Wright Patman - Chairman of Banking and Currency. Suddenly feeling very old-and-in-the-way.
Wright Patman – Chairman of Banking and Currency. Suddenly feeling very old-and-in-the-way.

. . .or click on the link here for Audio Player – NBC Nightly News – January 16, 1975 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

On this day in 1975, something was happening in the House of Representatives that hadn’t happened in living memory; rank and file Democrats voted to oust some of the most powerful members of the house and seriously challenge others. The 75 Freshman Democrats were behind the push to dethrone the elder Democrats, some who held their Chairmanships for decades. It was time, many felt, for new blood – it was Capitol Hill’s version of a Youthquake. To those left standing, it served as a warning to change their attitude toward less senior members. Things were going to change.

In other news and other hotspots in the world – The Israelis stepped up their campaign along the border with Lebanon with village raids and tank maneuvers in what looked like a certain escalation in the area. The Lebanese responded by shelling an Israeli town on the border. Protests were filed back and forth with the UN Security Council. Meanwhile, Egypt’s Anwar Sadat threatened to hold a peace conference brokered by the Russians, threatening to oust the peace overtures brokered by Henry Kissinger, unless substantial progress was made in the current set of talks.

Meanwhile, the Cambodian situation was spiraling out of the control with government forces fighting the Khmer Rouge, who were dug in around Phnom Penh. Since the U.S. had withdrawn air support, the Cambodian Air Force was taking on the responsibility of air strikes. According to U.S. observers they were getting better. Supplies however weren’t and government forces were using up ammunition faster than the U.S. could supply it. Fighting was now increasing along the Mekong River.

And things were looking grim in Ireland and the IRA announced it would end its ceasefire at midnight. The announcement was met with shock and dismay in Britain, Ireland and Northern Ireland. It led one Catholic observer to say only an insane person would resume fighting. The truce had been in effect for 25 days and the taste of peace brought improvement in the life and mood of a society long torn by violence.

All that, along with Detente with the Soviets and woes in the livestock business and much-much more via this edition of the NBC Nightly News for January 16, 1975.

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