Another day our news was absorbed with war - Cold and Korean.
February 2nd 1951 and reports came in of marginal advances towards Seoul on the 9th day of a UN offensive in Korea. Reports also came in of an alarming increase of Frostbite cases among the troops, with an estimated 10-20% of those cases requiring amputations of one sort or another. The question of morale was on the minds of many, including those responding to rumors from "high placed officials" that a line of defense would be established at the 38th Parallel in Korea. The rumors were flatly denied, saying it would be detrimental to the morale of the troops if such a strategy was considered. Ironically, it was - but at the time, no one would admit it.
General Eisenhower was scheduled to make an Address To The Nation at 10:45 pm (EST) on the need for an increase in military strength around the world, including Europe. It was hinted Gen. Eisenhower would ask to establish a military draft of 18 year olds to shore up the sagging troop numbers.
On Capitol Hill a call for relaxation of the Wage Freeze was being considered, as well as legal action against key participants in the Railroad strike, saying the strike was doing harm to the war effort as much needed winter supplies were being delayed in shipping as the result (i.e. the frostbite report).
And the fourth Atomic Test took place in Yucca Flats Nevada, with reports of sizable earth tremors being felt in Las Vegas and the explosion being clearly visible In Los Angeles, some 300 miles away.
Coinciding with news of the Nevada Tests it was also revealed that radioactive particles were turning up in snowfall around Canada and other parts of the Eastern U.S. - although the AEC were quick to assuage fears by claiming the amounts were only trace and posed no harm to living things. No mention of plants or ground water, but people and animals were in no direct fear of becoming radioactive.
And all of this talk of The Bomb, the War and The Soviet Union had Americans clamoring for institutions of religion. A dramatic uptick in Church attendance and construction of new churches, of religious studies at colleges and Universities led many to believe this was all the result of the overwhelming fear that had gripped the world in 1951. That somehow the world had just become too dangerous a place to live without some higher authority being consulted. Clearly, we were losing control.
And that's the way it looked on this February 2nd, 1951 as reported by Don Hollenbeck, substituting for Edward R. Murrow on Edward R. Murrow And The News over CBS Radio.