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Monday, October 16, 2006

October 16, 1960: News of the Week

A large anti-Catholic campaign is being planned, the New York Times reports today. It is to include mass mailings and handouts, sermons and rallies. The rallies are set to coincide with Reformation Sunday, on October 30. It is estimated that tens of millions of handouts and mailings will be distributed. The drive is expected to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Times estimated that 114 groups are involved in producing the anti-Catholic literature and found that mailing lists are drawn from the membership lists of conservative Protestant churches.

"To date not one piece of evidence has turned up to indicate that the Republican party nationally or locally has anything to do with the planning or direction of the religious drive against Mr. Kennedy," the front page story reports. The paper paraphrases the executive director of the Fair Campaign committee, Bruce Felknor, as saying that "conservative laymen of wealth ... are financing much of the religious literature drive by contribution to churches and tax-exempt Protestant organizations active in the campaign, and then deducting the contributions from their income taxes."

On this Sunday in 1960 the New York Times carries these news analyses:

Under the headline, "Castro's Cuba Takes Long Step to Left," Hart Phillips describes the country's government takeover of industry this week as part of "the most extensive nationalization program ever attempted in the Western Hemisphere." This has created "disbelief and fear" among members of the "propertied classes," while "the masses have applauded the government's actions and have waited patiently for the 'better life' with the Castro Revolutionary Government has promised them." "The question being asked here," Phillips writes from Havana," is 'Where are we going?' Will the Cuban Revolutionary government be able to succeed in its program with the sole help of the Communist countries?"

With the presidential election just more than three weeks away, W.H. Lawrence writes under the headline, "Strategy: Nixon Drives for Independent Vote; Kennedy Seeks to Remake FDR Coalition," that "the campaign is moving into a free-wheeling, harder-hitting slugging match, with an intensity and vigor far above the level that had prevailed from Labor Day until now.

Arthur Krock writes of the televised debates between the two presidential candidates that, "The size of the public audiences these programs have attracted, and the nation-wide discussion of the leadership qualities the candidates may have revealed, support the general opinion that the public will demand these joint appearances in all future presidential campaigns. If this is a sound forecast, then even an incumbent President of the future will find it difficult, if not impossible, to refuse to meet his challenger in person.

Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev's appearance on television with David Susskind this week "gave television and international relations a common meeting ground: the sideshow," Jack Gould writes. "The cathode tete a tete featuring the Russian leader and video's flamboyant individualist was in many ways a chilling duet. The ... peasant whom destiny entrusted with a finger on the trigger was being spiritedly disputed by an impulsive young man about town. ... Wht's disquieting is that tape recordings of the pictures and sound tracks now have traversed the world. In foreign countries many persons are bound to conclude that Mr. Susskind must be one of the most important Americans extant; how else would he be the one to appear with the Russian leader."

In the Sunday magazine an article entitled "'Not-So-Silent' Generation" quotes from a member of "a new generation, the 'war babies'" attending Swarthmore College: "Only a few of us know what they want to do. Many are interested in the humanities and maybe, later, working for the U.N. or the government. But we're still unsure, a little scared."