Sizing each other up
Kennedy and Khrushchev and west berlin
President John F. Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev used the crisis in Berlin during the summer of 1961 to size one another other up. Tensions had continued to mount between the U.S. and the soviets over the city of West Berlin. Krushchev demanded that the Western Allies relinquish their hold on the city, but Kennedy staunchly refused declaring that any action against Berlin would be result in immediate retaliation from the NATO. On July 25, 1961, Kennedy went before the nation and reiterated his desire to negotiate with Khrushchev and the Soviets, but refused to do so at the cost of West Berlin. In his speech, he requested funds from Congress to build up America's Civil Defense to prepare the nation for war should it break out. In August, as the standoff continued, Khrushchev built a wall to surrounding the city. Despite his initial rational for the wall, it turned out to be the thing that appeared to stabilize the region between the East and West allowing both nations to accept the division.
Questions to Consider:
- How are Kennedy and Khrushchev portrayed in the cartoon?
- Do either of the men seem to have an advantage? Why or why not?
- Why do the two leaders want to size each other up?