Aug. 31, 1961 - The U.S. declared itself freed today from its promise not to conduct nuclear tests, but it withheld any decision on the resumption of testing. The White House said the Soviet decision to resume testing would cause the "deepest concern and resentment" throughout the world. It accused Moscow of creating a hazard to every human being by increasing the dangers of nuclear fallout, disregarding mankind's desire for a halt in the arms race, and increasing the dangers of "a thermonuclear holocaust." President Kennedy and his aides reacted within three hours after they had confirmation of the Soviet decision.
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