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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

November 27, 1960: Bomber Suspect Identified, Desegregation Bad for Business in New Orleans

"A dynamite and blasting-power watchman for a construction company was questioned yesterday and early today about the recent series of Sunday and holiday bombings" in New York City, according to an article prepared for publication tomorrow in the New York Times. "Detectives described him as a 'red-hot suspect.'"

In New Orleans, federally-imposed desegregation was said to be causing a business downturn, with declines reported in department store sales, in restaurant receipts and elsewhere.

In Cuba, Castro attacked the Roman Catholic clergy in his country as "counter-revolutionists."

November 26, 1960: Editorial Foresees Constitutional Crisis if Nixon Wins Illinois

If the general counsel of the Republican National Committee, Meade Alcorn, is right in predicting that Illinois’ twenty-seven electoral votes will wind up in the Nixon column, the nation will be facing the most serious predicament in its Presidential history since the Hayes-Tilden battle of 1876-77,” said the lead editorial in the New York Times on this day in 1960.

“Mr. Alcorn’s statement was based on the charge that the apparent Democratic margin of over 300,000 in Cook County was fraudulently achieved, and that an honest count would reduce its sufficiently to wipe out the unofficial state-wide majority of 8,200 for Senator Kennedy (out of a total of 4,750,000), thus giving Illinois to the Vice President.

“In that event, Mr. Kennedy’s electoral vote would drop to 273, only four above the requisite minimum of 269. This is no doubt that feverish attempts would than be made to prove fraud or error in others of the extremely close states won by Mr. Kennedy such as New Jersey (with 16 electoral votes), New Mexico (4), South Carolina (8), even Texas (24). The Democrats would probably try to prove that Mr. Kennedy had really won Hawaii (3) and Alaska (3), both now attributed to Mr. Nixon by miniscule margins, and perhaps even California (32).

“Looming over all this confusion would be the hard fact that Mississippi’s eight electors are unpledged to either candidate, as are six of Alabama’s. These electors, plus other like-minded ones, might actually hold the balance of power in a showdown, throwing the election into the House, where Mr. Kennedy would almost surely win, anyway.

“For the good of the country we hope that such a train of events does not develop. Its very possibility is an excellent argument for reform of the electoral system. In any event it is now imperative that the results in each state be definitively settled by the time the electoral college meets on Dec. 19 so that there can be no shadow of doubt about the validity of the respective electors’ choice. It is of supreme importance that the country be satisfied that the list of electors chosen in each state actually does represent the will of the majority of voters in that state.

“Fraud in an election is one of the basic crimes against democracy; yet there unfortunately is always danger of fraud, especially when an election is as close as this one. We would hazard the guess that if there has been fraud, it has been confined neither to one state nor to one political party. Neither candidate would have wished to benefit by fraud and it is to the interest of both candidates, as well as of vital importance to the country as a whole, that any electoral fraud be exposed and punished. But if it is to be done, it must be done quickly. Any doubt or uncertainty about the election arising from the charges and accusations that have been made can only be harmful to the best interests of the United States.”

November 25, 1960: A Republican Southern Strategy

“Given his assumption about the crucial importance of being ‘modern’ enough to capture the Eastern States, Nixon need apologize to no one for the campaign he waged. But it was the assumption itself which was his downfall and which has been the perpetual undoing of the Republican Party,” the National Review said today.

“The question becomes: Can the Republicans, sans Ike, or something like him, win a presidential election at all?

“A review of the electoral tally sheet suggests that the answer is ‘yes’ – that there is available an alternative strategy which, although by no means certain of victory, is at least more promising than the theory on which the GOP has been operating….

“This strategy does not depend for its success on the theory that angry conservatives stay home on election day and that, given a ‘real choice,’ will materialize en masse at the voting booth. …

“The alternative here suggested is founded on more realistic considerations – namely, the actual performance of the electorate on Tuesday, November 8. That showing reveals it would be quite possible to combine the reliably conservative areas of the United States – the Midwest, the Mountain States and the South – into an Electoral College majority.”

November 24, 1960: Chinese Communists Get Support from Latin American Nations

“Well informed sources reported today that in the current Communist party discussions here [Moscow] Liu Shaochi, the Chinese Communist Chief of state, had found surprising support among Latin-American delegations, as well as North Korea, Indonesian and Albanian,” New York Times reporter Seymour Topping wrote in a story for publication tomorrow. “The leaders of about eighty five Communist parties are conducting the discussions.

“The Latin-American delegations have listened sympathetically to Chinese Communist arguments for a more militant international program for achieving world communism

“They include Argentina, Venezuela, Columbia, Uruguay and Chile.

“Mr. Liu spoke Tuesday for four hours and was critical of certain facets of Soviet policy that have been identified with Premier Khrushchev.

“It is understood, however, that Mr. Khrushchev has retained majority support, especially among the European parties, for his policy of peaceful coexistence.

“This is a program for establishing Communist world supremacy through political, economic and psychological attraction without resorting necessarily to the ignition of revolutionary or international war.”