Dennis Sweeney - alleged Lowenstein shooter

Lowenstein assassin Dennis Sweeney - had a cigarette and waited for the police to arrive.

Dennis Sweeney - alleged Lowenstein shooter
Lowenstein assassin Dennis Sweeney – had a cigarette and waited for police to arrive.(photo: Getty Images)
Download For $1.99: - March 15, 1980 - CBS World News Roundup - Gordon Skene Sound Collection

March 15, 1980 – CBS World News Roundup – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

March 15, 1980 – A day for reactions – reaction to President Carter’s economic message from the previous night. Along party lines the sentiment was reluctant support and adamant hand-wringing – the analogy of the superb Athlete simply getting out of shape brought a few cautious nods of agreement from Democrats. While the Republican side of the aisle, in true Trickle-Down fashion argued the solution to the economic malady was a tax cut, not a tax increase as a way of stimulating a sluggish economy. Either way, there was a problem and President Carter was working on a solution that require a certain amount of medicine-taking.

Since it was 1980 and an election year, the field of candidates was looking a little smaller with the withdrawal by Senator Robert Dole in his bid as a GOP candidate. Indications, even early on, had former California Governor Ronald Reagan tagged as the candidate presumptive in the upcoming race and many aspirants saw the writing on the wall in large block letters.

And a sad ending to the life of social and political activist Allard Lowenstein. Former congressman Allard K. Lowenstein, 51, a Pied Piper to three generations of student activists and the organizer of the “Dump Johnson” movement in 1968, was fatally shot in his New York law office the afternoon before by a man police identified as Dennis Sweeney, 37, a former Lowenstein protege.

Doctors at New York’s St. Clare’s Hospital operated on Lowenstein for more than five hours. Police said he died shortly after 11 p.m.

Lowenstein was sitting in his office in Rockefeller Center when Sweeney walked in and shook hands with him, according to a police officer.

A few moments later a telephone installer working nearby said he heard “screams and then pops — three or four.”

After the shooting, the gunman walked out of Lowenstein’s office, put his 9mm semiautomatic pistol on a secretary’s desk, lit a cigarette and sat down to await police, according to witnesses. Police charged Sweeney with second-degree murder and possession of a deadly weapon.

And that’s a little of what happened, this March 15, 1980 as reported by the CBS World News Roundup.




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