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Thursday, September 14, 2006

September 14, 1960: Soviet Surprise-Attack Plan, Congo Coup, Navy to Laos, Castro Confined, JFK for Liberalism, Nixon on Summitary and Pouch Food

Soviet strategy is based on waging a surprise nuclear attack against the United States, a defector from the Soviet Navy said on this day in 1960.

In the Congo, Col. Joseph Mobuto took over the control of the country. The army chief of staff denied he had staged a coup and said he would only hold power until January 1. Premier Patrice Lumumba was said to be fleeing the capital for his home in Stanleyville. Conflict between Lumumba and the president, Joseph Kasavubu, has plunged the country into civil war. At the United Nations the Soviet delegate charged that UN Secretary Dag Hammarskjold was siding with colonial powers and the United States to deny the Congo full independence.

The U.S. Seventh Fleet prepared to patrol the South China Sea off of Laos and Vietnam. The United States would take action in Laos if the Communists gained the advantage there, the State Department said. The carrier-based force headed for the South China Sea was to include 1,100 marines.

Fidel Castro will not be able to leave New York City during his visit there for the United Nations General Assembly meeting, the State Department said. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev's travel will also be restricted.

Senator John F. Kennedy called for "a march toward peace to replace the drift toward war." Kennedy made his remarks while campaigning in New York City. "Only liberalism can repair our national power, restore our national purpose, and liberate our national energies, he said. "The basic issue in the 1960 presidential campaign is either our government will fall into the conservating rut of dying without daring or whether we will move ahead in the liberal spirit of daring and doing."

Meanwhile, Mrs. John F. Kennedy reacted to criticism that she is "too chic." She said that charge, and the one that she spent too much on clothes, were "dreadfully unfair." Mrs. Kennedy said Pat Nixon, the wife of the Republican nominee for president, spent more on clothes than she. "They're beginning to snipe at me about that as often as they attack Jack on his Catholicism," she said.

Campaigning in the mid-west, Vice President Richard Nixon continued to stress international issues. Domestic policy, while important, he said, would "not make any difference if we're not around...." He defended President Eisenhower's handling of the failed May Paris summit with the Soviet Union. By not trading insults with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, Eisenhower maintained "the dignity of the presidency" and did not "heat up the atmosphere and set off a nuclear cataclysm." Nixon said that, if elected president, he would consider any possible summit "with a jaundiced eye.... We must not raise the hopes of the world as they were raised last time and have those hopes dashed by the irresponsible actions of Mr. Khrushchev." The summit fell apart after the Soviet Union shot down a U.S. spy plane over Russia.

Under the headline, "Advertising: Ease is Chief Benefit in Pouched Foods," the New York Times carried a story on this day in 1960 that said, "...there are those who feel that from the perch of the future the decade ahead may be labeled the age of the heated pouch."