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Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Signed in Moscow

Aug. 5, 1963 - The foreign ministers of the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union signed a nuclear test ban treaty today at a Moscow ceremony. Then, led by Premier Khrushchev, they strode into one of the Kremlin’s most glittering ballrooms for a reception as a Soviet band played Gershwin’s “Love Walked In.” The song summed up the mood of the day. From the start of courtesy calls by the ministers at 9 a.m. to the end of the gala reception just before nightfall, it was filled with firm East-West handshakes, warm smiles, friendly jokes, and toasts to “peace and friendship.” One diplomat called it a “unique day” in East-West relations. “Peace — it’s wonderful,” said another, and meant it. Premier Khrushchev, who insists he does not believe in religion, was moved by the spirit of conciliation to the point of posing for pictures with the elder of the Russian Orthodox Church. The signing took place in Catherine Hall, a vaulted, white marble chamber in the Kremlin’s Great Palace.

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