Today I traveled to New York City by the means of The New York Times, February 15, 1966. There I found that Wilt Chamberlain, playing for the 76’ers, had scored his 20,884th point to surpassed the record previously set by Bob Pettit.
The front page also has the reporting of “2-SOVIET AUTHORS ARE CONVICTED” with subheads “Court Finds Works Published Abroad Harmed Regime” and “Sinyavsky Is Given 7 Years, Daniel 5 at Hard Labor”. Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel were convicted of writing under pseudonym names and sending the books out of Russia for publication. “…The judgment, considered unprecedented in modern Soviet history, called it a criminal act to put into print beliefs and ideas that could be used profitably by ‘enemies of communism’…”
As historian Fred Coleman writes, “Historians now have no difficulty pinpointing the birth of the modern Soviet dissident movement. It began in February 1966 with the trial of Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel, two Russian writers who ridiculed the Communist regime in satires smuggled abroad and published under pen names… Little did they realize at the time that they were starting a movement that would help end Communist rule.” [source: Wikipedia]
It can be difficult to appreciate how stunning the event of the Soviet Union’s success with the Sputnik launch was given the phenomenal success of American space exploration in the 1960’s, but at the time this headline in the “Los Angeles Times” issue of October 5, 1957: “RUSS SATELLITE CIRCLING EARTH” was terrifying for many (see first few moments of October Sky).
The Soviet Union had taken the lead in what became known as the “space race”, with fears of what havoc Soviet domination of the heavens could mean to the United States. Early American attempts to reach outer space were plagued with failures before a string of successes would cause America to be the first to put man on the moon. Today there are joint American-Russian space efforts with the Space Station, a situation which could not have been imagined in 1957.
The best headlines need no commentary. Such is the case with the Los Angeles Examiner, June 20, 1953: “Atom Spies Executed For Aid To Russians”
Today’s travels took me to The London Gazette of April 5, 1712 where I found the Czar of Mosco (Moscow) has publicly solemnized his wedding with his Empress Catherina Alexewna. The wedding had to be deferred for some time by reason his Czarish Majesty’s “making the Campaign the last Summer.” The article provides details of the wedding.
Another article on the front page is of the Suedes (Swedes) making advancement into Pomerania before the Danes could hinder them. Two officers of the Swedish Fleet had been condemned “to have their Heads struck off, for having held a Correspondence with the Danes, and their Father, who was privy to these Actions of his Sons, and did not discover them, is confin’d to a perpetual Imprisonment…” There are times it is just better to keep the lips sealed. Whereas some have been known to sink ships, this is even worse…