Wilbur Gets His Freak On – October 9, 1974

 

The photo bomb in the back said it all.

The photo bomb said it all.

NBC Nightly News – October 9, 1974 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

Ordinarily, another somber day on Capitol Hill, this October 9, 1974 – had it not been for the bizarre behavior of House Ways and Means Committee chairman Wilbur Mills and a few G-String notables who accompanied him on his romp around D.C. According to police reports, Mills was speeding with his lights off at around 4 in the morning. When Park Police stopped the car, they came face to face with Mills, who was clearly drunk and was sporting a bloody nose. One of his passengers attempted to make a break for it by screaming and jumping into the Tidal Basin. She later had to be fished out by police who claimed she was trying to commit suicide. Mills was driven home by Park Police, but the incident managed to take on a life of its own. There were no arrests and no names were written on the Police report. When asked, Mills denied he was in the car – however, Police did confirm that the bloody nosed drunk with a cadre of strippers in tow was none other than Mills. Subsequently, Mills went into hiding for three days, just around the time several pending pieces of important legislation needed his signature. The whole incident had many on Capitol Hill wondering just how much damage this bon temps was going to do for the Chairman’s career.

But there was other news – news of the fallout from President Ford‘s Energy message the day before. A Press conference asked many questions about the pending gas shortage and what was Winter going to be like. Some thought the measure proposed by Ford didn’t go far enough, and that it was small comfort for what was going to be a crisis in the coming months.

The Stock Market staged an extraordinary surge though; climbing some nearly 28 points, the 6th biggest gain on record. Reasons for the surge many felt were hunches that Ford’s Economic proposals were going to do some good.

And the shadow of Nixon was creeping into the picture. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, without a dissenting vote, agreed to postpone action on the nomination of Peter Flanagan to be Ambassador to Spain. Flanagan was accused of offering Ambassadorships in return for contributions to the Nixon Re-election campaign. Flanagan was a former Nixon aide, and he denied the charge repeatedly.

In Baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers won the National League Pennant, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 12-1. And the Oakland A’s won the American League Pennant.That meant the first all-West Coast World Series in Baseball History.

All that, and so much more by way of the NBC Nightly News for October 9, 1974.

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