We didn't know in 1970 that we'd have a Gerry Ford in the White House.
We didn’t know in 1970 that we’d have a Gerry Ford in the White House four years later.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – The 70s – A Look Ahead – January 11, 1970 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

The 70s. Compared to the 60s it was uncharted territory. There was a lot of uncertainty going around. The Vietnam War was gathering more opposition to it. So much so, that campus unrest was at an all-time high. The feel-good parts associated with Woodstock had evaporated by the end of 1969. Cities were still in turmoil. And even festivals were coming to bloody ends with Altamont stuck in everyone’s mouth like a bitter aftertaste.

Yes, the 70s were the Big Question Mark. And 45 years ago, things weren’t looking rosy. And there were no sure signs things would get better. In fact, there was much to be pessimistic about.

But the start of the 70s gave no clue as to how the end of the 70s would be. And as we know now by hindsight, it ended a lot more differently than it began.

So on January 11th of 1970, the cautious looks forward began.

This radio documentary, part of the Second Sunday series from NBC Radio, sought to do some crystal ball gazing. Entitled The 70s: A Look Ahead, a group of reporters gathered together with observations on the decade gone by and offered some predictions, and some careful insights as to what might be lying ahead in the months to come.

How accurate were they? Like all predictions, they were never quite what was imagined. And the dire portraits painted of catastrophe weren’t quite as bad as they were made out to be. Some things, as has so often been the case, just never change; human nature being one of them. People as always, can’t be predicted. What they gravitate towards, what they respond to and what changes their minds can never be pin-pointed with any accuracy.

The only thing that is ever certain is that change is going to happen – beyond that was anybody’s guess. And it still is.

So for a glimpse of what had people worried, hopeful and sick of when the 1970s got started, here is a casual summation by way of NBC News, and Second Sunday: The 70s – A Look Ahead, as it was broadcast on January 11, 1970.

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