Devastating earthquakes in Iran had killed more than 20,000 people, an agency report on the front page said on this day in 1968. Later reports revised that number down to around 10,000, but regardless the tragedy was enormous.
More than 4500 people died at Kakhk, a town of 14,000 at the epicentre of the first earthquake. The second struck the same region of the mountainous Khorassan province. Sadly for Iran, one of the world's most seismically active countries, earthquakes are a frequent and devastating reality. In the decades since, tens of thousands more have died.
Having tried to absorb the scale of the tragedy, readers on this page were able to find some comic relief in a downpage report about a "gladiator" who tried to fight a lion in Jakarta.
The report said about 100,000 people, including the Indonesian foreign minister, were disappointed when a lion brought into a fully packed stadium refused to fight a man.
The contest was to have been the first of its kind in Indonesia and generated enthusiasm in the capital and no doubt scorn from animal welfare groups. But, the report said, "the lion just stared at Bandot Lahardo", the gladiator from West Java.
"The lion just won't fight", Lahardo told the disappointed crowd.