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Saturday, February 03, 2007

January 29, 1961: Communes in China, Peace Corps Tested, Oval Office Fix-up and Sit-ins Spread

"Communist China has substantially modified its system of 'peoples' communes' and slowed down its 'great leap forward' in industry in the wake of severe agricultural reverses last year," the New York Times reports on this day in 1961.

"The Government announced today it planned to send 150 young teachers to Africa this year. The plan is regarded as an experiment to test the practicality of the Administration's proposed 'peace corps' program. This program would send young Americans, primarily teachers and technicians, into under-developed countries to help them attack their most pressing economic, educational and health problems," the New York Times reports.

"White House maintenance crews moved into President Kennedy's Executive Office today for a quick weekend painting and renovation job. When it is reassembled next week, the oval=shaped office will resemble more of a New England sitting room, a warmer and more hospitable atmosphere than the austere formality of the office as it was furnished previously," the New York Times reports.

"The Negro lunch-counter demonstrations that began a year ago next Wednesday have grown into a national protest movement against many forms of discrimination. The sit-ins continue today in cities like Atlanta, where merchants have refused to desegregate eating facilities. But the lowering of racial barriers at lunch counters in more than 125 Southern communities has led the students and their adult supporters to turn to other fields of protest," the Times reports.

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