January 8, 1968 – Anticipation of a year of protests. The year was starting off with warnings from Civil Rights leaders that Summer of 1968 was going to be potentially just as hot as summers past, particularly in the South. On this episode of the nightly news program Newsfront, NAACP leader Charles Evers is interviewed regarding plans by Civil Rights groups for the upcoming year with protests slated for Mississippi and other points of the South.
In other news – Famed Pediatrician and “America’s Baby Doctor” Dr. Benjamin Spock was under a federal indictment for his anti-War activities by persuading others to avoid the draft. He was also under fire from several conservative groups for his promotion of Equal Rights for Women.
Harlem, New York Representative Adam Clayton Powell arrived back in the U.S. from his stay on the island of Bimini. Congressman-elect Powell stopped in Miami on his way to Los Angeles for a speaking engagement and was asked if he was planning on returning to New York or going back to Bimini. Powell snapped he would return to New York “only when his lawyers say so”. In January 1967, the House Democratic Caucus stripped Powell of his committee chairmanship. The full House refused to seat him until completion of an investigation by the Judiciary Committee. Powell urged his supporters to “keep the faith, baby,” while the investigation was under way. On March 1, the House voted 307 to 116 to exclude him. Powell said, “On this day, the day of March in my opinion, is the end of the United States of America as the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
Powell won a Special Election to fill the vacancy caused by his exclusion, but he did not take his seat, as he was filing a separate suit. He sued in Powell v. McCormack to retain his seat.
And the first human-to-human heart transplant patient was in critical condition in a Palo Alto hospital. The patient, a 54 year old man received the heart of a 43-year-old man.
And that’s just a tiny slice of what went on, this January 8, 1968 as reported by Eastern Education Television Network’s one hour Newsfront program.