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PRESIDENT RICHARD M. NIXON - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 05/20/1957 - HFSID 87611

RICHARD NIXON. TLS: "Dick" as Eisenhower's Vice President, 1p, 7x9¾. Washington, D.C., 1957 May 20. On letterhead of Office of the Vice President to Admiral Lewis L. Strauss, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, Washington, D.C.

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Condition: lightly creased
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RICHARD NIXON. TLS: "Dick" as Eisenhower's Vice President, 1p, 7x9¾. Washington, D.C., 1957 May 20. On letterhead of Office of the Vice President to Admiral Lewis L. Strauss, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, Washington, D.C. Begins: "Dear Lewis". In full: "As I mentioned to you the other day, I would very much like to observe one of the four nuclear tests which have been scheduled at the Nevada Test Site for June and July. I tentatively plan to go out for the last test on July 23rd. However, because of the uncertainty of the legislative calendar I am unable to make any definite plans. Consequently, I would appreciate it if you would make sure that no publicity is given out on the possibility of my attending this test until I am able to finalize my schedule. With every good wish". The tests that Nixon mentions were part of Operation Plumbbob, a series of 24 detonations that took place between March and September 1957 at the Nevada Test Site, some 100 miles from Las Vegas. Nixon was unable to attend any of the tests he mentioned (the July tests were actually held on the 15th, 19th, 24th and 25th; Nixon had possibly confused the dates as there was a test on August 23). Two tests were held in September (on the 2nd and 14th), the month that both Great Britain and the U.S.S.R. conducted nuclear tests of their own. LEWIS STRAUSS was appointed Secretary of Commerce by President Eisenhower on November 13, 1958. His appointment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 1959, 49-46. There were Senators who stated their opposition to Strauss because of his denial of security clearance to atomic scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer in 1954, when Strauss headed the Atomic Energy Commission (1953-1958, during the "Atoms for Peace" program). The Atomic Energy Commission's interest in the peaceful use of nuclear explosives was shared by the United Nations, which formed the International Atomic Energy Agency on July 29, 1957. In the year he signed this letter, RICHARD NIXON (1913-1994), one of the most active U.S. Vice Presidents (1953-1961) to that time, suggested to President Eisenhower that NASA be established (Russia would launch Sputnik on October 4, 1957, putting the U.S. behind in the space race). On July 20, 1969, however, Nixon as 37th U.S. President (1969-1974), spoke to Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin shortly after they became the first to walk on the Moon (Nixon described the call as "the most historic phone call ever made from the White House"). On July 24, 1969, the President was on board the Hornet, the recovery ship stationed in the Pacific, to welcome the astronauts home. On January 5, 1972, President Nixon also approved the development of the Space Shuttle program, which had originally been proposed to include nuclear technology developed at the Nevada Test Site. Lightly creased with folds, light horizontal fold nicks the upper loop of the "D". Staple holes at upper left blank corner. Fine condition. Framed in the Gallery of History style: 30x21½.

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