THE ATOM: Freedom to Test

Through the cold, predawn darkness of Washington one day last week, a small group of high U.S. officials known informally as the "Committee of Principals" drove to the Military Air Transport Service terminal. There they boarded a silver Douglas C-118, took off for Augusta, Ga. to keep an 8:30 a.m. appointment with the President. Within three days the U.S.'s self-imposed, 14-month suspension of nuclear tests was due to expire on its deadline of midnight Dec. 31. The urgent question to be decided that morning: Should the U.S., or should it not, renew...

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