THE NATION: The Thunderclap

The dark thunderstorm that had lowered over Washington all morning broke with a crash of thunder and a rattle of hail just as the President's statement was handed to White House reporters: "We have evidence that within recent weeks an atomic explosion occurred in the U.S.S.R."

Washington had known it was coming, just as surely as it had known the storm was coming. Nevertheless, the news hit the nation with the jarring impact of a fear suddenly become fact. The comfortable feeling of U.S. monopoly was gone forever. The fact was too big...

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