May 1, 1961 - Peace overtures between Laos and Cambodia. South Vietnam situation. U.S. Foreign Policy. Domestic Unemployment. Scientists weighing weather conditions for launch of first Manned Spaceflight. Jordan's King Hussein announces wedding engagement. Last day to help Newstalgia. Donate whatever you can. It all helps!
May 1, 2012

Communist Rally in Laos. Preview of coming attractions.


Update: With a mass outpouring of donations and kind words overnight, we've come within a few hundred dollars of our goal. We'll end the fundraiser after today and give what we have to the building owners and hopefully the crisis will be over tomorrow. I can't begin to express my gratitude and admiration for all of you who have made donations. Your contributions have all made a huge difference and I am so blown away by the responses. It is sometimes difficult to know, working on posts all day and usually with only the computer screen as an audience, to tell if any of the historic materials I've been offering these last few years have been seen or have been of any help to anyone. The past 10 days of this fundraiser have proven there are a lot of you out there and that makes this decades-long quest for archiving and preserving history completely worth it. I'll be here as long as you're here. If you are still interested in making a contribution, I'm still in heavy appeal-mode for the rest of the day. As always, any amount you feel comfortable with is enormous to me. My deepest and most heartfelt thanks to you all.

This May Day in 1961 had ominous tones for the future - although at the time it didn't sound that way. The news for this day was the crisis in Southeast Asia, specifically the dispute between Laos and Cambodia. Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia had proposed a 14 nation Political Conference to the King of Laos in an effort to diffuse the situation. The proposal was rejected and Sihanouk then called for ceasefire talks to begin.

Meanwhile, President Kennedy was being apprised of the situation in South Vietnam via a recently concluded Military fact finding mission to the area.

On the Domestic front - Commerce Secretary Luther Hodges was quoted as saying the Communist Economic offensive was a matter of grave concern to the Free World, with obvious hints towards the situation in Latin America. Elsewhere - it was reported the Unemployment figures in the U.S. were regarded as "intolerable" by Capitol Hill.

On an upbeat note - Scientists at Cape Canaveral were weighting weather conditions for a scheduled launch of he first manned-Space flight by the U.S. - the flight was slated to go on May 2nd, if all signs were good.

And Jordan's King Hussein announced via Radio Aman that he was engaged to "the woman of his dreams" - a commoner who also happened to be the daughter of a British Army Officer. Hussein also added that yes, she was a Muslim - so not to worry.

And that's what this May 1st was mostly about in 1961 as reported by NBC News On The Hour.

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