Russian Relations & J.F.K.

1963 USSR Local One Meet Greet 001.tif

Edward Swayduck, U.S.S.R. Coalition, 1963.

As President for the Amalgamated Lithographers of America (ALA) since 1948, by 1963 Edward Swayduck was a well-established union man who continued to win his seat in every election. Swayduck sought to expand his influence on unions and the lithographic community. Extending his reach internationally he aided the United States Information Agency housed by the State Dept. in a diplomatic mission to the Soviet Union near the height of the Cold War. He put together a coalition with fellow union officers, Mr. Bernard Fuchs, and Mr. Austin Briggs.

1963 USSR Local One Gift 001.tif

U.S. Envoy Gifted Portfolio, 1963.

1963 USSR Local One Gift 002.tif

Swayduck gave a seminar on new automated technologies and lithographic techniques. He argued how automation was not taking the lithographer's place in a print shop, but rather automation is helping the lithographer excel in his craft. As a reference, he used this 96-page portfolio containing lithographic illustrations previously too labor intensive to produce in a single day's labor and gifted 250,000 color copies to the Soviet Union.

An 8-section, 96-page portfolio specially lithographed as a gift from ALA Local 1 to the State Department-USIA touring exhibit, received personal commendation from President Kennedy as a 'significant contribution to the foreign policy of the United States and to world understanding.' Some 250,000 of these have been reproduced in color, with Russian text, for distribution in the USSR."
1963 USSR JFK Letter.tif

Letter from John F. Kennedy, 1963.

President John F. Kennedy reached out to personally thank Swayduck and his Local's efforts for their diplomatic mission helping to "bring understanding" between the two hostile nations. Upon July 23rd, 1963 by Kennedy's formal invitation, Swayduck began a year's long relationship with the Kennedy White House helping further his Local's objectives. This is not the first time Kennedy praised Local-One under the leadership of Swayduck. On November 20, 1960, the then Senator Kennedy regarded Local-One with the highest distinction in a TV interview.

Swayduck presented John F. Kennedy with a large lithographic portrait as a gift and showed him the portfolio used in his diplomatic mission to the USSR. The meeting lasted approximately over an hour where they also discussed his Local's problems and small talk. From this initial meeting, they continued to exchange letters for some time. Swayduck visited Kennedy a total of 3 times before his untimely death.