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December 9th in 1947 – Post-War discontent, Cold War jitters and the slow, painful process of getting a war torn Europe back on its feet.
Canadian Prime Minister MacKenzie King addressed the Canadian House of Commons, saying the European situation was worse than at any time since before World War 2. He expressed dismay in the deadlock in the meeting of Foreign Ministers, which was going on in London that week. He went on to say there were indications Russia was seeking establishment of a central government for Germany, which would be directed from Moscow.
Another take on the situation came from Harold Stassen, Presidential hopeful for 1948. He was optimistic a 3rd World War could be prevented if the U.S. adopted a policy of consistency, strength, humanitarianism and patience with International policies. Warren Austin, chief American delegate to the United Nations. Mr. Austin indicated it might take years for Russia and the U.S. to agree on Atomic Energy control, but felt it was a matter of convincing Russia that America’s strength was not a threat to Russia’s existence of welfare. Austin then when to condemn Russia’s plan for Atom Bomb control as a “fraud on the people of the world”.
The situation in the Middle East was growing more grim each day, with unconfirmed reports of Jewish casualties and some 70 Arabs killed in Tel-Aviv. Later accounts said those numbers were exaggerated with only 4 Jews and 2 Arabs killed in fighting, but gunfire was being heard during the early morning hours from inside the walled city of Jerusalem. Fighting along the Jaffa/Tel-Aviv border had quieted down to occasional sniping. Four British Police armored cars were attacked earlier in the morning, with claims the attackers were Jews. Observers were of the opinion that, if the attackers on the British cars were Jews, they were part of extremist groups opposed to the British mandate. Most Jews in Palestine were displeased with the British presence, but only the extremist groups were physically involved in attacks against the mandate power. Many felt the British presence was handicapping Jewish security measures by confiscating Jewish weapons of defense.
Workers strikes were an item of major concern on the political/economic front. Strikes in France were largely blamed as being the product of Communist agitators, the workers were vowing to defy a government order to return to their jobs or suffer severe penalties. In Rome, the Communists were showing some indecision in calling for a general strike in Rome, which was threatened for midnight on this night if the government didn’t agree to their demands – they put off a decision for 24 hours.
Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill – closed door sessions over the question of Foreign Aid were going on, with reports of domestic shortages being revealed. That wasn’t holding a candle to the HUAC hearings on the “Hollywood 10” writers going on down the hall.
And, the 12,000 acre Rocking F Ranch in Reno Nevada formally filed a claim on all the water in clouds passing over the ranch. A spokesman said the owners planned to make artificial rain during the coming spring and they wanted to be sure it belonged to them legally. Further evidence the world has always been just a little out of its collective mind.
That’s just a small portion of what went on this day, as reported by NBC Radio’s News Of The World, morning and night editions for December 9, 1947.