Eisenhower and Nehru - Most Indians assumed Ike was a Monarch. Had they known . . .

Eisenhower and Nehru - Most Indians assumed Ike was a Monarch. Had they known . . .
Eisenhower and Nehru – Most Indians assumed Ike was a Monarch. Had they known . . .

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – NBC News on The Hour + Eisenhower visits India – Dec. 11, 1959 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

Arriving in India as part of his whirlwind tour of 11 countries in 11 days, President Eisenhower landed in India and was greeted by an overwhelming crowd in New Delhi. Dubbed The King Of America by the Indian Press as well as the average Indian on the street, Eisenhower was recipient of some of the warmest outpourings of any President in recent memory.

Adding to his popularity was a call for World mobilization in the war against Hunger and for peace. Summing up in four words; Freedom, Food, Family and Friendship, Eisenhower gave an address at the first International Agricultural Fair and the opening of the American exhibition. Those words, as Prime Minister Nehru remarked, won the hearts of millions in India. And the audience responded with wild cheers. The trip so far, the World Tour was a huge success.

Back home – pundits were wondering just how this was going to translate in the upcoming 1960 Presidential election. Since Eisenhower in fact wasn’t King, a new President would be taking over by this time the following year. Would Eisenhower’s successor have the same cheering crowds and appreciation as he had? Many in both political parties wondered.

Still, this was the Cold War world, and life was uneasy even in India, as skirmishes were breaking out along the northern border with China.

But there was a lot going on in the rest of the world, this December 11th, 55 years ago.

At the United Nations the U.S. and Russia agreed on setting up a new UN group to promote the peaceful exploration of Outer Space.

On Capitol Hill, a gloomy prediction of unemployment to the tune of 4 million by 1960.

To the more mundane – a criminal court judge in Chicago denounced as “inadmissible hocus-pocus” the use of hypnosis by a State investigator on an Airline Stewardess who had been called as a witness against a defendant in a kidnapping trial.

And that’s how the day went – December 11, 1959 as reported by NBC Radio News on The Hour and a Special Report on Eisenhower’s World Tour.

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