February 26, 1975 – Ford And The Economy – Cambodia And The Insurgents – Saudi Arabia And Jews In General – Chicago And Richard Daley.
February 26, 1975 – President Ford said the anti-recession Tax cut he proposed may not clear the Congress until June. The President added he would keep the pressure on Congress to enact the Tax cut. Hours later, House Democrats were preparing for one of two votes on the Tax plans, one of them backed by Republicans calling for Tax Cuts for individual tax payers. Ford then went to Florida for a few rounds of golf, where he was met by protestors, not of him but of first Lady Betty Ford and her support of the Equal Rights Amendment. No dull times at The White House.
Also on Capitol Hill – plans were afoot to come to the aid of seven financially strapped railroads to the tune of some $7 billion – a fight brewing over the Filibuster Rule which grew more intense this day as Conservatives bitterly attacked vice-President Rockefeller, the Senate’s presiding officer.
Meanwhile, the situation in Cambodia was getting worse, as Defense Secretary James Schlesinger repeated the Ford Administration’s contention that unless more aid from the U.S. was forthcoming quickly, the Cambodian government would succumb to insurgent attacks. In testimony before a House Appropriations Sub-Committee hearing, Schlesinger said that, if Congress approved the $220 million aid package for Cambodia, the Lon Nol government stood a good chance of surviving, but Schlesinger could not guarantee that anything. The urgency for stepped-up aid was echoed by President Ford during his Florida press conference. On the ground, the fighting was intensifying and insurgents were making advances and taking towns and villages.
Saudi Arabia had issued a “black list” of more than 1500 American companies doing business with Israel. Companies such as Ford, Xerox, Sears Roebuck and The RCA Corporation were on the list. At a Senate Hearing earlier in the day, Col. William Durham of the Army Corps of Engineers said that qualified Jewish officers were not assigned to construction projects in Saudi Arabia. Also, no construction firms owned by Jews were allowed to participate in the $1.7 billion worth of projects supervised by the Army Engineers. The Corps rejected any application from any firm for Jews to work on these projects. Senators said that any country that accepted our help should not be allowed to discriminate against any American. The Pentagon said the entire matter would be investigated.
And Chicago re-elected Richard Daley by a huge margin, making Daley’s tenure as Mayor the longest running show of any city in the country.
And that’s just a small slice of what went on, this February 26, 1975 as reported by NBC Nightly News.