U Thant and Air France Tragedy

Published: 1962
Play Audio Archive Story - UPI

William Leiss: During the year, the United Nations was more conspicuous for its ineffectiveness than its vigor. But as the year rolled to a close, a hint that perhaps the UN could become a more vital force next year occurred when East and West agreed on a permanent Secretary-General U Thant. In accepting the Secretary Generalship of the UN, he said...

Secretary General U Thant: "I do believe that I may be able to play a role, however humble, in the easing of tensions and in bridging the gulf between the major powers."

William Leiss: Of all the tragedies in transportation during the year, none was more numbing than the crash of a jet airliner at Orly Airfield, Paris. The plane carried 125 persons, mostly from one U.S. city, and William Boyd had this report.

William Boyd: "Air France described the crash as the worst in their history. The airline pointed out that the number of persons on board represented the maximum load for the aircraft, a load which was not usually taken except in the case of charter flights. This flight was chartered by the Atlanta Art Association."

William Leiss: 1962 was a year filled with drama, excitement and history. Israel executed Adolph Eichmann for his vicious role in persecuting Jews during the terrible reign of Adolf Hitler. Robert A. Soblen, convicted of aiding Russia, escaped justice only to die of suicide in England. An earthquake took an estimated 10,000 lives in Iran.

A new era in communication was promised when the satellite Telstar was put into orbit. And a mail truck was robbed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the cash haul a staggering $1,500,000.

You have been listening to 1962 In Review, the history of another year.

1962 In Review was produced under the direction of Herbert Gordon. This is William Leiss, speaking for United Press International.

And as the year ended, there was this last dramatic development.