Wednesday, May 11, 1960: U-2 incident: Eisenhower defends U.S. actions

At the beginning of a news conference, President Eisenhower reads a prepared statement in which he says "we must have knowledge of military forces and preparations around the world, especially those capable of massive surprise attack," then goes on to call the U.S. spy missions "a distasteful but vital necessity." The next day, Eisenhower privately decides to suspend U-2 flights, but does not tell the Soviets nor the U.S. public; he hopes to announce it at the upcoming Paris summit, to be attended by the leaders of the United States, the Soviet Union, England and France.

* State Department statement, May 9: @
* Telegram from Soviet Union to U.S., May 10: @ and @
* Telegram from U.S. to Soviet Union, May 11: @
* Eisenhower's remarks, May 11: @ and @

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