Reader’s Digest, May 1961—Part 3

This is probably my favorite item in the entire issue. The writer is Harland Manchester (a name, by the way, that shouts “fictional character in a bad romance novel) and his article is pretty much an expansion of the subtitle; or to paraphrase, “Space is scary and we have better things to do with our money than try to keep up with shoe-waving Soviet dictators.”

If there is a whiff of geezerism or fogeyosity wafting from his complaints, you should know that Mr. Manchester was born in 1898.

In May of 1961, the Mercury Space program was well underway. In fact a couple of monkeys had already been shot into suborbital space. And a few months before this issue went to press, a chimpanzee named Ham had shown that he had “the right stuff” in Mercury Redstone 2.

Harland Manchester wrote a couple of books in the 1940s about science and technology and even has an IMDB listing for writing a 10-minute short starring Chill Wills—1944’s “The Immortal Blacksmith.