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Jawaharlal Nehru Is Dead

May 27, 1964 - Jawaharlal Nehru, maker of modern India and her Prime Minister for the 17 years since independence, died today at the age of 74.

Death was caused by coronary thrombosis, the formation of a clot in a coronary artery of the heart.

Twelve days of mourning have been ordered throughout the country. Late today, thousands of Indians of all levels, including peasants on foot from distant areas, were arriving in New Delhi for the funeral tomorrow.

Messages paying tribute to the Indian Prime Minister and his efforts to achieve peace were issued by President Johnson, Premier Khrushchev, President de Gaulle, and other world leaders.

Secretary of State Dean Rusk hurriedly departed for India by air this morning to pay a final American tribute to Prime Minister Nehru. The delegation will reach New Delhi after the start of funeral services, but it undertook the journey to demonstrate support for Nehru’s policies and to indicate confidence in his successors.

Rusk, just before his departure, described Nehru as one of the historic figures of his generation. He said, “He not only led his great democratic country to independence, but he led India into the more difficult task of building a great nation.”

Home Minister Gulzarilal Nanda has been sworn in as caretaker Prime Minister to await the Congress party’s election of a leader. Nanda, 64 years old, who is given little chance of election, owes his caretaker position to the seniority of his post in the Cabinet.

The parliamentary members of the Congress party will meet Friday to elect a successor to Nehru.

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