Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
(800) 937-3880

Lot #8045
Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Assuming, as I did then, that Dick Nixon would be elected President of the United States"—Ike addresses atomic testing

This lot has closed

Estimate: $1500+
Sell a Similar Item?


"Assuming, as I did then, that Dick Nixon would be elected President of the United States"—Ike addresses atomic testing

TLS signed “Ike,” two pages, 7 x 10.25, personal letterhead, June 14, 1961. Confidential letter to Lewis Strauss, articulating his concerns on atomic tests. in full: "I am not familiar with the present Administration’s position on the question of resuming atomic tests, assuming USSR refusal to permit effective reciprocal inspection of any agreement for cessation. I think you are aware of my own attitude, expressed and repeated in governmental circles in the late months of 1960, that the time has come to terminate the moratorium. You will remember, of course, that I have previously announced my Administration’s determination to avoid any kind of tests that would add to the contamination of the air. Even though I believed (and still do) that the contamination created by normal testing is insignificant. It was and is my opinion that all of the information we need could be obtained by underground, supplemented as necessary by outerspace tests.

You are also familiar with the conclusion I voiced to you and to others to announce resumption of the tests as of some time late in 1960, assuming, as I did then, that Dick Nixon would be elected President of the United States. Because of the unfortunate outcome of the election and the long term effect of the projected decision which was to be publicly announced, I concluded that the incoming Administration should have a free hand in making its own decision in the matter. I would like to know whether this agrees with your own memory or whether you have any existing documents to which you might refer. The above reflects accurately my memory, but my concern is that I cannot recall the identity of the person or persons with whom I was discussing the subject." In fine condition.

Strauss had served has head of the Atomic Energy Commission during the 1950s, during which time he spearheaded the controversial trials that resulted in the revocation of J. Robert Oppenheimer's security clearance. In 1958, under President Eisenhower, the United States had entered into an informal nuclear test moratorium with the Soviet Union—an idea that had first been proposed by Eisenhower's 1956 opponent, Adlai Stevenson. Contrary to the wishes Ike expresses here, the Kennedy administration took the moratorium further, formalizing it in the 1963 Partial Test Ban Treaty—a major step in the historic efforts to end nuclear proliferation.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Letter Collection
  • Dates: #553 - Ended June 28, 2018

This item is Pre-Certified by PSA/DNA
Buy a third-party letter of authenticity for $100.00

*This item has been pre-certified by a trusted third-party authentication service, and by placing a bid on this item, you agree to accept the opinion of this authentication service. If you wish to have an opinion rendered by a different authenticator of your choosing, you must do so prior to your placing of any bid. RR Auction is not responsible for differing opinions submitted 30 days after the date of the sale.