August 14, 1978 – Jimmy Carter Talks To The Farmers – The King Assassination Inquiry Starts
August 14, 1978 – On this day 40 years ago, President Jimmy Carter addressed a gathering of the Mid-Continent Farmers Association. In what was initially billed as a “Major Foreign Policy Address”, the address highlighted several other concerns from the White House, including inflation. On that subject, the President leveled a strong attack on Special Interest Lobbies, saying that the fight against inflation was virtually impossible when the pressures of Special Interests are successful. Those lobbies, Carter went on to say, care nothing about the national interest, just as long as “they get theirs”. Mr. Carter felt comfortable enough with the group to joke about the previous Winter’s demonstrations by farmers, and he told them that rising farm prices would now mean a 25% increase in net farm income in 1978. Carter went on to offer a firm promise that Beef imports would be restricted the following year.
Meanwhile, the House Assassinations Committee opened a series of public hearings on the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King. The first witness was Ralph Abernathy, who was Dr. King’s closest aide. Abernathy indicated he felt Dr. King had received some warning that there would be an attempt on his life, as he had been troubled and nervous the weeks before that April day in Memphis in 1968. He went on to say he wasn’t sure that the assassin was James Earl Ray, but said that Ray wrote him saying that money was paid him and that he said he was still convinced the Memphis Police and the FBI aided in Ray’s escape. Coretta Scott King, Dr. King’s widow, said she was in complete support of the hearings, adding she was pleased with the way the committee was conducting the investigation. Mrs. King reiterated her belief that there was a conspiracy involved in the death of her husband. And despite the fact that she had no proof herself, she was looking forward to the committee’s findings.
And that’s a small slice of what happened, this August 14th, 1978 – as reported by CBS Radio’s The World Tonight.