June ’57 in the Exponent: Read the Tidbits


It’s not always easy to figure out what belongs on the front page, which was doubly true in the 1950s when a half-dozen or more stories made the cover.

But decades later, it appears the stories on the bottom of the cover of the June 14, 1957 Exponent are far more interesting than those at the top.

Consider the tidbit about a French newspaper reporting that Joseph Stalin’s death four years earlier “was due to a fit of rage when his plan to deport all Soviet Jews was opposed by Marshal Klimnent Y. Voroshilov.”

Stalin, who was in ill health, was angry about what was dubbed the so-called “Doctors’ plot,” where a number of Moscow physicians (mostly Jewish) were accused of a phony conspiracy to assassinate Soviet leaders. At a meeting of the Soviet Presidium, he told of a plan to relocate all Russian Jews to Birobidjan, the so-called autonomous Jewish republic 3,000 miles away.

But France-Soir reported that Voroshilov threw his Communist Party card on the table and said, “If such a step is taken, I would be ashamed to remain a member of our party, which will be completely dishonored.”

Stalin grew enraged, collapsed and was unconscious until his death, the paper said.

Next to that blurb was an article about the Israel Bond Ball, featuring an appearance by Eartha Kitt.

While there’s a photograph of Kitt, there’s no mention of the singer/dancer/actress after the lead paragraph.

Kitt had an interesting career, including years where she was blackmailed after making anti-Vietnam War statements during a White House luncheon.

Kitt remained an activist until her 2008 death.


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