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October 31, 1963 – A day for cautious optimism. A rumor that our Vietnam excursion was slated to be over “within two months”, according to General Paul Harkins, the U.S. Military commander in South Vietnam. Harkins said in a report published in Tokyo earlier in the morning, said that 1,000 of the 15,000 American troops in South Vietnam would be en-route home “within two months”. Harkins statement was in line with a White House statement earlier in the month stating that “victory in that was applying to the Vietnamese War, was just months away”. In addition, word from military sources in Paris say the first unit of some 5,000 troops would be on their way home from West Germany, despite objections from West German officials.
In other news – from Detroit came news via the Crime Commission that Syndicate bosses apparently told Detroit Bookies to “ease up somewhat” and that it was all but impossible in Detroit to make a bet through a bookie. Detroit officials were happy at the slowdown, but pessimistic that it was only for a short time before it was “business as usual”. The slowdown was the result of a summit meeting earlier in the year between Mafia controllers of the numbers racket and Black numbers operators to ease friction between the two groups and to promote better relations.
On the Diplomatic front – Three Soviet Diplomats to the United Nations were charged with taking part in a spy plot were ordered to leave the U.S. within 24 hours. Two of the diplomats were seized earlier in the week at a New Jersey airport when FBI agents arrested an American Electronics engineer and a Russian chauffeur on charges of espionage.
And GOP Presidential hopeful Senator Barry Goldwater traded barbs with President Kennedy over the prospects of a 1964 re-election. The election was a year away, and anything could happen between that time.
All that, and a lot more, including a lot of local news of the Detroit area by way of radio station WXYZ in Detroit for October 31, 1963.