The accident-prone President.
Ford: The accident-prone President.

NBC Nightly News – October 15, 1975 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

News for this October 15th, 40 years ago was about yet another mishap/near catastrophe President Ford was involved in. This time the blame was placed squarely on the Police Department in Hartford Connecticut where they failed to close off an intersection the President’s motorcade was slated to pass through on their way out of town. The President’s limousine was run into by a 1967 Buick, jammed with teenagers, as the Buick drove into an intersection they had the Green light for.

The Buick was totaled, the President’s Limo was slightly damaged – the kids were shaken up – the Police Department was embarrassed – President Ford’s Assistant Donald Rumsfeld melted down, and the whole thing was summed by President Ford, who “these things happen”. However, “these things” happened a lot to President Ford during his time in office, including two assassination attempts. The Ford White House Staff were suitably in a state of permanent anxiety.

Meanwhile, Special Watergate Prosecutor Henry Ruth, issued his final report on the eve of his departure. One of the recommendations Ruth made was that no President should appoint as Attorney General anyone who served at a high level in his campaign. And that Congress should keep a closer watch on agencies like the FBI and the CIA to prevent their being misused by the Executive. The report however did not recommend the Special Prosecutor Force be made permanent. No revelations, but more of an inner-workings of the Special Prosecutor during the Watergate scandal.

And CIA Director William Colby admitted the CIA could have gone to the Watergate prosecutors earlier than it did with information about Watergate. Colby said the Agency knew about the Watergate break-in right after it happened and that former CIA man E. Howard Hunt was involved in Watergate. The Agency was also asked by the White House to aid in the cover-up. The CIA however, waited 4 months before it gave its story to the Prosecutors because they felt the Watergate break-in wasn’t a CIA matter.

And that’s just a little of what went on, this October 15th in 1975 as reported by The NBC Nightly News.

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