Governor Hugh Carey

Governor Hugh Carey - if only President Ford didn't tell New York to drop dead . . .

Governor Hugh Carey: First Press Conference – The State, The Taxes And A Migraine Named Manhattan – January 14, 1975

Governor Hugh Carey
Governor Hugh Carey – if only President Ford didn’t tell New York to drop dead . . .

WNET – Governor Hugh Carey Press Conference – first half hour – January 14, 1975 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

New York Governor Hugh Carey, giving his first Press conference after delivering his State Of The State address a week earlier and his first Press conference as Governor, having been elected in November of 1974.

Governor Carey was hitting the ground running, so to speak. New York City was experiencing a severe cash shortage, and without help, the city would not be able to cover its bills much longer. Beame described a recent demonstration of CUNY students outside of Gracie Mansion; Carey warned that serious retrenchment might mean the collapse of civil peace. The president listened and then said that he needed twenty-four hours to think it over. (“24 hours. Must do what’s right. Bite bullet,” he wrote on a note- pad, probably before the meeting even happened.) The next day, Ford told Beame and Carey that there was nothing the federal government could prudently do to help. The city would have to solve its problems on its own.

Throughout the rest of the year, New York would flirt with default on its massive loans, scrambling to patch together one plan after another, each intended to save the city from declaring bankruptcy while cutting back on the social and municipal services it provided. Today, the city’s heralded renaissance is often contrasted with the bad old days of the 1970s, a dark, distant past through which the city had to pass to arrive at the rosy present. But in fact, the fiscal crisis of the ’70s—and the subsequent budget cutbacks that followed—reshaped the city in ways that continue to influence it even now.

This first press conference was devoted to covering much of what was to become the coming crisis.

Here is a half-hour’s worth (as per WNET who ran it that way) from January 14, 1975.

Speaking of funds and budgets . . .

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