June 23, 2018




German spy released:   Klaus Fuchs, a German-born Los Alamos scientist was released from a British prison after having served only nine years. In 1943, Fuchs had been sent with other British scientists to the U.S. to work on the top secret U.S. atomic program. They gave him security clearance despite his communist past.  At Los Alamos, Fuchs met with a Soviet spy and gave him detailed information about the program as well as a blueprint of the "Fat Man" (atomic bomb) that was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.  After his release from prison he immediately left Britain for communist East Germany, where he resumed his scientific career.


U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson met with Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin in Glassboro, New Jersey, for a three-day summit. The meeting ended inconclusively, however, as issues such as Vietnam and the Middle East continued to divide the two superpowers. The Johnson-Kosygin meeting was the first time a Soviet premier had met with an American president in the United States since Nikita Khrushchev visited with President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1959.  Johnson and Kosygin set a positive tone in their public statements. Johnson noted that the United States and Soviet Union had a responsibility to act “reasonably and constructively” in order to make it “possible for other countries to live in peace with each other, if this can be done.” Kosygin responded by declaring, “I want friendship with the American people and I can assure you we want nothing but peace with the American people.” However, relations between the two nations were tense.


The Pope met Communist General:  Pope John Paul II met with the General Wojciech Jaruzelski on June 23, 1983. According to reports by unknown sources in the Polish government, the meeting had been requested by officials of the Roman Catholic Church and it was their second meeting during the Pope's eight day visit. The communist response to the Pope's visit was critical. The Trybuna Ludu, a communist newspaper reported that Stefan Olszowski, the Foreign Minister complained that the West and its media were trying to undermine the Polish government by turning the Pope's visit into an "anti-socialist demonstration."  Moments before the Pope's meeting with the General, thousands of demonstrators converged through the streets of Cracow, and in Nowa Huta to support the Solidarity movement.  The assembly was dispersed peacefully, though two demonstrators were arrested in Nowa Huta.  A Mass was held earlier in the day, amid the largest crowd yet, over two million worshippers attended.  The Pontiff also beatified two Polish monks, Rafal Kalinowski, and Albert Chmielowski, who were founders of a religious order, and who had fought in the 1863 Uprising about Russian rule. The Pope said that their courage and convictions were stronger ''than any situation, even the most difficult, not excluding the arrogant use of power."

Solidarity leader Lech Wałęsa met Pope John Paul II during his second papal visit to Poland.  The Pope arrived by helicopter near a famous resort town of Zakopane, in the Chocholowska Valley. (When the Pope was a young priest, he used to go skiing in the area, near the Czech border.)  The meeting was highly secretive, and out of bounds for the public and the press.  The meeting occurred in the last hours of the Pope's eight day visit.  When the meeting concluded, the Pope departed to Cracow airport where he made his farewell remarks, but did not mention anything about his meeting with Lech Walesa. Soon after Mr. Walesa flew back to Gdansk. When he arrived he said his audience with the Pope had left him ''moved and enthusiastic'' but he refused to mention anything that was discussed.

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