If There Were A Peace Conference – July 13, 1970
Rumors of peace-feelers, this July 13th in 1970. Soviet deputy Foreign Minister Nikolai Feryubin meeting with India’s Indira Gandhi over the possibilities of a Peace Conference over the war in Vietnam. Feryubin had just finished meeting with representatives of North Vietnam and the general feeling was; they would, if the U.S. would. The Feryubin plan called for all countries involved to a meeting to discuss a settlement, an end to the fighting, and a withdrawal of all foreign troops. Because India was Chair of the International Control Commission for Indochina, they would be involved in a peace conference, should one happen.
The State Department expressed interest in reports in a new Soviet Peace initiative, but reserved further comment until it got more information on the move. Some on Capitol Hill speculated the Russians may simply be engaging in a kind of diplomatic one-upmanship; trying to show they too can be active in the diplomatic field, following discussions earlier in the week between the U.S. and Great Britain in London. The Russians and British were co-chairs on the 1954 Conference on Indochina. The latest news was significant because the Soviet official expressing the interest had just visited Hanoi and, as one State Department official put it; there appeared to be some stirring on the other side, to show there was another way out of the war, besides shooting.
Meanwhile – with rumors of Peace, there was still a war going on. American and South Vietnamese forces attacked a North Vietnamese regiment near Khe Sanh in Northwest Vietnam. In five days fighting, they claimed more than 400 communist troops were killed.
Israeli jets buzzed the Suez Canal, bombing Egyptian positions the length of the waterway.
Back home – the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover issued his annual report on crime in America – he listed The Black Panthers as the most violent of extremist groups, but that the Weathermen, an offshoot of SDS were a principle force, guiding violence-prone militants.
He went on to state that he had seen Foreign forces at work in the Black Panthers.
And Michigan City Indiana was experiencing its second night of curfew following racial violence – National Guard troops were stationed just outside the city. A different story in New Bedford Massachusetts where 4 nights of racial violence resulted in one killing; Lester Lima, a 17 year-old Black youth who was fired on from a passing car – three White youths driving the car were arrested and charged. The Mayor of New Bedford appealed to the people to put down their guns or face search and seizure. He went on to assert outsiders had provoked the violence.
All that, and a lot more for this July 13th in 1970, as reported by Chet Huntley and David Brinkley and the NBC Nightly News.