3441. For about five years previous to the launching of the satellite we had been told every day, especially after crawling out from under our desks after the air raids, that the Russians would never be able to catch up to us in math and science. The reason they were never going to catch up was because they had no freedom in Russia, and without freedom you can’t possible master math and science.
3442. We children had an uneasy feeling about the lack of ability of the Russians, as we thought about them while lying on the floor under out desks during the air raids drills. Although they were hopelessly backward and living in the dark ages over there, they had, never the less, created the atomic bomb somehow.
3443. We had been shown movies of the terrible destruction the bomb caused, and how buildings had all their walls blown down for miles around and everything went up in a ball of flame. We pictured ourselves in mid air under our desks, as the school disappeared in a hurricane of glass, bricks, and flame. We hoped somehow we and our desks would survive but we couldn’t imagine how since we were on the third floor.