June 15, 1973 -Busy news day – Starting with President Nixon going to Pekin Illinois to visit the birthplace of the late Everett Dirksen. Nixon and Everrett Dirksen’s widow unveiled the cornerstone of a new research center named after the late Senator’s memory. The President arrived with Congressional leaders and Illinois politicians, including Senator Charles Percy whom Nixon was having a running feud with over his handling of Watergate. The Presidential Party drove some 14 miles, from Peoria to Pekin, with Nixon stopping along the way to shake hands and greet fans. It was the first time Nixon had been out and about since the Watergate news took centerstage. He took advantage of the forum to address the Watergate scandal, though not in so many words – he was still skating on thin ice. Later, Nixon would head to Key Biscayne Florida to work with Henry Kissinger on the upcoming visit from Brezhev.
On a Watergate-related note: Sen. Sam Ervin, Chairman of the Watergate Investigation Committee told reporters in Chicago that he hoped President Nixon would not be called as a witness, and that so far he saw no necessity to do so. He did say that former Attorney General John Mitchell was going to be called before the committee “in the very near future”.
Meanwhile, Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev held an impromptu Press Conference ahead of his visit to Washington, one which found Brezhnev not taking many questions from the Press, but rather spending the time dishing the dirt as he took reporters on a tour around The Kremlin.
And news about our love affair with the Automobile was disconcerting at best. The EPA issued a statement saying it was committed to Clean Air in the U.S. and that the era of the Gas-guzzler was coming to an end; soon. Replacing that would be mass transit because, as the EPA found, over half the pollution in the United States was coming from cars. Selling the idea was another story/
And that’s a small slice of what happened, this June 15, 1973 as reported by NBC Nightly News.