1961 – JFK lobbied Congress to help save historic sites in Egypt

On April 7, 1961, President John F. Kennedy sends a letter to Congress in which he recommends the U.S. participate in an international campaign to preserve ancient temples and historic monuments in the Nile Valley of Egypt. The campaign, initiated by UNESCO, was designed to save sites threatened by the construction of the Aswan High Dam.

JFK believed that America’s participation in the project would reflect “the interests of the United States,” as well as the country’s interest in ancient Egyptian culture “from which many of our own cultural traditions have sprung” and the U.S.’s “deep friendship for the people who live in the valley of the Nile.” Kennedy possessed a personal interest in the sciences and history and, from the beginning of his presidency, set out to promote American scholarship in these areas. His administration also wanted to develop diplomatic ties with the Arab nations in the Middle East and North Africa.

Citation Information

Article Title: JFK lobbies Congress to help save historic sites in Egypt

Author: History.com Editors

Website Name: HISTORY

URL: https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/jfk-lobbies-congress-to-help-save-historic-sites-in-egypt Date April 7, 2023

Publisher A&E Television Networks

Last Updated April 5, 2022

Original Published Date November 16, 2009