While Dictator Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez was fighting the "civil disobedience" of his people (TIME, May 22), the death of a U.S. boy provided the final push to topple the tyrant from power. At the height of the civil revolution, 17-year-old Joseph Wright (son of a U.S. father, a Salvadorian mother) was talking with friends on a street of strike-bound San Salvador. In obedience to a police command, they dispersed. But one policeman fired, killed Joseph instantly.

U.S. Ambassador Walter Thurston acted quickly, made a formal call on Martinez. Asked the Ambassador coldly:...

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