June 23, 1954 – Keys To The Capitol – NBC Radio – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
June 23, 1954 – By all accounts, a typical week in Washington during the Eisenhower years. The Cold War was alive and well and focusing on Guatemala, as was evidenced by a coup which removed legitimately elected President Jacobo Árbenz and installed a military junta. The “official” report was Árbenz had several members of the Communist Party in key positions poised to assume closer ties to Moscow. Neighboring Latin American countries cast doubts over the “communist ties” assertion and pointed fingers at Washington for organizing the coup via the CIA. The controversy landed on Eisenhower‘s doorstep and it was yet another of the rapidly gathering piles of unrest and agitation going on around the world. News from Geneva was discouraging as far as Vietnam and Korea were concerned with no easy solution. The issue of Joe McCarthy and the hearings wasn’t going away anytime soon. But Eisenhower was more interested in getting his legislative programs approved by Congress than focusing on McCarthy. Speaking at a gathering the night before, Eisenhower told the audience that, unless Congress passed at least a substantial portion of his programs, the Republican Party did not have the right to stay in power. There was doubt as to how much could be passed between June 23rd and July when Congress went on vacation.
Despite all the gloom there were glimmers of optimism. Eisenhower was greatly heartened by the sweeping victory of Margaret Chase Smith in the Maine elections and his confidence was buoyed by the great reception he got at the Citizens For Eisenhower Convention in Washington a week earlier.
And that’s just a small portion of what was going on around Washington this week, as presented by the NBC Radio Series Keys To The Capitol for the week ending June 23, 1954.
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