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Eisenhower meets with Kennedy to complete transition

By MERRIMAN SMITH
Eisenhower meets with Kennedy to complete transition
President-elect John F. Kennedy and President Dwight D. Eisenhower meet with members of their Cabinets on Jan. 19, 1961. File Photo courtesy JFK Library

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 1961 (UPI) - President Eisenhower today met with his successor, John F. Kennedy, to complete plans for the transition of government tomorrow.

The meeting between the 70-year-old President and the 43-year-old Democrat from Massachusetts took place in the White House office which had been stripped of Eisenhower's pictures and personal mementos.

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Both met privately at first to discuss a wide range of problems, including Communist threats throughout the world, before conferring with the incoming and outgoing secretaries of State, Treasury and Defense.

A joint statement by Eisenhower and Kennedy after the meeting said the two discussed matters affecting U.S. security throughout the world.

Kennedy said they discussed the outflow of gold, the crisis in Laos, the Cuban situation, Africa and Western Europe.

He described the meeting as cordial and thanked Eisenhower for his help. He said Eisenhower offered to assist him after he takes office if Kennedy requests further help.

Kennedy appeared in a chipper mood as he left the White House. Asked if he was excited about his inauguration tomorrow, he smiled, hesitated then answered: "Interested."

He later went to the home of a friend, William Walton, for a meeting with Arthur F. Goldberg, labor secretary-designate and former AFL-CIO special counsel. Then they planned to motor to the Carlton Hotel to meet the AFL-CIO Executive Council and other labor leaders.

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Kennedy then planned to go to the Sheraton Park Hotel to shake hands with the 38 governors here for the inauguration.

If Kennedy can get away from the governors after a one-hour visit, he should have nearly two hours to rest and get into his black tie dinner clothes before squiring his wife to the residence of Philip L. Graham, publisher of the Washington Post.

The president-elect and his wife with some close friends will have dinner with Graham and his wife, then sweep on in a heavily guarded motorcade to majestic Constitutional Hall for the inaugural concert.

The Kennedys plan to leave the concert shortly before 9 p.m. and speed across town to the cavernous District of Columbia National Guard armory for inaugural gala.

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