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Friday, December 15, 2006

December 15, 1960: Illinois Casts Votes for Kennedy, Deciding November Election Outcome

In Springfield, Illinois, "The five-mamber state electoral board unanimously certified today [Dec. 14] John F. Kennedy's hair-line victory in Illinois, where twenty-seven electoral votes were at stake," the New York Times reported today. "The board, headed by Gov. William G. Stratton, a Republican, rejected arguments by Cook County and Chicago Republican leaders that there was evidence of widespread fraud in the Nov. 8 elections in Chicago and Cook County that would justify the withholding of certification."

An editorial in the Chicago Daily Tribune today, "The Lesson of the Stolen Votes," argues that the electoral board's decision should not be criticized. "There is no doubt now that thousands of votes were stolen from Vice President Nixon. Altho it is highly probably that Mr. Nixon actually won Illinois, proof of his victory is lacking. The electoral board could not be expected to supplant the official returns from the 102 counties of the state with a conjecture of what an honest count would show. Most lawyers agree that the board lacks this power."

Anthony Lewis reports for the New York Times today about how the Republicans lost the Negro vote, following a report yesterday that a couple of phone calls by the Kennedys had made the difference. "At the climax of the election campaign the Justice Department prepared a statement for President Eisenhower to issue on the jailing of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The draft statement deplored the arrest of the anti-seggregationist leader on a traffic charge in Georgia as 'fundamentally unjust.' It said the President was asking the Attorney General to help seek his release.

"The statement was never issued. Just why is not clear, but it seems beyond dispute now that such strong words, coming from the President, would have had a major impact on the Negro vote."

From United Press International comes this warning: "Discovery of life on other worlds could cause the earth's civilization to collapse, a Federal report said today. The warning was contained in a research report given to the National aAeronautics and Space Administration with the recommendation that the world prepare itself mentally for the eventuality."

In Laos, anti-Communist forces held the center of Vientiane 18 hours after recapturing it for the second time since an assault began on the capital three days ago.

In Cuba, members of the "anti-Red" Electrical Workers Union, facing dismissal from the union and arrest on charges of sabotage and counter-revolutionary activities, took refuge in Latin American embassies in Havana, the New York Times reported today.

A coup in Ethiopia has ousted Emperor Halle Selassie. The Imperial Household Guard was reportedly responsible. The emperor's son claimed power.