July 24, 1972 – NBC Nightly News with John Chancellor – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
July 24, 1972 – The big news for this day was taking place in Vietnam and the battle of Quangtri. South Vietnamese paratroops tried to storm the Citadel of Quangtri city but ran into withering enemy fire, according to reports from the scene, and at nightfall the outcome of the battle was said to be still in doubt.
The assault at dawn by more than 1,000 men of two airborne battalions was said to have been aimed at two holes in the 400‐foot walls of the Citadel, opened two weeks ago by laserguided bombs dropped by American jets.
“The North Vietnamese,” an officer on the scene told a reporter, “are funneling their firepower into the gaps in the walls and it’s murder in there.” Late in the day, sharp fighting also was reported 220 yards northeast of the Citadel.
Most of the North Vietnamese defenders, believed to be the remnants of a division, have apparently retreated into the 19th‐century walled fortress after two weeks of allied air strikes and of house‐to‐house fighting with South Vietnamese paratroops.
In other news – The Vietnam War wasn’t going so well on Capitol Hill this day, with reactions to Senator Mike Mansfield’s End-The-War Amendment and other End-The-War measures.The Mansfield Amendment seemed to hav lost, but others were still very much alive. Secretary of State William Rogers said sharply that the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kurt Waldheim was “helping North Vietnam distribute a falsehood around the world”. Earlier in the day, Waldheim said he had information from unofficial channels that American bombs had fallen on Dikes in North Vietnam. The U.S. government said the dikes weren’t targets and any hits were by accident.
All hope was given up for the nine men trapped in a burning coal mine in West Virginia. The fire started two days earlier and an attempt was made to drill a hole 700 feet into the mine. But earlier this day, rescuers gave up and the mine was sealed. Company officials said there was no chance of rescuing the nine men trapped in the Blacksville Number One mine. They said they had begun sealing off the entrance in order to snuff out the fire.
And that’s just a little of what went on, this July 24, 1972 as presented by John Chancellor and The NBC Nightly News.