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January 29, 1975 – NBC Nightly News – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
January 29, 1975 – News for this day had much to do with President Ford’s Clemency program for Draft Evaders of the Vietnam War. It wasn’t met with universal acceptance on the one hand, nor was it met with much enthusiasm from the Draft resistors on the other. There were calls to discontinue the program, owing to the lackluster results, but Ford asked for an extension of the program for at least another month as numbers of clemency takers was showing a slow increase.
For many the issue was “nice to go back for a visit, but I’d rather not live there” – many who had settled in Canada were in the midst of establishing new lives. Some had jobs and families and were laying down roots, and going back to their places of birth in the U.S. just didn’t seem appealing apart from the occasional visit. The Justice Department had also released a list of Draft Evaders who ran afoul of the law – those who were not on the list wouldn’t face any consequences for their actions anyway. But the list wasn’t complete and so who was going to face some sort of prosecution or not was still up in the air. So many were staying put for the time being.
On the protest front – since there was still a war going on to some degree. The Weather Underground was issuing threats of bombings and in at least two instances, the bombings were real. One explosion took place at the State Department, while another took place in a military induction center in Oakland, California. They were in protest against the possibility of additional Military aid to South Vietnam. The State Department bomb went off and did considerable damage, while the Oakland bomb was detonated before it could go off. Additionally, there were evacuations at the Treasury and Interior Departments as well as bomb scares at several other places. There were no injuries.
And along with our ever-erratic economy, that was a small slice of what went on this January 29th in 1975 as reported by NBC News.