May 31, 1961
DE GAULLE WELCOMES KENNEDYS TO PARIS
President & Mrs. John F. Kennedy were welcomed to Paris today by French President Charles de Gaulle.
Air Force One touched down at Orly Airport at 10:30 a.m. Paris time.
After brief remarks, JFK & the 1st Lady were driven to Quaid d ‘Orsay for a luncheon & diplomatic reception.
Embassy of the United States
JFK also attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe.
In the evening, the President & Mrs. Kennedy were the honored dinner guests at the Elysee Palace.
In his remarks at the airport, JFK said:
“I come from America ‘the daughter of Europe’ to pay tribute to France, our oldest friend. Your land has been…the well-spring of western philosophy & ideas–so much so that Benjamin Franklin could say ‘every man has two countries: France & his own.'”
Later at the dinner speech, JFK said:
“Although I have visited France many times, my preparation for the Presidency did not include acquisition of 1st hand knowledge of France through diplomacy. I acquired it through marriage instead.*
*Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy was of French descent.
Charles de Gaulle & JFK in Paris
JFK Library Photo
May 31, 1962
“MOBILIZATION FOR YOUTH” PROGRAM ANNOUNCED
The President’s Commission on Juvenile Delinquency & Youth Crime presented its 1st report to JFK today.
The commission announced the 1st project of the Juvenile Delinquency & Youth Offenses Control Act of 1961: Mobilization for Youth.
The project will provide $12.6 million of educational & employment opportunities for young people.
May 31, 1962
ADOLF EICHMANN HANGED IN ISRAEL
Nazi SS officer & condemned war criminal Adolf Eichmann was hanged today near Tel Aviv, Israel.
Eichmann was the architect of Hitler’s “final solution” that resulted in the deaths of more than 6 million European Jews.
He was born in Solingen, Germany in 1906 & joined the SS in 1932. Ten years later he was part of a conference which took place near Berlin for the purpose of planning the “Holocaust”.*
*Eichmann’s body will be cremated & the ashes thrown into the sea.
Photo by John White (2003)
May 31, 1963
ADMIRAL FELT’S REPORT EVALUATED BY JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF
Admiral Harry Donald Felt, Commander-in-chief of US Pacific Forces, has prepared a report that is being evaluated today by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
In the report, Felt is skeptical that Vietnam will be stable enough by the end of the year 1965 for a proposed withdrawal of US forces.
Admiral Felt created the United States Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) in February 1962.*
*Felt was personally opposed to the introduction of US combat forces in Vietnam.
Admiral Harry Donald Felt
US Pacific Forces
May 31, 1988
PRESIDENT REAGAN SPEAKS TO SOVIET STUDENTS
President Ronald Reagan addressed today the students & faculty of Moscow State University.
“The world (is) looking expectantly to signs of change & steps toward greater freedom in the Soviet Union. We do not know what the conclusion will be of this journey, but we’re hopeful the promise of reform will be fulfilled.”
President Reagan Speaks
Moscow State University
Reagan Presidential Library Photo
May 31, 1859
“BIG BEN” TOLLS IN LONDON
The tower clock located at the top of St. Stephen’s Tower in London, England rang out for the 1st time today.
Weighing more than 13 tons, the bell was transported by a team of 16 horses. The clock was completed last year by the E.J. Dent Company.*
“Big Ben” of London
*During WWI & WWII, the clock faces were covered at night.