October 16,1949 – A busy week in the world, and a week that further indicated the West was growing more nervous that Communism would be a force to be reckoned with very soon. Beginning with news that the fate of 11 members of the American Communist Party and their attorneys was handed over to jurors in a New York courtroom. The jurors handed back guilty verdicts and the Judge handed jail sentences to the attorneys of the defendants. With the leaders of the American Communist Party jailed, along with the attorneys who defended them, what was going to be the fate of American Communist Party itself? As of October 16, 1949 no one knew exactly, but it seemed rather obvious the Party would be outlawed, or at least its power greatly diminished.
And while the subject of Communism was on everybody’s minds – the news that China was now under control of a Communist government, made America more nervous. And so it was some relief that India’s leader, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru came to visit the U.S. for the first time. Nehru was seen as a spokesman for Democracy in Asia and his visit included an address before a joint session of Congress. Since Chinese Communists were in the midst of solidifying their power and the issue of Communist China’s request for recognition in the United Nations was seen as an inevitable thing. That would be a bridge to be crossed soon enough. In the meantime, Nehru took advantage of hospitality and did some extensive visiting around the country.
Meanwhile, Squabbles on Capitol Hill over Defense budgets and appropriations; this time the issue of who should get more money and why. It was a clash between the Navy and Air Force over the issue of effectiveness a fleet of ships would have in the wake of the Atomic Bomb – how a long-range bombing run would make obsolete the role of the Navy, and without support from the Air Force, a naval presence would be useless under enemy attack. And so the argument went back and forth, with opinions running the gamut, but no solution.
And that’s just a small sample of what went on this week, ending October 16, 1949 as presented by NBC Radio’s Voices And Events.