Today in History
October 10, 1963
The Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Goes Into Effect
Unable to agree upon a comprehensive ban on nuclear weapons, leaders of the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union sign a limited treaty that becomes operational October 10, 1963. The parties agree to prohibit tests in the atmosphere, in outer space and beneath the sea, but to exclude underground tests, eliminating the need for on-site inspections, which the Soviet Union protested. President John F. Kennedy, well aware of the danger faced during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, convinces skeptical U.S. citizens and a divided Senate that a limited test ban "is safer by far for the United States than an unlimited nuclear arms race." In 1996 the United Nations General Assembly adopts a Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty prohibiting all nuclear test explosions which, awaiting complete ratification, has yet to go into effect.
Today's Feature History Article
A new book about atomic scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer charts the secret debate over deployment of the first A-bomb and the anxiety that suffused its first live test
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