On his return from the ill-fated summit meeting in Paris US President Eisenhower was given a tremendous welcome at Washington's Andrew Airforce Base, 20th May.
On his return from the ill-fated summit meeting in Paris US President Eisenhower was given a tremendous welcome at Washington's Andrew Airforce Base, 20th May. The American President shook hands with dozens of people forming the welcoming party and many other of the 23,000 people at the Airport.
In a short speech on the airfield tarmac he said that the breakdown of the summit was a complete mystery to him and remain so, it was not due to the spy plane incident. He alleged Soviet Premier Krushechv "distorted and overplayed the incident". He accused the Russians of going to the conference with every intention of breaking it up, and made it impossible for it to begin.
Of French President De Gaulla and Prime Minister Macmillian President Eisenhower said "they spoke with one voice in support of those things which we thought right, decent, and logical. President Eisenhower was encouraged by their firm backing and handling of Mr. Krushcev's insults.
Mr. Eisenhower referred to in ominous tones of the C.47 American Airforce plane which at that time was missing on a flight over Germany, "we cannot be sure that the worst has not happened". It was later reported that the aircraft had gone off course and had safely landed in East Germany. Eisenhower also warned American people that they must be ready for any future irritations from Russia.
He thanked the crowds for welcoming him home and spoke in praise of the Americans and the solidarity with which they faced so many difficulties.
30,000 people cheered Eisenhower through Washington on his way to the Whitehouse. School children were allowed to leave classes early in order to be there. There was very little evidence of the Military. It was purely a civilian welcome. As the President arrived at the Whitehouse the vells of the nearby St. John's Church pealed out to welcome him.