Arthur Sylvester

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President John Kennedy makes an informal talk after swearing in ceremonies Jan 29, 1961 in the White House. At left is Arthur Sylvester, assistant Defense secretary.

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Unnamed male speaker welcomes the guests and makes reference to an earlier event held in honor of a reporter killed in the line of duty.

Victor Riesel, president of the Overseas Press Club, then speaks of their fallen comrade (Sam Kasten?)
He speaks of Czechoslovakia, China and Vietnam. He says that since the Ho Chi Minh government came to power 100,000 Vietnamese citizens, as well as Americans, have been killed. After speaking for several minutes about a misunderstanding related to the expectations of the day, he introduces Assistant Secretary of Defense Arthur Sylvester.

Arthur Sylvester explains that he does not have prepared remarks, but wants to explain what the Department of Defense is striving to do for the press. He notes that "top flight" information officers have now been place in Saigon. He also discusses the flight schedules available to newsmen. He also notes that there is a teletype system at all major points in-country.
He notes that there are daily briefings in Vietnam and at his own office at 5am. These taped briefings are available to newsmen.
He says that the news flow today is greater than in any other time, mentioning the Robert McNamara speaks with about 100 newsmen individually per year. He concedes that errors have been made in the past.

Questions and answers follow.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 72240
Municipal archives id: T3204