The hotline would allow the president to call the Pentagon with a message, which would be immediately typed into a teletype machine and fed into a transmitter. The message could reach the Kremlin within minutes, as opposed to hours. In 1963, it was regarded as a communications marvel — today, not so much.
Quote of the Day
"In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility - I welcome it." -John F. Kennedy
More from West Wing Reports...
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Hey, bosses: Stop giving bonuses to your employees
- Why the Sony hack changes everything
- You should be furious about Hollywood's gutless retreat on The Interview
- Why torture doesn't work: A definitive guide
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Capitalism isn't a cure-all for Cuba
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- 10 things you need to know today: December 18, 2014
Subscribe to the Week