Add to Google

Thursday, September 07, 2006

September 7, 1960: Cold War Shift, Standing up to East Germany, Nixon said to Stand Up to Russians, Negros at White School in Old Confederate Capital

A column by James Reston on this day in 1960 argues that the Cold War is now centered in the Congo and in Cuba. The issue in the 1952 presidential election was containment of the Communist threat versus "rolling back" Soviet domination to liberate Soviet satellite states. But now, Reston writes, "instead of Washington talking about 'liberating' Eastern Europe, Moscow is talking about 'liberating' Africa and even Latin America. Something new and extremely ominous is happening in the world. We are seeing inexperienced, unstable, and maybe even deranged men exercising the sovereign power of the new nations with the support of Communist ideology and military strength."

Also today the New York Times editorializes that East Germany's five-day "baby blockade" of West berlin is being hailed by the Communists as a victory because the West did not respond with force and "the East German puppet rulers now threaten more drastic action to isolate and strangle the Western stronghold behind the Iron Curtain." The editorial warns that "unless the West acts to cope with the threats, it may have to cope with a major conflict resulting from them."

Meanwhile, the Republican candidate for Vice President, Henry Cabot Lodge, predicted an end to the Cold War, newspapers reported on this day in 1960. "We could, in theory, lose our country in two ways -- either all at once by all-out nuclear war, or gradually, by being isolated and nibbled to death." But instead, the war will end with US victory, Lodge predicted during a campaign stop in Abington, Penna. "Now of course we are not going to lose our country. We will win the Cold War by ending it -- and thus reduce the danger of a hot war," the candidate said. His running mate, Richard Nixon, would be able to accomplish this because he "has shown that he can stand up to the Russians. But he has also shown that he is a peacemaker."

Also on this day in 1960 newspapers reported that in Richmond, Va., the former capital of the Confederacy, two Negro girls, age 12 and 13, attended classes at a formerly all-white school.