November 23, 1974. Lots to be thankful for, but try getting anyone to feel that way at the time. President Ford was touring the Far East, readying to land in Japan where he was expected to have talks over Foreign Trade and a gloomy American economy.
The gloomy American economy was no joke. Rampant unemployment was putting a big, stinky foot on otherwise joyous Thanksgiving festivities. No jobs, no money, no spending sprees, no retail. It was a vicious circle.
On Capitol Hill – The House overwhelmingly overturned Ford’s veto of bills strengthening the Freedom Of Information Act and revamping administration of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. The following day, the Senate followed suit, overriding by similar heavy margins. And lawmakers were calling for more wage and price controls in an attempt to stymie the rapidly out-of-control economic situation. The White House fired back, saying wage and price controls or temporary wage and price controls would only act as a catalyst in increasing prices in anticipation of their control.
And Congress continued its confirmation hearings for Nelson Rockefeller, who was under consideration to be vice-President. The Senate Rules committee approved the nomination, and the rest of the House was expected to vote full approval after the Thanksgiving recess. The House Judiciary committee opened its hearings on the vice-Presidential nominee with a whopping 14 hours of tough questioning. Rockefeller was observed to be holding his own, with the aid of an almost endless staff surrounding him and an endless supply of Energy drinks. Rockefeller responded to the questions with offering long, windy and often times unresponsive answers. Some questioners were downright hostile and it took no time for the vice-President designee to realize he was going to have to jump more than a few extra hoops to satisfy this committee, as opposed to the slam-dunk he got from the Senate.
And that’s just a little of what went on, this high-pressure week ending November 23, 1974 -as reported by The Washington Week from CBS Radio.