Chamblee54

7 O’Clock News/Silent Night

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Music, War by chamblee54 on July 8, 2019

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Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme was on the car stereo yesterday. PG thought about the first time he heard PSRT. It was 52 years ago, in a basement down the street. Then it was a monural record player, with kids playing songs over and over to write down the lyrics. It is a stretch to go from that, to a thumb drive on a car stereo. Almost as far as Art Garfunkel’s hair has gone … from luxurious blonde afro, to bald as an egg.

The last song on that album was quite the statement. It starts off with Simon and Garfunkel, who are both Jewish, singing “Silent Night.” In the background is a newscast. The news is soft at first, and gets louder, and louder. What happened to the stories in that newscast?

“In Los Angeles today comedian Lenny Bruce died of what was believed to be an overdose of narcotics. Bruce was 42 years old.” This is the first item that can be clearly heard. It helps to establish the date of the broadcast… August 3, 1966. PG had never heard of Lenny Bruce. The comic has gone on to be an icon of American entertainment. Most of the people who feverishly admire Lenny have never read Ladies and Gentlemen, Lenny Bruce!! While he was a talented comedian, Lenny was also a serious heroin addict. He was not a nice person. PG later wrote The Trial Of Lenny Bruce. This post is about one of his obscenity trials.

“Dr. Martin Luther King says he does not intend to cancel plans for an open housing march Sunday into the Chicago suburb of Cicero. Cook County Sheriff Richard Ogleby asked King to call off the march and the police in Cicero said they would ask the National Guard to be called out if it is held. King, now in Atlanta, Georgia, plans to return to Chicago Tuesday.”

It is hard to imagine in 2019, but Dr. King used to be referred to in present tense. Twenty months after this newscast, Dr. King was killed. “On 4 April 1967,” (exactly one year before he died) “Martin Luther King delivered his seminal speech at Riverside Church condemning the Vietnam War.” Opposition to a wretched war played a large part in his last year.

“In Washington the atmosphere was tense today as a special subcommittee of the House Committee on Un-American Activities continued its probe into anti-Vietnam war protests. Demonstrators were forcibly evicted from the hearings when they began chanting anti-war slogans. Former Vice-President Richard Nixon says that unless there is a substantial increase in the present war effort in Viet nam, the U.S. should look forward to five more years of war. In a speech before the Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in New York Nixon also said opposition to the war in this country is the greatest single weapon working against the U.S.”

This is one of the saddest paragraphs ever. In 1968, Richard Nixon ran for President, again. All the players (except third party candidate George Wallace) were manipulating events in Vietnam to manufacture an “October Surprise.” Tricky Dick somehow won, and kept American forces in Vietnam until 1973 … six years after the seven o”clock news.

Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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