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Thursday, January 11, 2007

January 9, 1961: Computers Gain

"Electronics -- virtually untouched by the general business recession last year -- was fifth among the nation's industries. ... 'Most people -- even business men -- do not realize that the electronics industry is the nation's fifth-largest. It could become first in size in the next ten years,'" Commerce Secretary Frederick H. Mueller told a banging group, according to a report in today's edition on the New York Times.

According to another story in today's paper, "Computers and their related electronic data-processing devices became the United States' newest billion-dollar industry last year. ... Computers calcuclate the exact launching time for missiles and space satellites, hastened the automation of factories as well as offices and became standard equipment for tabulating ballots in national and other elections. ... Still on the drawing board at the end of last year were new computer systems that eventually will go into the home for the first time. These systems will enable a housewife to cook a meal, make beds and open or close windows by pushing a few buttons."

In a story from Concord, Mass.: "The application of electronics to plant cafeterias has been put in operation by the Raytheon Company at Nuclear Metals, Inc., in this town. Meals prepared by an outside commissary, frozen and served refrigerated, are re-heated by plant workers in Radarange microwave ovens in sixty seconds. ... These microwave components operate at 2,450 megacycles -- about 5,000 times higher than radio broadcasting frequencies. The energy is converted into heat when it is absorbed by food. Radaranges already are in operation in a number of restaurants."

January 8, 1961: French Voters Endorse Algerian Independence

In France, voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum endorsing President de Gaulle's Algeria policy that would give the country provisional autonomy pending ultimate self determination. In Algeria as many as 40 percent of Moslem voters abstained from the vote, casting doubt on the president's mandate in Algeria.

Tensions ran high over the weekend as the country prepared for a predicted invasion by the United States.

January 7, 1961: Cuba Says it Seized US Airdrops to Anti-Castro Forces

Cuba seized two airdrops of munitions for rebels, according to reports today in Havana. The airdrops, one by an American plane, were intended for rebel forces. One of the airdrops was near Trinidad. It contained 61 rifles, three bazookas, two mortars, six machine guns and ammunition. [Trinidad is the where the CIA plans to land the rebels it is training in Guatemala, who are to meet up with opposition forces on the island.]

The US today urged other countries to join its bid to "support and maintain the independence of Laos through whatever measures seem most promising."

Thermostats are now used in 24 million US homes to control heat, according to a report.

Under the headline, "Large-Scale Suburban Development Transforms an Entire Area," The New York Times reports, "In the wake of widespread residential development it is not unusual for a small community to find itself lifted from generations of quiet vegetation almost overnight, as new commercial enterprises spring up along the highways, as industrial plants are lured by a growing labor poll and added utilities and as municipal services are increased to meet the rising need for them."