Monday, September 8, 2014



Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Forty years ago today, September 8, 1974, the 36th President of the United States, Richard Milhous Nixon, was granted a "full and unconditional" pardon by the 37th president Gerald R. Ford.

Mr. Nixon, who had appointed Mr. Ford to the Vice-Presidency after the resignation of Spiro T. Agnew, was forced to resign his office on August 9, 1974.

The presidential pardon covered any crime Mr. Nixon "may have committed while in office as President of the United States."

In a nationally televised address, President Ford said he granted the pardon to his predecessor because "it is in the best interests of the country."

Gerald Ford became, on August 9, 1974, the 1st man in history to become Vice-President and President without having been elected to either office.

The New York Times wrote that the Nixon pardon was "unwise, divisive and unjust" and that it destroyed Ford's credibility.  Most historians agree that the pardon was one of the key factors in Ford's defeat by Jimmy Carter in 1976.

President Gerald R. Ford
House Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing
October 17, 1974


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Fifty-five years ago today, September 8, 1959, Mr. and Mrs. Robert F. Kennedy announced the birth of their seventh child and third daughter, Mary Kerry Kennedy.

Today Kerry Kennedy is a human rights activist and author.  She is a graduate of Brown University and holds a J.D. degree from Boston College of Law.

She has led delegations in El Salvador, Gaza, Haiti, Kenya, Northern Ireland and South Korea.  She has also worked in China, India, and Pakistan.

Kerry Kennedy
Photo by Javier1776


Baton Rouge, Louisiana (JFK+50) Seventy-nine years ago today, September 8, 1935, Senator Huey Pierce Long of Louisiana was shot as he walked down a corridor in the State Capitol building here in Baton Rouge.

Senator Long was at the Capitol overseeing the ouster of a long-time adversary, Judge Henry Pavey.

Senator Huey Pierce Long
The Judge's son-in-law, Dr. Carl Weiss, an ear, nose and throat surgeon, approached Long firing a pistol from a distance of about four feet.  One of the bullets struck Senator Long in the abdomen.

According to witnesses, the Senator's bodyguards opened fire hitting Weiss 62 times.

Senator Long was rushed to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital where he died two days later.  200,000 mourners came to view the body lying in state in the Capitol Rotunda.  HPL was buried on the grounds of the Louisiana  State Capitol.

Statue of Huey Long
Louisiana State Capitol
Baton Rouge
Kodak Photo by Billy Hathorn (1972)

Huey P. Long served as Governor of Louisiana from 1928-1932 and U.S. Senator from 1932 until his death.  He was a populist who first supported and but later opposed FDR.  

In 1934, he presented a "Share Our Wealth" plan which he said would provide $5000 to each American family while capping and limiting personal fortunes and annual incomes.