Click on the link here for Audio Player – ABC Voices In The Headlines – May 29, 1966 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
News for the week, ending on this May 29th in 1966, was mostly about our inevitable plunge into the quagmire called Vietnam. Rioting had erupted in Saigon between anti-government protestors and the junta government of Nguyen Cao Ky. The riots took an anti-American tone and Buddhist monks burned themselves in protest.
In Washington, questions were being asked as to whether or not some peaceful settlement could be reached between the Ky government and the Vietcong. The big concern was over elections. The Ky government was there as the result of a coup. The Buddhist monks were in support of open and honest elections. The Ky government was clearly not. Some on Capitol Hill questioned the rationale of America’s position. Somehow we were there to make sure there was an election, and we were perfectly willing to kill thousands, if not hundreds of thousands to see that it happened. There was something wrong with that picture.
But we were rapidly approaching the point of no return. The leap in American casualties during the month of April-May was a clear indication.
Even United Nations Secretary General U Thant got on board, saying that Vietnam had been the subject of so much outside intervention, and a succession of the presence of foreign armies during the previous 20 years, that it had so profoundly affected Vietnamese political life, that it was illusory to represent the current situation as a mere contest between Communism and liberal democracy.
Some listened – but the ones who needed to pay attention to that statement, didn’t.
The factions were running rampant, saying Vietnam had bigger implications, and that Cambodia was going to be next, since it was charged by some that Cambodia was a harboring ground for Communists. And we were heading directly to World War 3 if we didn’t step-up our military involvement. Clearly, divisions were getting deeper and more pronounced. And it was also an off-year election, with eventual eyes towards 1968. Political hay was being harvested in massive quantities and racing season was in full-bloom.
And while all that was going – hearings were convened on Capitol Hill to discuss the potential harms of LSD. With New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy testifying LSD was becoming a social problem and that it was side-tracking the useful experiments associated with the drug. And what was needed was better public information regarding the drug so that it’s misuse didn’t preclude any positive use for the drug.
That’s just a small sampling of how the week rolled, the one that ended on May 29th in 1966 via ABC Radio‘s Voices In The Headlines.
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