Capitol Hill Finger Pointing – June 4, 1954

Stuart Symington - Accused of arm-twisting and hanky-panky.

Stuart Symington – Accused of arm-twisting and hanky-panky.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – Fulton Lewis Jr News – Frank Edwards News – June 4, 1954 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.

In 1954, most of it was involving the famous Army-McCarthy Hearings going on in Washington. On this particular day, Democratic Senator Stuart Symington was accused of coaching Secretary of The Army Stevens over his handling of inquiries by Senator Joe McCarthy and threats McCarthy made to Stevens over important witnesses. Amid calls from Senate Republicans to remove himself from the Committee overseeing the hearings, Symington went before the press to state flat-out, that he had no intention of leaving or stepping down. Squabbles abound.

In other news – Vietnam was given technical independence and free-equal status within the French Union. Reports from eyewitnesses regarding the blast aboard the USS Bennington said the highly flammable liquid in the catapult room used to launch planes might have been ignited by a chance spark and that, seconds before the blast yells of warning were heard.

The Secretary of Commerce admitted, in his own words, that the U.S. was in a recession and the Labor Department added 16 more cities or areas to its list of distressed communities which, as of June 4, 1954 totaled some 123 major cities with substantial unemployment. The so-called improvement in employment hadn’t changed the bleak picture in the nation’s industrial centers. The misinterpretation of the unemployment figures was due to the fact that some 100,000 workers each week were dropped from the unemployment compensation roles, after having drawn all their benefits. Something that still goes on – but is seldom, if ever talked about.

And Secretary of State John Foster Dulles hinted that U.S. troops may get involved in Southeast Asia, sooner rather than later. Mr. Dulles told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that the Communists are not seeking merely Indochina, but all of Southeast Asia.

Just a little of what went this June 4th in 1954 – with glimpses of things to come in the future via reports from Fulton Lewis Jr and Frank Edwards.

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