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Panmunjom

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MOUNT KUMGANG, North Korea – Autumn has always been the most cherished season in Korea, a time to harvest and to hike, to store up food and enjoy the last days of warmth before the peninsula’s notoriously brutal winters. Even in the impoverished North, families find time to gather, around a mountain campfire or in [...]

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A half-century ago, much of the world was in a broad state of change: We were moving out of the post-World War II era, and into both the Cold War and the Space Age, with broadening civil rights movements and anti-nuclear protests in the U.S. In 1961, John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the 35th president of the United States, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to fly in space, Freedom Riders took buses into the South to bravely challenge segregation, and East Germany began construction of the Berlin Wall. That year, Kennedy gave the okay to the disastrous Bay of Pigs Invasion into Cuba and committed the U.S. to "landing a man on the Moon" with NASA's Apollo program. JFK also oversaw the early buildup of a U.S. military presence in Vietnam: by the end of 1961, some 2,000 troops were deployed there. Let me take you 50 years into the past now, for a look at the world as it was in 1961. [50 photos]

John F. Kennedy speaks for the first time as President of the United States in front of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on January 20, 1961, during the inaugural ceremonies. (AP Photo)

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MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU: Paul French walked down a road Friday in Perth, Australia, on day five of his over 4,000-kilometer (2,500 miles) journey from Perth to Sydney. He aims to walk 35-40 kilometers a day, five days a week, in full Storm Trooper costume to raise money for the Starlight Foundation, which helps ill and hospitalized children in Australia. (Paul Kane/Getty Images)

GREEN SEA MONSTER GREEN SEA MONSTER: People swam in seawater covered by a thick layer of green algae at Zhanqiao Pier Thursday in Qingdao, Shandong Province, China. The algae forced the beach to close at 3 pm. (Zuma Press)

SHAVE AND A HAIRCUT SHAVE AND A HAIRCUT: A man got a shave Friday in Tahrir Square in Cairo, where are least three barbers have set up shop giving free haircuts and shaves to protesters. (Zuma Press)

LAUNDRY DAY LAUNDRY DAY: A girl waved her wet skirt to dry it as she stood by her family’s laundry, hung up on a fence by a river in Beijing Friday. (Alexander F. Yuan/Associated Press)

AFTER DEATH AFTER DEATH: A man held the hand of a rebel who was killed on the Brega front line as his body lay in a pickup truck outside a hospital in Ajdabiya, Libya, Friday. The U.S. and some 30 other countries formally recognized Libyan rebels Friday. (Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images)

LOOKING IN LOOKING IN: North Korean soldiers looked in from outside a United Nations meeting room as U.S. Army Gen. James Thurman, not pictured, visited the border village of Panmunjom, South Korea, Friday. Gen. Thurman became the new commander of the 28,500 U.S. troops in Korea Thursday. (Getty Images)

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