January 31, 1975 – NBC Nightly News – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
January 31, 1975 – Busy news day with echoes of Ellsberg, Watergate and Nixon coming back for a visit. Former Special Counsel to Richard Nixon Charles Colson, sentenced for between 1 and 3 years in Prison for his guilty plea in the Daniel Ellsberg obstruction case, was released after only seven months in. The Judge, Gerhard Gesell who had initially sentenced Colson set him free based on “serious family difficulties” which had greatly aggravated the severity of the sentence imposed.
Meanwhile, Richard Nixon’s Tapes and Records were back in the news, albeit tangled. Mid-day, a Federal Judge in Washington ruled that the government, and not Mr. Nixon was the owner of the recordings and documents assembled during the Nixon Presidency. The ruling overturned an agreement Nixon struck the previous September with the Ford White House; an agreement which named Richard Nixon as sole custodian of those materials. But late this day, the U.S. Court of Appeals stayed the earlier order at the request of Mr. Nixon’s lawyers, and there was scheduled an unusual Saturday hearing regarding the issue. Items in question were stored at several sites in near the White House and numbered some 42 million, although the items in question amounted to only 138 boxfuls and were primarily tape recordings.
And attention was being focused on a little-known and never talked-about agency known as the NSA – an agency set up for the sole purpose of spying on individuals and organizations within the U.S.
All that and much-much more from this episode of The NBC Nightly News for Friday, January 31, 1975.
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