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Sadly, not all January 21st’s in history can be celebratory affairs. Not every January 21st can have eloquent speeches, profound poetry or gifted song. No. Some 21st days of January can be just dull and painful and endless treadmills in history.
Take, for example, January 21st, 1964.
The White House was tying itself in knots, trying to figure out a plausible solution to a situation in Panama that had clearly spiralled out of control. Troops were called in the quell the rioting, but the underlying matter was one of the U.S. overstaying its welcome in a small Latin American country. As of news time, rioting in the Canal Zone had subsided and this gave a sense of optimism that some settlement may be reached. It eventually would, but not in the foreseeable future. A Panama Canal Treaty would finally become a reality, but not until the 1970s did the wheels of Independence set in motion.
Meanwhile, a call from Panamanian President Chiari, along with vice-President Gonzalez, to begin negotiations for an independent solution to this decades old problem and the OAS to be brought in to broker negotiations.
All that, and an abrupt Network cut to a comment from Dr. Martin Luther King on Barry Goldwater and news regarding the prospects for who would be running against LBJ in the upcoming 1964 Presidential election as well as news regarding Cyprus and the ever-present Berlin.
And that’s a small slice of the news for this January 21, 1964 as reported by ABC Radio News on the Hour.