“But then it will be our turn”: Selected Items from Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS) Reports

Astronaut Valentina Tereshkova at opening of the Lenin MuseumHighlighted below are four items found within the April 2015 release of Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS) Reports, 1957-1994—a unique digital archive of Cold War-era English translations of foreign-language materials.

Background on the Flight of Valentina Tereshkova (1963)

The first woman to fly in space, in 1963 aboard the Vostok-6, was Valentina Tereshkova. She was born in 1937 into a peasant family. When her father was killed in World War II her mother supported three children as a textile worker. In her earlier remarks on the pioneering flight of Yuri Gagarin, she was quoted as saying “At first men will fly, but then it will be our turn.”  

Changes Wrought by the Yemeni Revolution of 1962 (1964)

Student uprisings. A despotic Imam relegated to living in caves. Armed forces supported by regional powers and furnished with foreign weapons. Then as now, Yemen is a battlefield, but following the 1962 revolution the writer claims, “It would be no mistake to call the outstanding trait of the people of Yemen their love of peace.”

Soviet test card used in TV broadcasts in the USSR after introduction of color Selection of a Color Television System (1964)

Here’s a brief technical discussion of the competing merits of the OSKM (Soviet), SECAM (French) and PAL (German) color television broadcast standards preliminary to the validation of the Soviet standard. The NTSC (United States) standard receives a passing notice, but the Soviets ultimately chose to stay with their own OSKM system. As we migrate to HD TV and streaming Internet video today, it’s interesting to note the choices engineers confronted in the early days of color television.

Scientific-Atheistic Propaganda and the Criminal-Legal Struggle against the Crimes of Churchgoers and Sectarians (1964)

This report discusses the legal and social ramifications of prosecuting religious activity as crimes within the Soviet Union. Although the author supports the official line of atheism, he attempts to balance the disruptive influences of religion with forbearance to the extent of stating,

A number of acts committed by churchgoers and sectarians, although they go counter to communist morality, nevertheless do not have the earmarks of a punishable crime.

In light of politically conservative trends in post-Soviet society, and also with regard to the rise of radical Islamic activity in the Middle East, this report is a reasoned analysis of issues with which we still struggle.


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