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July 2, 2004 – Word from Los Angeles that the legendary Marlon Brando had died early in the morning sent shock waves throughout the entertainment world. Long considered one of the greatest actors of his generation, Brando had been in failing health in recent years. Known for his iconic roles in Streetcar Named Desire, On The Waterfront and The Godfather, Brando was often critical of his work, saying it was a neurotic impulse and that he didn’t go anything special or extraordinary. His audience differed and on this day, tributes poured in from all over the world. In addition to this newscast from CBS Radio, a newscast from BBC Radio 4 gives some idea of the international influence the actor had.
There was other news – On Capitol Hill, new jobs for the month of June were off from the previous month, leading many to express concern the economy was headed downhill since the growth was in the area of low-paying jobs that offered no benefits and little in the way of advancement. President Bush, on the other hand was upbeat, saying it was positive as the total job numbers were one-and-a-half million; on target for projected growth.
And America was getting ready to head out of town for the Fourth of July in 2004. Estimates of some 40 million people were expected to jam highways, train stations and airports to take advantage of the big Summer holiday. The fact that it was the Fourth of July was cause for concern by Homeland Security at airports throughout the country, who were taking extra precautions, not to mention the fact that many people were packing fireworks in their luggage. All in all, it was anticipated to be the biggest holiday weekend since 1994 – headaches and all.
And that’s a little of what went on, this July 2, 2004 as reported by CBS Radio News and BBC Radio 4.