News for September 16-17, 1948. Berlin Airlift, Cold War tensions, Soviet Union, Romania ousts U.S. employees on grounds of espionage. Berlin reports. Communist Hearings resume in Washington. 1948 Presidential campaigns begins. Count Folke Bernadotte, UN mediator in Middle East is assassinated - Stern Gang implicated. End of Civil War outbreak in India. Dr. Norbert Wiener introduces Cybernetics and The 20th Century Limited begins its maiden run.
September 20, 2011

Count Folke Bernadotte - early casualty of the Middle East Peace Process.

Two days in September that can't escape notice. September 16 and 17 in 1948. Two rather busy days as far as the world and the future are concerned.

On the 16th there was the continuing story of the Berlin Airlift and how it was making its mark in the annals of Propaganda, with Western success gauged by the amount of defects apparent in the ranks of the Russian Army. But the Cold War had its other aspects. In Romania, alleged U.S. employees working outside of Bucharest were expelled by the Soviet Satellite on alleged grounds they were spying. And the Cold War dragged on.

Meanwhile, in the U.S. - the 1948 Presidential campaign officially kicked off with Republican vice-Presidential candidate Earl Warren speaking in Salt Lake City and asking for a civilized campaign (the eternal quest for the high-road, even in 1948). And Dr. Norbert Wiener of MIT introduces his theory of Cybernetics at an annual gathering of Scientists. It would have major implications in the coming decades.

On the 17th, news reached New York of the assassination of United Nations mediator Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden, while shuttling back and forth between Damascus and Jerusalem in attempt to broker a peace settlement for the emerging nation of Israel. The radical Jewish group Stern Gang was implicated in the assassination and it was cause for an emergency session of the United Nations to deal with the tragedy.

And on the subject of emerging nations, a Civil War which briefly erupted in a province in southern India was quickly extinguished. The process of putting out domestic fires in the newly independent nation had begun.

On the home front - President Truman was readying to leave Washington to embark on the campaign trail in what promised to be a lively 1948 Presidential season. Hearings on Communist influence in the U.S. Government were resuming with questions of allegiances directed at some notable members of the American Communist Party (which hadn't been outlawed just yet). And The New York Central unveiled it's epitome of traveling in style with The 20th Century Limited, embarking on its maiden run to the West.

Two comparatively normal days in the scheme of things, but in 1948 the world had more questions than answers and an amazing amount of news reports got stuffed into a 15 minute program. All via NBC Radio's News Of The World for September 16 and 17, 1948.

Nervous yet momentous times.

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