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Thursday, August 10, 2006

August 10, 1960: Hoover in the Pink, Laos in Turmoil

Former President Herbert Hoover turned 86 on this day in 1960, remarking in a news story publshed on the occasion that religious bigotry was "dreadful." He went on to discuss why he had "strenously opposed our entry into World War II." He had forseen, he said, the danger of post-war Communist expansion, knowing that a wartime alliance with the Soviet Union would help to spread communism.

Hoover, who was president from 1929 to 1933, was described as "pink-faced and in mellow mood," with "twenty freshly sharpened wooden pencils in a glass tray" on his desk.

In Laos, Army rebels who staged a coup in the capital, Vientiane, on August 9, proclaimed their neutrality between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, but ordered U.S. and French military "advisers" to leave the country. The new goverment includes the leader of a "left-wing" group sympathetic to the Pathet Lao, "although not itself Communist," according to an Associated Press dispatch, dateline August 10. The new government also includes an anti-communist general "who led last year's fight against the Pathet Lao uprising, and Souvanna Phouma, former Premier of Laos." The coup topled the pro-Western government of Premier Tiao Samsonith.