Popping The Trial Balloon – October 13, 1975

Vice-President Rockefeller had to do a bit of back-peddling.

Vice-President Rockefeller had to do a bit of back-peddling.

NBC Nightly News – October 13, 1975 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

The big news for this October 13th in 1975 was the ongoing story of New York City’s economic turmoil. A city on the edge of bankruptcy, President Ford was adamant about not offering a bailout to help New York out of its financial crisis.

So when former New York Governor-and vice-President Nelson Rockefeller, made a remark the effect that, if the city got it’s fiscal and budgetary house in order, the Congress could then move to help the city. A default on New York’s part would do great damage to Rockefeller politically. However, the White House made it crystal clear that Rockefeller wasn’t speaking for the President and that President Ford still opposed any federal assistance for the city. Rockefeller was chided by the White House for not clearing the speech before making it, even though some thought Rockefeller was acting as Mr. Ford’s agent, and that it was a trial balloon to test public and Congressional sentiment for Federal Aid to New York City. However, Presidential Press Secretary Ron Nessin said it was not true, and that the President’s position was the city could solve its own problems without Federal help.

Former Alabama Governor and Presidential hopeful George Wallace was taking his first trip to Europe in the hopes of letting potential voters back home get the idea he was knowledgeable in Foreign as well as Domestic matters. He was also hoping to prove he was still physically able to be President (he was paralyzed from the waist down in an assassination attempt) by taking on the multi-nation tour of 7 cities and 5 countries in two weeks, meeting with political leaders and heads-of-State.

An organization was formed on this day, within the Democratic Party, to investigate the possibilities of getting a Woman nominated for President or vice-President during the 1976 Presidential election season. One of the organizers, Gloria Steinem said the odds were against a Woman winning the Presidential nomination, but she did feel it was clearly time when a Woman could be nominated for vice-President successfully.

And President Ford signed an agreement to station U.S. troops in the Sinai Desert.

All that, and a lot more for this October 13, 1975, as presented by NBC Nightly News.

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