Khrushchev in Corn Country

‘God on Our Side’, Nikita Tells Garst

Original Source: Carroll Daily Times Herald, September 23, 1959


Joe Munroe. Roswell Garst and Nikita Khrushchev

Joe Munroe. Roswell Garst and Nikita Khrushchev

Nikita Khrushchev, boss of world communism, sat down to lunch I with an Iowa capitalist farmer today after informing him that God is on the side of the Soviet Union.

Despite evidences of fatigue, Khrushchev joked, bantered and I talked enthusiastically about corn during a last-paced tour of the farms in this heart of the Iowa tall corn belt.

’Helping Us, Too’

Khrushchev conceded Iowans are “wise, intelligent people,” whom God had “helped a lot.” But he added:

“You mustn’t think God is helping only you. He’s helping us, too.”

The Soviet Premier’s host, Roswell ‘Bob’ Garst, countered: “We have a saying—the Lord helps those who help themselves.”

Retorted Khrushchev: “God is helping us, too, because we are developing quicker, and God therefore is on our side. He helps the intelligent.”

It was another diverting performance all the way by the Soviet Premier, who obviously was happy at his public reception in this corn state.

Friendliness or not, Khrushchev continued to boast that some day the Soviet Union would surpass everything in the United States, including the corn production he had just seen and obviously admired.

Khrushchev had been prepared for what he called “a jovial day.”

An Avowed Atheist

Khrushchev is an avowed atheist, and atheism is the policy of the Soviet government, but he frequently calls in a pious manner upon the deity in his speeches outside his own country. …

The luncheon was at the plain white frame farmhouse of Roswell Garst, who was Khrushchev’s guest in the Soviet Union four years ago.

Khrushchev, already fortified by an enormous breakfast, sat down enthusiastically to a hearty farm lunch of baked sugar-cured ham, fried chicken, barbecued loin back ribs, peeled tomatoes stuffed with cottage cheese, cole slaw, sliced cucumbers and sour cream, cheese, relishes, apple pie, and bread including one batch baked Russian-style.

All this was duly tested by Army inspectors armed with Geiger counters. The people handling and serving it, all solid Iowa citizens, underwent inspection too.

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