The President of the United States is reported to have said to the Crown Prince of Laos: "College football is a great spectacle, but I am not sure that it gives an accurate picture of America. To see some of our best-educated boys spending an afternoon knocking each other down, while thousands cheer them on, hardly gives a picture of a peace-loving nation."
This is such a silly observation that we prefer to believe it was never made.
ON THE TRACK
There is more than a suggestion that unethical and perhaps criminal methods were used in Secaucus, N.J. to defeat a proposal to build a $20 million trotting track in the town, which is just 10 minutes from New York City.
Last month the New Jersey Racing Commission granted a permit to operate a Secaucus track to a group headed by Hyman Glickstein, who owns a major interest in Roosevelt Raceway. The new track, which would have been the most expensive in the country, had, however, to be approved by the residents of Hudson County and the townspeople of Secaucus. On Election Day the county voted 4 to 1 in favor of the track, but the town rejected it by a narrow margin—2,926 to 2,495. The Secaucus vote came as a surprise since last year, in a preliminary referendum, the town had been 2 to 1 in favor of night racing. The defeat was a victory for the churches, which campaigned against it, and also, in a way, for Yonkers Raceway, which would have lost a lot of its clientele to the new track.
One factor in the election was the appearance in all-white Secaucus, the weekend before the election, of a group of mysteriously hired Negroes passing out circulars that bore the slogan "Help the Race Track Lead the Way to Brotherhood and Integration in Secaucus."
Police said the men, six of whom had arrest records, were from Brooklyn and admitted they did not know where Secaucus was when they were hired by a man who has disappeared. They were given the handbills, which carried the name of a fictitious organization—the Hudson County Committee for Employment Opportunities—and their taxi fare to Secaucus.
County law-enforcement officials stepped into the case immediately, and a criminal investigation is under way. At the end of last week the Federal Bureau of Investigation entered the case. Secaucus Mayor Paul Amico says, "It was obviously intended as a backlash operation."
One thing is abundantly plain. Somebody did not want a racetrack operating within 10 minutes of New York City.