental war, for a war of escalation in which the stakes by each side gradually increase to the point of maximum danger which cannot be either foreseen or deterred. It is on this basis that civil defense can be readily justifiable--as insurance for the civilian population in case of an enemy miscalculation. It is insurance we trust will never be needed--but insurance which we could never forgive ourselves for foregoing in the event of catastrophe. 19:41:00 Once the validity of this concept is recognized, there is no point in delaying the initiation of a nation-wide long-range program of identifying present fallout shelter capacity & providing shelter in new & existing structures. Such a program would protect millions of people against the hazards of radioactive fallout in the event of large-scale nuclear attack. Effective performance of the entire program not only requires new legislative authority & more funds, but also sound organizational arrangements. 19:41:40 Therefore, under the authority vested in me by Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1958, I am assigning responsibility for this program to the top civilian authority already responsible for continental defense, the Secretary of Defense. It is important that this function remain civilian, in nature & leadership; & this feature will not be changed. 25May61; Presidential Speeches; NOTE: Any continuous 15 minutes of 19:13:56 - 19:42:07 sold at per reel rate.
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