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President Kennedy Meets with Finland President Kekkonen

Oct. 16, 1961 - President Urho K. Kekkonen (left) of Finland assured President Kennedy today that his country’s main purpose was “the maintenance of our independence and the safeguarding of our national way of life.” Mr. Kennedy, in a toast to the Finnish visitor at a White House luncheon, told him: “We admire your country. We admire its courage in war, and we admire its courage in peace.” Mr. Kennedy, who is interested in physical fitness and athletic prowess, called attention to his visitor’s accomplishments in this field. He pointed out that Mr. Kekkonen had led his country’s Olympic team to the games at Los Angeles in 1932, and he attributed to him the ability to ski “over 35 miles a day without pausing for breath.”


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