Excerpts from "the first rough draft of history" as reported in
The Washington Post on this date in the 20th century.
The world became a more dangerous place when Communist China exploded its first nuclear bomb, and relations with the Soviet Union became all the more uncertain after the Soviet leadership continued its attacks on Premier Nikita Khrushchev, ousted two days previously. Two excerpts from The Post of Oct. 17, 1964:
From News Dispatches
TOKYO, Oct. 16 --
Communist China announced today the explosion of its first atomic bomb and immediately proposed a world summit conference to ban all nuclear weapons.
The New China News Agency said the blast -- making Red China the world's fifth nation to develop its own nuclear capability -- took place in "the western region of China" at 3 p.m. (3 a.m. EDT).
The blast ended speculation begun by U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk in September that a Chinese nuclear blast was imminent.
No details were given, but the bomb was believed to be a primitive nuclear device that was set off somewhere near the borders of the Soviet Union in Sinkiang province. ...
(The blast was confirmed immediately in Washington. U.S. detection devices picked up the explosion, which was believed to have been an above-ground blast of about the same force as the Hiroshima bomb of 1945.)
The official Peking government announcement said China's aim was "to break the nuclear monopoly of the nuclear powers and to eliminate nuclear weapons."
By Henry Shapiro
MOSCOW, Oct. 17 (Saturday) (UPI) --
The new Soviet leadership sealed the disgrace of Nikita Khrushchev tonight by making public a bill of particulars charging him with "harebrained scheming" and "bragging."
The attack was contained in an article published in Saturday's issue of the Communist Party newspaper Pravda under the headline "Immutable Leninist General Line of the CPSU (Soviet Communist Party)."
It extolled the Soviet Party's "unflinching loyalty to Lenin's behests" and said collective leadership was "the most important Leninist principle of the life and activity of the party."
On Friday, Soviet ambassadors at Bonn, Tokyo, the United Nations and elsewhere spread the word that the Russian policy of peaceful coexistence will be continued. ...
The Pravda outburst, which did not name Khrushchev but made clear that it referred to him, declared that "the construction of communism is a live, creative undertaking and it does not tolerate armchair methods, personal decisions and disregard for the practical experience of the masses.
"The Leninist Party is an enemy of subjectivism and drifting in Communist construction, hare-brained scheming, immature conclusions and hasty decisions and actions divorced from reality.
"Bragging and phrase-mongering, commandism and unwillingness to take into account the achievements of science and practical experience are alien to it."