December 22, 1974 – A New Vice-President – A New Congress – Same Old Problems
December 22, 1974 – The end of a week, and three days to Christmas. A New vice-President was sworn in, after some four months of hearings and confirmation cross-examinations on Capitol Hill. Nelson Rockefeller, often running for President, never seeking the VP slot, got it foisted on him in the wake of the Richard Nixon resignation and the elevation of his vice-President Gerald Ford to the Number one spot. With Rockefeller as the new Number 2 it made for the first time in American history that neither the President or the vice-President were elected by the people of the U.S. Let that sink in for a minute. Gerald Ford was appointed by President Nixon when his vice-president Spiro Agnew resigned amid allegations of influence peddling, and bribery. Ford was the GOP Representative from Michigan and House Minority leader. Ford was well liked on Capitol Hill but was considered a long-shot. But when Nixon resigned amid the Watergate Scandal, his elevation to the Highest Office had many wondering where all of this was heading. When Nelson Rockefeller was finally appointed as VP, the picture was now complete and it was clear none of these new leaders were actually elected, but went through a series of appointments.
But there was more going on this week. A trade bill passed which would lower U.S. tariffs on Soviet goods on the proviso that the Soviet Union would ease restrictions on Soviet Jews wishing to leave the country. Among many dissidents who have been waiting a year or more for permission to leave, the announcement renewed fears that passage of the Trade Bill would do nothing to help them. Despite the assurance of politicians in the U.S. there was nothing on paper to confirm any Soviet agreement.
And three days before Christmas – that’s what it sounded like on December 22, 1974 as reported by CBS Radio’s World This Week.