LA Times – US Peace Talks, Bow Tie and Cigar

The Los Angeles Times news of the day obviously had great significance to this pair, as they chose to place it so prominently in this strip of photographs. The newspaper was the main reason I was attracted to this set of pics but I also loved the character and demeanor of the hatted, cigar-chomping lead player in this story.

I sent this photo to my friend Michael from Mike’s Look At Life for help interpreting it.  I thought Mike, who is a devoted commenter on this blog, might be able to shed some light on the front page headline. In Australia we have free access to old newspaper archives through Trove, a database managed by the National Library of Australia. I thought there would be a similar free resource in the USA but I hadn’t been able to find it from here.

Mike tells me that it is a user pays system for the archives in America, and proffered the following theory about the paper. I liked his theory so much, I have left my research at that.

Mike says “I believe that headline reads ‘Russians bid for US peace talks’. Based on that, as well as the hat, and cigar, it looks 1950-ish to me and that would then connect it to the Korean War. Pure speculation on my part but since we never had a war with Russia it would have to be another war.” 

If the headline referred to a hope for the end of the Korean War, then no wonder these two were excited to record the event.

  1. Mike said:

    I am honored that you thought enough of my theory that you would mention it. Thank you Katherine.


    • No, thank you Mike! By the way I am having a lot of trouble with WP comments over the past week. I can only leave comments in reply to ones left here by going to the edit page and it won’t let me leave a comment, no matter how many likes it has accepted or how many times/places I have logged in, unless I put my log in details before every comment!!!!!!!! Thus I have n’t made any lately. Having said that, I love your “dead car” series. Your post today is a cracker!


      • Mike said:

        You are a cracker Katherine! WP gets real squirrly from time to time. Just so long as you are sending me positive thoughts, eh.


  2. Great how the newspaper helps to date these images. I wonder if the younger chap was invited into the booth or was a gate crasher!


  3. Lemuel said:

    Love this one! Such character! Another possibility is perhaps the headline is related to the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Unless that is too late a date? I imagine there would’ve been lots of celebrating when the impending nuclear war was avoided. If the headline does reference the Cuban Missile Crisis then perhaps the cigar could even be a dig at Castro.

    Also this would look amazing as an animated GIF!


    • I think it could easily fit with that. I like your interpetation of the cigar in that context. I’ll see if I can Gif it up for a later post. Nice to hear from you Lemuel.


  4. ehpem said:

    Mike nailed it.
    I found the summary below via this source:

    Russians Bid for U.S. Peace Talks
    Khrushchev Makes Overture During Moscow Fete on Leaders’ Return RUSS PEACE BID

    Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) – Los Angeles, Calif.
    Date: May 1, 1956
    Start Page: 1
    Pages: 2
    Text Word Count: 915

    Abstract (Document Summary)

    Soviet Russia’s leaders returned from Britain to a triumphal flowers-and-kisses reception in Moscow today, and promptly bid for improved relations with the United States.


    • You are BRILLIANT Mr E!!!! I searched and searched for the information. Thanks so much! I couldn’t replicate your search, so thanks even more for including all the details.


      • ehpem said:

        Hi. I just tried it again, several times and it did not work. You have to navigate to the LA Times search page, and then the mistake I was making was not selecting the right year range. I did duplicate the search once I sorted that out – I searched on the main words in the title.


        • I will give it another go later. I think I will re-post this at some point and add your great info, Mr E.


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