May 11, 1974 – An Impeachment Trial Begins – A Wave Of Defections – “A Swift And Merciful Termination Of This Agony”
May 11, 1974 – The World This Week – CBS Radio – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
May 11, 1974 – The end of a tumultuous and historic week. The Watergate Impeachment Trial began and it would capture the attention of the country and most of the world over the next several weeks.
And as the Impeachment trial was getting underway, a wave of defections from within the ranks of Republicans who had supported Richard Nixon and who wanted to “put the whole thing behind us and move on” were now having second thoughts and calling for Nixon’s removal from office. And even those who were vocal in their support were now in favor of putting an end to the Nixon Presidency.
And those staunch supporters of Richard Nixon; the press, were now changing their opinions, almost en masse, calling into question the fitness of the President to continue. The arch-conservative Mid-West newspaper, The Chicago-Tribune published the complete Watergate transcripts and publicly called for a “swift and merciful termination of this agony”.
Vice-President Gerald Ford was now treading a delicate balance between criticism and support as he went on a nationwide speaking tour. At a rally in Charleston Illinois he spoke of a loss of confidence and in Houston he said the President was not guilty and would be exonerated of Impeachment.
President Nixon, for his part indicated he had released all the Watergate material he intended to release.
And while America was knee-deep in Watergate and the Impeachment trial, France was knee-deep in election fever. So far it was a clear indication that the policies of former President Charles de Gaulle were being rejected by the French voters and the race was now between the conservative d’Estaing and the Liberal Mitterrand. And the year wasn’t even half over.
All that, and a lot more for this May 11, 1974 as reported on The World This Week from CBS Radio.
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