Archive ID: F00205

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1962   Two copies of this certificate were presented by U.S. President John F. Kennedy to FEBC President Robert H. Bowman in a special ceremony at the White House (see #200, #201). At the time of the Cuban missile crisis, there were only three private shortwave stations in the United States. One, operating out of Red Lion, Pennsylvania, to Europe, had been habitually critical of U.S. policy. In an attempt to control the the information going out internationally, Kennedy decided to request the private stations to suspend their own broadcasts, and instead relay VOA. Jim Bowman recalls that while the KGEI station manager Carl Lawrence was talking to press secretary Pierre Salinger on the phone from the Oval Office, telephone repairmen were already at the front door of the station, ready to install the phone line from VOA, giving the phrase "voluntarily canceled" a less than perfectly literal meaning.