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President Kennedy Tours West Germany

June 23, 1963 - President Kennedy opened his tour of Europe today with an enormous welcome from almost a million West Germans in Cologne, Bonn, and the Rhineland countryside. They gave the American President their greatest cheers when he promised them that U.S. military power is in Europe to stay. In speech after speech during the first day of this 10-day tour of the continent, Mr. Kennedy hammered on the theme that the U.S. would not let the Western Alliance down by pulling its forces off the European continent or by making any kind of a deal with the Soviet Union at the expense of the West. “The United States is here to stay,” the President said. “So long as our presence is desired and required, our forces and commitments will remain. For your safety is our safety, your liberty is our liberty, and any attack on your soil is an attack upon our own.” President Kennedy’s enthusiastic turnout today was the greatest public welcome ever accorded a foreign leader in West Germany — bigger than the 1959 turnout for President Eisenhower, bigger by far than the crowds that greeted President de Gaulle last September. Eurovision carried the President’s smile and words on TV screens to more than 40 million Europeans.


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