Click on the link here for Audio Player – ABC Radio: Issues & Answers – Sen. Mike Mansfield – September 20, 1964 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
There was a lot of digesting going on, this day 50 years ago.
In September of 1964 we were coming to the final weeks of a Presidential election, and the frenzy of campaigning was hitting fevered-pitch. We were also digesting the massive Warren Report on the Assassination of President Kennedy, where findings concluded Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. And we were digesting the possibilities of a long, protracted War in Vietnam and pondering how we could avoid it. But by the sound of it, the Hawks were gathering and the Pentagon was beaming at the possibilities.
Obviously, the just-released findings of the Warren Report were discussed at length, with Mansfield predicting (more than accurately) that the conspiracy theories would abound, and possibly would never go away.
On the subject of Vietnam, opinions were becoming sharply divided over what course to take. It had already been labeled a “no-win” situation by several Generals who said it would be a war of attrition that could go on for decades with no real victor. But there was that other, more vocal segment who were of the “bomb the hell out of them” variety who, armed with the Domino Theory rhetoric held a bit more sway on Capitol Hill.
As for the election; Johnson was predicted to be the big winner in November, but Mansfield cautioned voters not to get too cocky, as it could lead to disastrous results. Mansfield preferred to think of it as a “tight race”.
All that, and the Medicare Question was what America was contemplating this September 20th in 1964, which happened to be a Sunday that year. And in true Weekend Interview Program fashion, the food for thought was supplied by ABC’s Issues and Answers with Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield.
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