The Fall of Nikita Khrushchev

Published: 1964
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Andrei Gromyko and Nikita Khrushchev in un undated file photo (1960s?). (UPI Photo/Files)

In all of the conflict, the holy man in Rome carried on his peaceful pursuits. He opens the second session of the Ecumenical Council in Rome. Then he broke old precedents, traveling far and wide to spread the Gospel of peace and brotherhood. In January, he visited Jerusalem, the first Pope to do so since St. Peter and in December he flew to Bombay. Another man, not exactly a man of peace, but one who preached peaceful coexistence traveled to Egypt and Scandinavia in 1964, but on October 15th, the political career of Nikita Khrushchev was brought to a sudden and unexpected conclusion.

Throughout the world, there was much speculation about the reasons for Khrushchev's downfall, but the new Moscow team of BNK, quickly sent its ambassadors to reassure world leaders that no change in Soviet policies was intended. There was change at the top in Britain too. Following nationwide elections, Harold Wilson and his Labor Party were returned to power after 13 years of uninterrupted conservative rule.

Harold Wilson: “I have just come from the palace where Her Majesty invited me to form an administration.”

Noel Bernard: Hardly back from the palace, Wilson found himself deep in a balance of payments crisis. To reduce imports and expand exports, he slammed on a 15% surcharge on imports and gave exporters a 2% bonus.

Harold Wilson: “The first essential is a strong economy. This alone will enable us to maintain the value of the Pound, and that rises the heart of all we want to do to make this country strong again and everything we want to do to improve conditions here in Britain and all we intend to do to help weaker and poorer nations overseas.”

Noel Bernard: In India, the great man of non-alignment, Jawaharlal Nehru died to be followed by Prime Minister Shastri.

Lal Bahadur Shastri: “He was a great personality. I know my own limitations and shortcomings. I do hope, I shall be able to do discharge my duties to the satisfaction of our countrymen.”

Noel Bernard: Those briefly, were the highlights of a year in which the nuclear menace continued to hang over mankind.