Radio and Television Report to the American People on the Berlin Crisis, July 1961

Screenshot (867)“…I am requesting of the Congress new funds for the following immediate objectives: to identify and mark space in existing structures public and private that could be used for fall-out shelters in case of attack; to stock those shelters with food, water, first-aid kits and other minimum essentials for survival; to increase their capacity; to improve our air-raid warning and fallout detection systems, including a new household warning system which is now under development; and to take other measures that will be effective at an early date to save millions of lives if needed. In the event of an attack, the lives of those families which are not hit in a nuclear blast and fire can still be saved-if they can be warned to take shelter and if that shelter is available. We owe that kind of insurance to our families-and to our country. In contrast to our friends in Europe, the need for this kind of protection is new to our shores. But the time to start is now. In the coming months, I hope to let every citizen know what steps he can take without delay to protect his family in case of attack. I know that you will want to do no less.”

President John F. Kennedy Radio and Television Report to the American People on the Berlin Crisis, July 25, 1961

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