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JFK COMMENTS ON SKYBOLT

December 12, 1962


JFK COMMENTS ON SKYBOLT


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy responded to a question about the cancelled Skybolt Missile project at this press conference this afternoon.


JFK said that his administration’s decision to cancel the program will stand & that Skybolt “has been really, in a sense, the kind of engineering that is beyond us.”


“It is the most sophisticated weapon imaginable.  To fire a missile from a plane moving at high speed to hit a target 1000 miles away requires the most advanced engineering.”


The President continued:


“We put a half billion dollars into it (and) the 5 tests (conducted as part of the program) have not been successful.”*


*General Curtis LeMay was later critical of JFK’s decision to cancel Skybolt in his autobiography.  The cancellation of the program by the US was also a major factor in the fall from power of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in Great Britain.



            Douglas GAM-87 Skybolt
                       RAF Museum
      Cosford, Shropshire, England
       Photo by Green Lane (2010)


December 12, 1962


AIR FORCE SAYS ICBMS ARE “IN PLACE”


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) The United States Air Force announced today that twenty “Minuteman” intercontinental ballistic missiles are now in place in their silos, ready for firing against worldwide targets if needed.

   
      LGM-25C Titan II Launch
   Department of Defense Photo


December 12, 1962


JFK CONCLUDES MEETINGS WITH RODRIGUEZ


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President Kennedy concluded two days of discussions today with President Jorge Alessandri Rodriguez of Chile.


The discussions included the Alliance for Progress program & the economic development of Chile.*


*After attending a Christmas party in the East Room at the White House, President & Mrs. Kennedy enjoyed an evening performance of the American Ballet Theater.

      
           Jorge Alessandri Rodriguez
                    President of Chile
               Photo by Desconocido
     Bibloteca del Congreso Nacional


December 12, 1937


USS PANAY SUNK BY JAPANESE


Nanking, China (JFK+50) The gunboat USS Panay was attacked & sunk today by warplanes of the Japanese empire during the battle of Nanking in the Sino-Japanese War.


Two American sailors have been reported killed along with a civilian passenger.


Several US military personnel were wounded in the attack.*


*The Japanese government said the attack was unintentional & later agreed to pay $2 million in reparations.



                  Attack on USS Panay
                 US Signal Corps Photo

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