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Monday, October 23, 2006

October 23, 1960: Nixon Says Kennedy Statements on Cuba Risk World War, US Accuses Cuba of Invasion Hoax, Khrushchev Threatens Berlin Crisis

Sen. John F. Kennedy's proposal on Cuba, made during the most recent televised debate with Vice President Richard Nixon, could lead to World War III, Nixon said, according to a report in the New York Times by Harrison Salisbury.

Nixon's comments "bristled with condemnatory language. The target of the Vice President's assault was Mr. Kennedy's proposal, as Mrl Nixon put it, 'for United Sttes Government support for a revolution in Cuba.' He called this 'the most shockingly reckless proposal ever made in our history byh a presidential candidate during the campaign. ... [S]aid Mr. Nixon, the most dangerous implication t hat can flow from Senator Kennedy's recommendation is that it constitutes 'a direct invitation for the Soviet Union to intervene militarily on the side of Castro. Should the Soviet Union intervene directly, said Mr. Nixon, the result can only mean a civil war in which the United States could not avoid entering. 'The result,' he agreed, 'cold easily be the spread of the conflict into the world war that every American of both parties wants to avoid.'"

The State Department has caught Cuba "redhanded" trying to stage an invasion of the island that could be blamed on the U.S., Jack Raymond reports in today's New York Times. "Philip W. Bonsal, the United States Ambassador, notified the Cuban Foreign Ministry of reports that a number of Cuban transport planes at an airfield near Havana had United States markings, including the United States flag. ... According to the authorities here [Washington], the Cubans appear to have planned to put the planes with United States markings in the air and perhaps even to down one or two of the so that they could be photographed. ... Premier Fidel Castro's Government has charged that the United States is massing warplanes in Guatemala and Florida to help anti-Castro forces to invade Cuba."

Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev set an April deadline "for either a summit conference or a major Berlin crisis," Sydney Gruson reported in the New York Times on this day in 1960.

There was a show of "Red unity," as the New York Times put it today, as Communist China's leaders "bowed to Premier Khrushchev and spoke of the 'monolithic solidarity' of the two countries.

The Associated Press reports today from Leopoldville in the Congo that Col. Joseph Mobuto has all but abandoned his military regime as Patrice Lumumba prepared to take power.

President Eisenhower plans to step up his campaigning for Vice President Richard Nixon, according to reports in today's newspapers. This is to include a televised talk from the White House on election eve.

Sen. John F. Kennedy and former President Harry Truman campaigned together for the first time, the New York Times reported today. The two were estranged before the convention. This comes a day after Truman called Nixon, "a no good."

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