History Timeline 1960's

Photo above: Astronaut John Glenn pictured above with President John F. Kennedy looking inside the Mercury Space Capsule in 1962. Courtesy National Archives. Right: Soyuz TMA-7 Spacecraft. Courtesy NASA.

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U.S. Timeline - The 1960s

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  • Timeline

  • 1967 - Detail

    June 23, 1967 - A three day summit between President Lyndon B. Johnson and Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin, held at Glassboro State College in New Jersey, culminates in a mutual declaration that no crises between them would lead to war.

    Glassboro Summit 1967

    On June 10, 1967, Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin sent a message to President Johnson, wanting to discuss the Six-Day War between Israel and the Arab States. Kosygin flew to New York City to address the United Nations on the topic. President Lyndon Baines Johnson, knowing that he was in New York City and that it was time for them to meet, invited him to a summit. There were topics around the world that needed to be discussed, even if the United States and Soviet Union were still involved in a Cold War stance against each other in many places around the world. But the topics of Vietnam, the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, anti-ballistic missile systems, the race to build nuclear weapons, and the growing troubles in southeast Asia, were imperative in this era when both sides understood the concept of mutual destruction if nuclear weapons were in play.

    So Johnson invited Kosygin to meet, and eventually chose Glassboro State College, now known as Rowan University, as the venue. It was the first meeting of Soviet Union and United States leaders since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crises. They would meet for ten hours over three days from June 23, 1967 to June 25, 1967. The Glassboro Summit, held inside the library of Hollybush Mansion, the home of Glassboro State President Thomas E. Robinson, would be considered a success, not only with the initial statements afterwards, but set up meetings for future discussions and treaties such as SALT 1 in the 1970's.

    There were pledges between the two leaders that no crises between them would lead to war, but no new agreements or treaties were signed.

    "We may have differences and difficulties ahead, but I think they will be lessened, not increased, by our new knowledge of each other," President Johnson, January 25, 1967.

    Why Glassboro State?

    Easy answer, it was equi-distant between New York City, where Premier Kosygin was speaking, for the first time, at the United Nations, and Washington, D.C., where Johnson had preferred the meeting take place. Kosygin didn't want to go to Washington, not wanting to surrender prestige to the other camp; Johnson did not want to go to New York City, afraid he would encounter protests about the Vietnam War. New Jersey Governor Richard Hughes suggested the location; on June 22, both sides accepted the compromise, although the short timeframe to make the college and town ready for such an auspicious meeting caused problems for Glassboro.

    They had only sixteen hours to make the necessary preparations. The mansion library was readied for the high-level meeting. The town made security arrangements for the thousands of visitors who would come to witness history. By the second day, there were four hundred and fifty state troopers on site, Secret Service agents, and fifty Glassboro policemen.

    The meeting was only supposed to last one day; in fact, both Johnson, who flew to California and Texas, and Kosygin, who went back to New York City, were not in town on June 24. However, it was Kosygin who suggested that a second meeting take place on June 25, 1967, and both returned to continue the summit.

    Hollybush Mansion still exists today and hosts special University events; it also contains historic items from the summit.

    President Johnson and Kosygin's Remarks at End of Glassboro Summit, June 25, 1967, 6:20 p.m.

    THE CHAIRMAN and I met again today and talked for somewhat more than 4 hours, beginning at lunch and working through until just now.

    We have gone more deeply than before into a great number of the many questions before our two countries in the world. We have also agreed to keep in good communication in the future through Secretary Rusk and Foreign Minister Gromyko, through our very able Ambassadors, Mr. Dobrynin and Mr. Thompson, and also directly.

    We have made further progress in an effort to improve our understanding of each other's thinking on a number of questions.

    I believe more strongly than ever that these have been very good and very useful talks. The Chairman and I join in extending our thanks to Governor and Mrs. Hughes, to President and Mrs. Robinson, and to the good people of Glassboro for the contribution that they have made in making these good meetings possible.

    And now I should like to ask the Chairman to say a word or two.

    CHAIRMAN KOSYGIN. Esteemed ladies and gentlemen:

    I would like first of all to thank all the citizens of Glassboro and the Governor, and the president of the college, for having created a very good atmosphere for the talks that we were able to have here with your President.

    I think altogether we have spent and worked here for about 8 or 9 hours, and we have come to become accustomed to this place. We like the town and we think the people of Glassboro are very good people. We have come to like them. And we have been very favorably impressed by the time we have spent here.

    As during the first meeting which took place on June 23d, the exchange of views between the President and myself touched upon several international issues.

    Also, in the course of these conversations we had a general review of the state of bilateral Soviet-American relations.

    On the whole, these meetings provided the Governments of the Soviet Union and the United States with an opportunity to compare their positions on the questions under discussion, and this both sides believe is useful.

    Once again, on my own behalf and on behalf of all those who have come here with me, I wish to extend my profound gratitude to you all. Goodby.

    [Following their remarks to members of the press, Chairman Kosygin and the President spoke briefly to the assembled crowd.]

    CHAIRMAN KOSYGIN. I want to thank you all very sincerely for this very warm welcome. May I salute friendship between the Soviet and American peoples, and to all of you I want to wish every success and happiness, and express the hope that we shall go forward together for peace.

    PRESIDENT JOHNSON. You good people of Glassboro have done your part in helping us make this a significant and a historic meeting.

    We think that this meeting has been useful, and we think it will be helpful in achieving what we all want more than anything else in the world -- peace for all humankind.

    Thank you very much.

    Note: Remarks above courtesy of The American Presidency Project, Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley.

    Photo above: President Johnson and Premier Kosygin after the first day at the Glassboro Summit, June 23, 1967, Yoichi R. Okamoto, White House photographer. Courtesy LBJ Library via Wikipedia Commons. Photo below: Hollybush (Whitney) Mansion at Rowan University, 2012, Bob Golasso. Courtesy Wikipedia Commons, C.C. 3.0. Info source: Rowan University History; LBJ Library; archives.gov; "Revisiting the Summmit at Glassboro," 2017, Carol Comagno, Courier-Post; https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/238235, ucsb.edu; Office of the Historian, Department of State; Wikipedia Commons.

    Hollybush Mansion, site of Glassboro Summit

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