A Letter From The Publisher: Jan. 5, 1970

THE first nominations arrive in October, and by mid-December a steady stream of letters come in from readers enjoying a regular year-end pastime offering suggestions for TIME'S Man of the Year. This year the Apollo 11 and 12 astronauts, fulfilling the promise of 1968's Men of the Year, ranked high. So did Ralph Nader, Spiro T. Agnew and the American G.I. Golda Meir, F. Lee Bailey, Wernher Von Braun and Arlo Guthrie all had their supporters.

But TIME'S editors decided—as did a number of readers—that the events of 1969 transcended specific individuals. In a...