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Letter from Linus Pauling to Nikita Khrushchev. October 18, 1961.
Pauling writes to implore the Soviet Union to cease nuclear weapons tests.
Premier Nikita Khrushchev
W n t. DC
Sent 6 PM
18 Oct. 1961
I urge that you revoke the plan for carrying out a test explosion of
a 50 megaton bomb. The worldwide fallout from this great nuclear weapon would cause
damage to the pool of human germ plasm such that during coming generations several
tens of thousands of children would be born with gross physical or mental defect,
who would be normal if the bomb test were not carried out. In addition, the carbon
14 produced in the atmosphere will continue to damage the human race for thousands
of years. I have telegraphed President Kennedy asking that the United States pledge
that it will not carry out further bomb tests if you revoke further testing. For the
sake of human beings all over the world I beseech the Soviet Union to stop testing
bombs and instead to redouble its efforts for peace and disarmament.
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