World History 1967 Part 1

About the history of the world in 1967, Montreal held the Expo '67, Vietnam anti-war demonstrations took place in the U.S., Israel defeated Egypt in the six-day war.

TWO CENTURIES OF WORLD HISTORY: 1778-1978

1967

* Montreal staged Expo '67.

* Mao's Cultural Revolution rocked China. Red Guard students left their schools to rampage the cities and countryside, purging "revisionist thinkers" as they went. Ambassadors were recalled to Peking for "reeducation." And the Communist party structure was overhauled with the ouster of its president, Liu Shao-chi.

Feb. 20 The National Gallery of Art in Washington reportedly paid $6 million for Ginevra de' Benci, a portrait by Da Vinci.

Apr. 15 Huge demonstrations against the war in Vietnam took place in a number of U.S. cities. A month later, 70,000 marched in New York in support of the war.

June 5-11 Israel stunned the world with a lightning victory over Egypt in the "Six-Day War." Precipitating the conflict was United Arab Republic Pres. Gamal Abdel Nasser's edict purging the Sinai Peninsula of U.N. peace-keeping forces (May 19) and proclaiming the Gulf of Aqaba off-limits to Israeli ships and foreign vessels bound for Israeli ports (May 22). Israeli forces attacked Syria, Jordan, and the U.A.R. and within a week had occupied Jordan's west bank (cutting off that country's direct access to the Mediterranean Sea), the city of Jerusalem, and the Sinai Peninsula. The conquered territory swelled Israel to five times its prewar size. In the process, 35,000 Arabs were killed, thousands were captured, the 450-plane Arab air force lay in shambles, and 650 Soviet-built tanks were knocked out of commission. The humiliating defeat for the Arab world and the presence of Israelis on Arab territory made a lasting peace in the Middle East improbable. The Suez Canal became the new cease-fire line, but almost immediately Arab guerrillas crossed it to attack budding Jewish settlements, while Israeli commandos struck the Nile Valley and Egyptian strongholds along the west bank of the Gulf of Suez and Israeli jet fighters strafed positions in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. Lost in the shuffle were the Palestinian Arabs whose homeland had been swept out from under them by the exigencies of oil, politics, power, and tribalism.

June 17 Word from Peking: "China successfully exploded her first hydrogen bomb over the western region yesterday." The blast over Lop Nor in Sinkiang Province proved a remarkable accomplishment for a country which had just joined the nuclear family 32 months before. The test sent political shock waves throughout the world. Indeed, Peking left no doubt that its new weapon was designed to strengthen its political leverage in global affairs. "China's hydrogen test," Peking went on, "will give very great support to the people of Vietnam, fighting against the U.S., and the Arab people, who are resisting the Israeli aggressors." Still, Western leaders pointed out, China's new bomb was not as threatening as it might seem, for the time being at least, because Peking lacked a modern delivery system. People in nearby Japan, no strangers to the horrors of atomic warfare, complained about the danger of fallout from the atmospheric blast. But nuclear watchers assured them that China, instead of launching the bomb from a rocket and detonating it high in the air, probably had dropped the 2-7 megaton monster from an airplane, carefully setting it for detonation low over the Sinkiang desert and thereby foreshortening the fallout hoop. After the dust had settled, one stark fact remained: Now there were four. The U.S., the U.S.S.R., Great Britain, and China had the H-bomb. Even more remarkable was the fact that China, while caught up in the chaos of the Cultural Revolution, still had managed to go from A-bomb to H-bomb in less than three years--an achievement which had taken the U.S. seven years and the Soviets four years, and which still eluded the French.

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