This day in 1951 started off optimistically with the arrival of a UN negotiation team to Kaesong in Korea to begin Peace Talks aimed at ending the war. No easy feat, it seemed. As the road to Kaesong was roadblocked and prone to long delays by the Chinese Communists who controlled the road to the negotiation site. Concerns in Washington that the Chinese would make propaganda hay out of the photo op were right, for once. Long lines of UN convoys, stuck on the road and seemingly defenseless made for great Communist commentary. The Korea question and the on-again-off-again talks would remain at the forefront for a few more years.
Meanwhile, President Truman asked Congress to give him the right to set the effective date for officially ending World War 2. Truman went on to blame Russia for splitting Germany and keeping the Eastern portion for its gathering Empire. Hard to believe that, after almost seven years, the War wasn’t “officially” over.
President Truman was also keeping an eye on the Middle East by sending W. Averill Harriman to Tehran to negotiate a settlement between the British government and the Mossadegh government over the Oil production issue.
And finally; Contempt charges were filed against writer Dashiell Hammett in connection with the Communist conspiracy scare in Hollywood. In what became known as “The Red Scare”, countless writers, directors and actors were hauled in before this congressional hearing and grilled over accusations, some true but most false. It resulted in the destruction of careers for many, including those who were innocent if only implicated by innuendo. It would go down in history as one of America’s not finer moments.
That, and a lot more via The Edward R. Murrow News Program with Don Hollenbeck substituting, for this Monday July 9, 1951. From CBS Radio.