The June 30, 1967, cover of TIME
By Lily Rothman
June 26, 2017

Milestone moments do not a year make. Often, it’s the smaller news stories that add up, gradually, to big history. With that in mind, in 2017 TIME History will revisit the entire year of 1967, week by week, as it was reported in the pages of TIME. Catch up on last week’s installment here.

Week 26: June 30, 1967

It was a somewhat strange place for the first U.S.-USSR summit in six years: Glassboro, N.J., a college town that boasted a convenient location between New York and Washington and a fancy enough house (the college president’s) to host President Lyndon Johnson and Soviet Premier Aleksei Nikolayevich Kosygin. As TIME noted in a cover story on the meeting, “neither side was going to open the way to a major breakthrough” but the meeting was still significant. When the two discussed the joys of grandfatherhood — Johnson’s daughter had given birth that week— it was not mere small talk. Rather, it was in hopes of securing a more peaceful world for future generations. As Johnson put it, “You don’t want my grandson fighting you, and I don’t want you shooting at him.”

For all that, the meeting almost never happened, as TIME explained:

From Washington’s viewpoint, there were at least four powerful arguments against the meeting — the four sterile cold-war Summits during the Eisenhower and Kennedy Administrations, most notably the 1960 Paris meeting that broke up over the U-2 incident as soon as it began, and John Kennedy’s unhappy Viennese deadlock with Nikita Khrushchev in 1961. Also, Washington officialdom has a built-in predisposition against high-level meetings without detailed preparation and a concrete agenda. Finally, the Administration was opposed to a meeting that would strengthen Kosygin’s hand in his Middle Eastern propaganda push, which was the main reason for his visit to the U.S.

Yet from the moment word arrived on June 16 that Kosygin was coming, the White House felt that protocol as well as good taste required at least a gesture of hospitality. As speculation increased, White House Press Secretary George Christian announced in Washington: “The President has made it clear that Mr. Kosygin would be welcome here, or at Camp David, or some other convenient place near by for either a social visit or substantive discussions.”

…There, for two days, the invitation rested. Johnson’s calendar began filling up. Kosygin, who had landed in New York on June 17 with his married daughter, gracious, well-dressed Liudmila Gvishiani, went about his business and pleasure, giving the impression that he was waiting for further word from Washington. “It is not up to me,” he said. By foot and limousine, he toured Manhattan from Wall Street to Harlem; and later, Liudmila, who speaks English and was full of smiles, took an excursion to Times Square, went to the opera (La Gioconda), the movies (Barefoot in the Park, Blow-up), and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the photographers delighted in finding her in the Egyptian wing. Kosygin made plans to go to the opera himself (when he had to cancel, he sent roses to “the workers of the opera house”).

One place he would not go was Washington. Just as Johnson was unwilling to appear to be buttressing the Russian’s presence at the U.N., Kosygin did not want the Arabs to view him as a supplicant at Johnson’s table. But four days after he arrived, the feeling in Washington had tilted in favor of a meeting. Johnson has been accused in the past of neglecting diplomacy and missing opportunities to treat with the Communists. Now, moreover, there was a human desire to size up Kosygin, who, despite his wooden mien, is recognized as the closest thing the Kremlin has to a statesman in the Western sense. West European sentiment favored the meeting. Furthermore, there was the belief in Washington that everything possible should be done to keep the line open to Moscow. Finally, at a noon-hour meeting with Kosygin, Secretary of State Dean Rusk made the deal. Kosygin had been a flop at the United Nations. He was increasingly eager to make some showing of success.

But there was clearly more work to be done. “One meeting,” Johnson told the press, “does not make a peace.”

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Rare Censure: The case of Connecticut Senator Thomas Joseph Dodd, who had been accused of improperly using campaign funds and of double-billing for travel expenses, reached a rare conclusion in a formal censure for the first charge — only the seventh the Senate had ever issued.

News from Nauru: It was 50 years ago that the U.N. trust territory of Nauru became its own nation, the Republic of Nauru. TIME noted that the new country, the smallest in the world, was unusually wealthy thanks to phosphate deposits that were being mined at a rate of 1.5 million tons a year. Decades later, however, it’s become clear that such natural resources were a mixed blessing for Nauru: a more recent This American Life investigation explored how Nauru became a surprising center of world-changing events.

Minds Blown at Monterey: TIME’s somewhat square review of the famous Monterey Pop Festival at least recognized that something special was happening musically. You can read more about it here.

Next for Jerusalem: Many questions lingered in the wake of the Six-Day War, but one was of particular interest for religious people all over the world. Now that Israel had conquered the portion of Jerusalem previously controlled by Jordan, did that mean it was time for the building of the Third Temple, the hope for which was one of the motivating factors in the Jewish return to Palestine? “Learned Jewish opinion has long debated when and how the Temple can be rebuilt,” the magazine explained, but for centuries “most rabbis have gloomily concluded that the restoration of the Temple would have to wait until the coming of the Messiah.”

Bad News Bond: This review of You Only Live Twice pulls no punches, observing that James Bond was “the victim of the same misfortune that once befell Frankenstein: there have been so many flamboyant imitations that the original looks like a copy.”

Great vintage ad: This ad for a speed-reading course boasts that one of its graduates could have read the whole magazine five times before you even finished once.

Coming up next week: All about hippies


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