August 17, 1977 – It was the day after the death of Elvis Presley. A wave of nostalgia hit the country as fans by the thousands gathered outside his Graceland home in Memphis to pay respects. And throughout the country and the world, record stores were overwhelmed by fans buying his records and looking for anything Presley. It was the single biggest jump in record and tape sales for the King Of Rock n’ Roll since Elvis first came on the scene. Radio stations were busy playing tributes and non-stop Elvis echoed throughout the country as news sank in, and a generation mourned the loss of its youth.
But there was other news happening, this August 17th – Senator, former vice-President and Presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey was undergoing Cancer treatment. The 66 year old lawmaker was preparing to undergo follow-up surgery after a hospital visit confirmed intestinal problems and to relieve a partial blockage of his bowel that had been causing him discomfort. An unconfirmed report from another doctor said there was no sign Humphrey’s Cancer had returned, but the Hospital had made no definitive statement over that possibility. Vice-President Walter Mondale visited Humphrey at the hospital and told reporters he was in excellent spirits.
Meanwhile, President Carter ended a 7-month long search for an FBI Director by naming Federal Judge Frank Johnson of Alabama to the post. Johnson, who had turned down a previous offer, told reporters in Montgomery Alabama that he was no glad to accept it.
And discussions over the Panama Canal treaty were hitting snags, as Ambassadors Ellsworth Bunker and Sol Linowitz ran into a wall of opposition as they attempted to explain the proposed Treaty to members of Congress. The two men who negotiated the treaty, giving control of the Canal to back to Panama at the end of the century appeared before the House Merchant Marine Committee to outline the proposal. Lawmakers were reported to be unanimous in rejecting the proposal, saying the vast majority of Americans were against the idea of handing back the Canal in the first place.
And that’s just a sample of what happened, this August 17, 1977 as reported by CBS Radio and The World Tonight.