Saigon, South Vietnam
Feb. 23, 1968
That picture is lodged in people's memories. Taken during the recent communist assault on Vietnam's cities, it showed Brigadier General Nguyen Ngoc Loan, 37, chief of South Vietnam's 75,000-man national police force, cold-bloodedly executing a guerrilla suspect a thin, frightened, but stubborn-looking man in plaid shirt and pants who had been seized by soldiers in a Saigon street. In no mood to ask questions, the spindly general whipped out his snub-nosed .38 revolver and wordlessly blew the suspect's brains out. "Many Americans have died recently," Loan told TV newsmen later. "So have many of my best friends. Buddha will understand do you?"
Sea of Tranquillity
Aug. 8, 1969
All the high drama of man's first halting steps on the moon was recalled in remarkable detail last week when nasa released the first color photographs from the Apollo mission. The still shots displayed the harsh beauty of the barren landscape around Tranquillity Base as strong unfiltered sunlight etched myriad craters in deep shadow. The 16-mm. motion-picture films of Eagle's touchdown on the lunar surface brought back that dangerous moment with tense immediacy so clear and sharp that they allowed scientists to pinpoint the landing area precisely. And with the exact coordinates to guide them, astronomers at California's Lick Observatory were finally able to bounce a laser beam off the reflecting mirror left behind by the astronauts. nasa announced that, at [astronaut Neil] Armstrong's request, it is amending the record of his first words on the moon. Armstrong explained that the article "a" had apparently been lost in transmission. Thus his statement should read: "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." The change reflected the humility of the first mortal to reach the moon.
April 15, 1966
This spring, as never before in modern times, London is switched on. Ancient elegance and new opulence are all tangled up in a dazzling blur of op and pop. The city is alive with birds (girls) and beatles, buzzing with minicars and telly stars, pulsing with half a dozen separate veins of excitement. The guards now change at Buckingham Palace to a Lennon and McCartney tune, and Prince Charles is firmly in the longhair set. In Harold Wilson, Downing Street sports a Yorkshire accent, a working-class attitude and a tolerance toward the young that includes Pop Singer "Screaming" Lord Sutch, who ran against him on the Teen-Age Party ticket in the last election. Mary Quant, who designs those clothes, Vidal Sassoon, the man with the magic comb, and the Rolling Stones, whose music is most In right now, reign as a new breed of royalty. Disks by the thousands spin in a widening orbit of discotheques, and elegant saloons have become gambling parlors. In a once sedate world of faded splendor, everything new, uninhibited and kinky is blooming at the top of London life.
Aug. 30, 1968
"We are only following orders," a youthful [Soviet] paratrooper said to an irate questioner in Prague. "We have our orders. Surely you, too, were once a soldier and know what
it means. The political decisions are not our affair." Then, the Czechoslovaks' mood began to change. Mobs of youths mounted squat tanks, forcing their crews to disappear inside the hatch. Like elephant trunks swatting at flies, their gun turrets swung around eerily in an effort to knock off the screaming, chanting Czechoslovaks, who also bombarded the tanks with bricks, painted their flanks with swastikas, and dumped garbage on their hot engine covers to create a stench. Daring youths in Prague and Bratislava even charged the tanks and set a few afire with flaming pieces of carpet and bottles of gasoline. In response, the tanks chased the youths into alleys and side streets with volleys of machine-gun fire. One tank retaliated by blasting away at the facade of the National Museum in Prague.
March 6, 1972
The reality of China was a sobering counterbalance for the newsmen on [President Nixon's] tour. Spontaneity, they often discovered, was carefully rehearsed. Example: when the President visited the Ming tombs, smiling, colorfully dressed Chinese frolicked in the vicinity. Sure enough, as soon as the visit ended, functionaries collected the transistor radios that people were listening to, little girls removed the bright ribbons from their hair and the whole Potemkin-village scene vanished in a twinkling. Still, in their brief time in Peking, Americans received a startling lesson in social cooperation. To a man (and woman), they were stunned at the sight of some 200,000 Chinese pouring onto the streets to remove the snow that had fallen during the visit. A compulsory exercise? To be sure, citizens who neglected their duties would be severely chastised. But the visitors detected a civic spirit and camaraderie that are spectacularly lacking in the present-day U.S. In the long run, one of the most important questions about the U.S. and China will be just how much the two countries may learn from each other.
Feb. 16, 1968
By the time he pushed off, the run was rutted and choppy; "I figured I had the race in hand," Jean-Claude Killy said afterward. He did. His body tucked low to cut down wind resistance, he was a blur as he slashed through the turns and flashed down the long schuss at something like 70 m.p.h. [113 km/h]. Crossing the finish line, he slammed to a stop and looked up at the timing board. The figures read: 1 min. 59.85 sec. a victory by 8/100 of a second.