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August 19, 1970 – The Suez Canal and the tentative treaty between Egypt and Israel was heading up the news for this day. Amid allegations that there were Egyptian violations of the ceasefire, the U.S. State Department announced publicly that evidence wasn’t proving conclusive. Within hours of that disclosure, the Israelis in Tel-Aviv produced photographs substantiating their claim that, on a number of occasions, including the night of the ceasefire and two nights after, the Egyptians were setting up missiles in a prohibited zone.The State Department insisted that getting on with the peace settlement was more important than arguing about violations of a ceasefire, a violation that did not change the balance of military power and which was in any case, hard to prove.
In Vietnam, the war and its consequences were the subject of a hearing investigating the use of drugs in Vietnam on Capitol Hill. Testimony from a former Marine officer who said when he tried to stop his men from smoking Marijuana, one of them tried to kill him. There was more testimony from a former Army Social Worker who said that some officials tried to suppress a study of GI pot smoking. He said they feared it might rouse anti-war sentiment. And the testimony continued . . .
The President’s Commission On Campus Unrest, or The Scranton Commission opened hearings this day, ironically at Kent State University in Ohio. Kent State was the scene of the shooting of students by National Guard in May of 1970. The Governor of Ohio wanted the commission to stay away until a Grand Jury had finished the investigation of the shootings, and he made that request to the White House. But the White House said no and the commission members were at the school to begin hearings.
And the banning of artificial sweeteners containing Cyclamates was continuing. The Food and Drug Administration first ordered the removal of all soft drinks containing the sweetener off market shelves. And then the same order was being applied to Diet canned foods, mostly fruit. This left stores and canneries wondering what they were going to do with it. The FDA gave stores 2 weeks to get rid of the products because as of September 1st, using Cyclamates in any food product would be illegal. On this day, there were several million cases of canned fruit sweetened with Cyclamates sitting in stores and in warehouses and they would have to be dumped. The largest victim was the California Growers and Canners Association, a cooperative whose farmer members stood to lose $15 million. They wanted the government to compensate them for the loss because they didn’t think the FDA’s tests on Cyclamates were right to begin with.
And that’s a small slice of what happened, this August 19th in 1970 from NBC Nightly News.