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The stunning news, on this October 16, 1964, was the revelation that Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev had been removed from office in what many believed to be a bloodless coup on the parts of hardliners. Afraid that Khruschev was getting a little too soft toward the West, his “Peaceful coexistence” stance didn’t set well with those in the Kremlin who believed the only way things could work out between East and West was to keep everything in a perpetual state of anxiety and fear.
The news was met in Washington with a degree of perplexity. No one knew who the replacement was, but many speculated it wasn’t going to be “peaceful coexistence” anytime soon, despite assurances to the contrary.
In other news – campaigning for the 1964 Presidential race was getting down to the wire with former vice-President Richard Nixon scouring Michigan in search of votes for Barry Goldwater. All the candidates had words and speculation on the Kremlin shakeup.
Likewise in Britain where the elections were tipping in the direction of a Labor government. At the time of this broadcast, votes were still being tallied, but the question on everyone’s mind was; how big was Labor’s majority. At the moment, it was estimated Labor would have 15-20 seats more than the Conservatives, but some estimated it closer to 10. In any case, it would be a big victory for Labor in the UK.
At home – United Auto Workers struck American Motors in Detroit, despite agreement on an economic package. 26,000 workers hit the picket line.
And news that music legend Cole Porter had died at 73 of complications from Kidney surgery.
All that, and a lot more, via ABC Radio News, Paul Harvey News and WXYZ, Detroit Morning Report for October 16, 1964.