Published: 1979
Play Audio Archive Story - UPI
President Jimmy Carter acknowledges the applause from members of Congress and spectators at a Joint Sessin of Congress as he prepares to deliver a speech on June 18, 1979, on the newly singed SALT II Treaty after his return from the Signing in Vienna. (UPI Photo/Larry Rubenstein/Files)

Jim Lounsbury: On May 9th, the United States and the Soviet Union announced agreement on new rules on which to limit the nuclear-arms race.Roger Giddens reports.

Roger Giddens: "After nearly seven years of negotiations, the U.S. and Russia finally struck a deal to take another step to limit strategic nuclear weapons. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance made the announcement at the White House."

Secretary Cyrus Vance: "The treaty will enhance the security of the United States and our allies. It will restrain the nuclear-arms race. It will lessen the likelihood of nuclear war."

Roger Giddens: "Defense Secretary Harold Brown was also on hand to outline the national security argument for SALT."

Secretary Harold Brown: "We will be able to avoid the pressures and uncertainties of an unbounded numbers' race in strategic forces. The U.S. could and would engage in such competition if we had to. But the result would be simply more systems, higher costs and greater risks."

Roger Giddens: "Mr. Carter called SALT the most important achievement of his lifetime, and spokesman Jody Powell said the President regarded ratification as more important than a second term. This is Roger Giddens."

Jim Lounsbury: At year's end there was still no Senate action, and the ratification of the treaty was in doubt.

One treaty was not in doubt in 1979; an historic peace treaty was signed, and it opened the way for former enemies, Egypt and Israel, to begin carefully measured progress in dismantling barriers built by war.