A regular and beloved feature of this blog is my monthly look at headlines from the day's newspapers. I accompany these headlines with my reaction and I am often pithy, snarky, wise, or brilliantly on point (usually a combination thereof). The response has been overwhelmingly positive (thank you Seacrest Malone of Thermopolis, Wyoming). As a change of pace and a bit of a history lesson I am -- for the second time -- going to print and comment on headlines from exactly fifty years ago (for the math-challenged that would be June 30, 1971). As I am incredibly old I have the advantage of remembering those times and will employ my memories -- as well as my study of history -- to pleasure you (so to speak) with my comments. I do hope you enjoy.
From the San Francisco Examiner:
Supreme Court Backs Papers by 6-3 Vote
The papers in question were the New York Times and the Washington Post and what they were being backed on and allowed to continue, was the publishing of the Pentagon Papers. In case you hadn't heard, there was a bit of kerfuffle in Vietnam that the U.S. managed to get itself tangled in for about a dozen years. The Pentagon Papers were a government-issued secret history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam from 1945-1967. Suffice to say that it did not reflect well on the U.S. government specifically regarding decisions made by said government and the knowledge that the war was not necessarily winnable. The government had tried to suppress publication of the papers (swiped by the heroic Daniel Ellsberg). Happily for freedom of the press, they failed.
Nixon Blasts Permissiveness: 'Crime Softness is Over'
This from a future unindicted co-conspirator who violated the U.S. Constitution in a little bit of business called Watergate. How rich the irony.
U.S. Draft Law Likely to Lapse
This is about Congress's failure to extend the draft (thank goodness) thus allowing the law to die a natural death. The draft during the Vietnam war was one reason for that war's lack of popularity. If we could re-institute the draft now, there's be a lot less U.S. involvement in wars. Might be worth it.
From the Boston Globe
Senator Tries to Read Secrets Into Record
Senator Mike Gravel a Democrat from Alaska attempted to read parts of the aforementioned Pentagon Papers during a special meeting of a public works subcommittee. His intention was, of course, to put the papers into the congressional record. However, absent a quorum, he was unable to continue. Undaunted he led reporters to a senate hearing room where he read pertinent sections. Good dude.
Senate Rejects Cut in Defense Spending
Has the senate ever (I'm only being a little bit facetious here) EVER approved a cut in defense spending? Have they ever NOT voted to give the military every penny it asks for? Nope.
From the Chicago Tribune
Illinois OKs Amendment on Vote at 18
Illinois thus became the 35th state to ratify the amendment that would allow eighteen-year olds to vote. Only three more states were needed to make it law. Spoiler alert: it passed and in the 1972 national election us kids got to vote. I barely made as I turned eighteen that year. I cast my first-ever vote in the California Democratic primary for George McGovern in June.
U.S. OKs $5 Million in Arms Aid to Chile
That's nice. The United States decided to help out the democratically elected socialist government in Chile led by Salvador Allende. It was a shame that two years later the CIA helped lead a military coup that toppled Allende and his government and led to military rule and all the attendant disappearances, executions and torture.
Seize $300,000 in Heroin, Nab 28 in Three Days of Raids
A drop in the bucket. Probably ruined a lot of weekends for users in the Chicago area, maybe even several weeks. But H came back and money was made and new addicts came aboard, and new dealers and deaths from overdoses, more arrests. The beat went on. And still does.
From the Atlanta Constitution
Nazi Atrocity Camp Leader Stricken, Dies
The Nazi in question was the notorious Franz Stangl who was serving a life sentence for his role in the extermination of nearly half a million Jews. He was a commandant at both Sobibor and Treblinka. Stangl, who died of an apparent heart attack, was sixty-three at the time of death. Good riddance.
'Fraternize' Ban Upheld by Court
At a quick glance of this story seems much too much ado about little Apparently it is a crime for an officer to fraternize with an enlisted man. Seems a tad harsh. Frowned upon maybe but a criminal act? Then you read on and see that in the case in question the officer was trying to "establish homosexual relations" with a seaman (no pun intended). That's a horse of a different color. Using your position of power to seduce someone is a definite no-no. Twas the use of the euphemism "fraternize" that threw me.
10,000 Red Troops Reported Poised for Push
After years of bombing, a huge commitment of troops and weapons, the U.S. was no closer to "winning" in Vietnam and indeed the North Vietnamese were preparing for a big push. Nixon was determined to get "peace with honor" in Vietnam but the peace only came after the North won the war and there was no honor to an administration that tried to bomb a country into submission and conducted illegal bombing raids in other countries. The U.S. lost face, lives and its dignity.