July 26, 1961 - President Kennedy asked last night for an overall increase in the nation's military preparedness to meet a Soviet threat he described as "world-wide." The President proposed adding 217,000 men to the armed forces and increasing expenditures by $3,457,000,000, including $207 million for civil defense. The President spoke from his desk in the White House. His address, carried by all radio and television networks at 10 p.m., was firm in tone. There was no suggestion in the speech that Mr. Kennedy would declare a national emergency. In a personal note at the end of his prepared text, however, he left no doubt how gravely he regarded the situation. "We must look to long days ahead," he said. "In these coming months, I need your good will and your support - and above all, your prayers."
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