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Moscow-Washington “Hot Line” Up and Running

Aug. 26, 1963 - The Moscow-Washington “hot line” was pronounced in working order today after a number of communications tests. Messages were exchanged between the two capitals to check reception at both ends. According to the Soviet-U.S. agreement at Geneva June 20, the special line, intended to help avert nuclear war, is for the exclusive use of heads of government. Soviet sources said the Moscow end of the line terminated in the Kremlin, near the office of Premier Khrushchev, and that provisions had been made to send the Premier copies of messages, wherever he may be. The U.S. is reported to have provided four teleprinters for the Moscow end of the line, and the Soviet Union has shipped teleprinters to Washington. Nearly all of the keys on the lower three rows of the Soviet-made teleprinter are bilingual, with matched English and Cyrillic equivalents. The language of the transmission can be controlled by switches on the machine. The top row carries numbers, which are the same in both languages.


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