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Friday, October 20, 2006

October 20, 1960: The Village Beatnik, Castro May Try October Surprise, Gigantic Rockets and Atom Engines, Labor Party's Left

An article in the New York Times on this day in 1960 is headlined "Voice of the Beatnik is Being Stilled in the 'Village.'" The article, by Arthur Gelb, begins, "The exhibitionistic, 'do-nothing' beatnik is losing his foothold in the Greenwich Village coffee houses.

"The unkempt, often unwashed, self-styled poets and philosophers who make the espresso cafes their homes and who could be counted on to leap to their feet and growl obscene dispraise of the status quo are becoming personae non gratae both as customers and 'performers.

"Many of the cafes that once welcomed these beatniks as a lurid tourist attraction are replacing them with planned (if still iconoclastic) entertainment. They are trying to lure 'Village' intellectuals and uptowners who are willing to pay a modest price for avant-garde plays and revues."

From Miami Beach comes the report today that the U.S. envoy to Mexico has said that Castro may try to influence the U.S. presidential election by attacking the American naval base at Guantanamo. "Do not be surprised if Castro. in instructions from Moscow and Peiping, attempts some colossal and foolhardy antic designed to disturb this nation on the eve of its national elections," Ambassador Robert Hills said in a speech. "If Castro moves on Guantanamo, the United States must defend Guantanamo base with all our strength."

The Times also reports today that the US is developing "gigantic rockets ... that would dwarf any space vehicles now being used or under development."

In other rocket news in today's papers, the Navy announced today that it had succeeded in launching a Polaris missile. The missiles were fired from the nuclear-powered submarine, the Patrick Henry. It is the Navy's second Polaris sub.

The Times also reports today from Mercury, Nevada, on a successful "atom-engine" test at the Jackass Flats test area in which "science took another laborious step toward the moon. ... The present schedule calls for rocket flight tests in 1968 or 1969. ... Releasing the tremendous energy of atoms is regarded as the only feasible means of obtaining enough power to carry sizable rocket payloads on long tips into space.

Reports from London say the Labor Party's right wing criticized the liberal wing of the party which was described as on "a disastrous trend toward unilateralism and neutralism." The more liberal movement, known as "Victory for Socialism," supports unilateral nuclear disarmament and a neutral stance between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.