West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer arrived at the White House for a two-day state visit on November 14, 1962.
The President and First Lady met Adenauer and his daughter, Mrs. Lisbeth Werhahn, at the White House’s South Portico as they arrived by limousine. The group then moved to the South Lawn for a formal ceremony and inspection of the honor guard. The ceremony was followed by a long meeting in the Oval Office with a number of other officials, aides, and interpreters present. After that meeting concluded, the President managed to fit in a quick swim before reconvening for a luncheon at 1:30 P.M.
In his toast, President Kennedy welcomed Adenauer as an “old, valued and courageous friend.” Alluding in part to the recent crisis over Cuba, Kennedy said that the timing of Adenauer’s visit was important, “at an important turning point, possibly, in the history of relations between East and West.” In response, Adenauer recounted the way in which ties grew since 1945 between the United States and what became West Germany and paid tribute to former presidents Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower along with their secretaries of state, Dean Acheson and John Foster Dulles. He also congratulated Kennedy on his recent handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis:
I feel that this was a very great success for the United States of America, and it was a failure for Mr. Khrushchev. The world once again has seen Mr. Khrushchev as he really is.1
The luncheon went until 4 P.M. After a brief break, it was followed by another meeting with Adenauer that focused on NATO’s military strength and organizational challenges as well as the problem of West Berlin.2