“Some of the delegates selected and pledged to Carter early appeared to have been willing to support my candidacy later in the process, but there had been a change in the rules put in by Carter that said that once a delegate was selected as pledged, they had to stay that way. That caused resentment with the delegates, it just generally was not popular.
“I had a meeting with Carter before the convention. We had challenged him to a debate and indicated that if we had the debate, I might be willing to withdraw. He was giving that consideration, but…”
~Sen. Ted Kennedy
Recalling the 1980 Democratic Convention
1933 – A devastating forest fire was sparked in the Coast Range Mountains, located in northern Oregon, 50 miles west of Portland. Raging for 11 days over some 267,000 acres, the blaze began a series of fires – known as the Tillamook Burn – that struck the region at six-year intervals until 1951.
The first Tillamook Burn fire was sparked when loggers dragged a large Douglas-fir log across a downed tree, igniting a large amount of logging debris in the area. Weather conditions – including an unusually high temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit, with only 20 percent humidity – helped ignite and spread the blaze, and within an hour, the fire had destroyed 60 acres of the surrounding land.
3,000 men, including loggers, local farmers and volunteers and several hundred members of the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps, battled with the fire over 10 days as it burned through some 40,000 acres.
On the night of August 24, strong east winds spread the blaze over 240,000 more acres in only 20 hours, making it one of the fastest-growing forest fires of the 20th century.
1935 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs into the Social Security Act into law. The historic act which guaranteed an income for the unemployed and retirees. FDR commended Congress for what he considered to be a “patriotic” act.
In his public statement that day, FDR expressed concern for “young people who have come to wonder what would be their lot when they came to old age” as well as those who had employment but no job security.
Although he acknowledged that “we can never insure one hundred percent of the population against one hundred percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life,” he hoped the act would prevent senior citizens from ending up impoverished.
1945 – President Harry S. Truman announced that Japan had announced to U.S. officials that they would surrender unconditionally.
Meanwhile, Japanese radio announced that an Imperial Proclamation was soon to be made, accepting the terms of unconditional surrender drawn up at the Potsdam Conference. That proclamation had already been recorded – but not yet made public – by Emperor Hirohito.
General Korechika Anami, the member of the War Council most adamant against surrender, committed suicide later in the evening. His reason: to atone for the Japanese army’s defeat, and to be spared having to hear his emperor publicly speak the words of surrender the following day.
Even though Japan’s War Council, urged by the emperor, had already submitted a formal declaration of surrender to the Allies via ambassadors on August 10, fighting continued between the Japanese and the Soviets in Manchuria and between the Japanese and the United States in the South Pacific.
In fact, two days after the Council agreed to surrender, a Japanese submarine sank the Oak Hill, an American landing ship, and the Thomas F. Nickel, an American destroyer, both east of Okinawa.
The surrender documents were finally signed at Tokyo Bay on the deck of the American battleship USS Missouri on September 2.
1958 – Elvis Presley’s mother, Gladys, died of heart failure at the age of 46.
Gladys – completely devoted to her son – had been severely depressed when Elvis went into the Army. It was the same type of loneliness she had felt when his music career took off. She had wanted Elvis to succeed, but not so much that he would be apart from her.
With no appetite for food but an unending desire for alcohol to combat her depression, Gladys soon developed serious liver problems, leading to her death.
1973 – After several days of intense bombing in support of Lon Nol’s forces fighting the communist Khmer Rouge in the area around Phnom Penh, Operations Arc Light and Freedom Deal ended as the United States ceased bombing Cambodia at midnight. This was in accordance with Congressional legislation passed in June and ended 12 years of combat activity in Indochina.
President Nixon denounced Congress for cutting off the funding for further bombing operations, saying that it had undermined the “prospects for world peace.”
The United States continued unarmed reconnaissance flights and military aid to Cambodia, but ultimately the Khmer Rouge prevailed in 1975.
1980 – President Jimmy Carter and Vice President Walter Mondale were nominated for a second term at the Democratic National Convention in New York.
Carter, whose presidency was plagued with high unemployment rates and gas prices, was extremely vulnerable heading into the 1980 Democratic convention which was notable as it was the last time in the 20th century, for either major party, that a candidate tried to get delegates released from their voting commitments.
That was the last gasp try by Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Carter’s chief rival for the nomination in the Democratic primaries, who sought the votes of delegates held by Carter.
Kennedy’s plan did not come close to working.
Carter, needing 1,667 delegates to earn the nomination, ended with 2,123, while Kennedy received 1,151.
On November 4, President Carter and Vice President Mondale lost to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush in the general election, losing the popular vote by 8.4 million popular votes and the Electoral College by an astounding 440 votes.
Kennedy was never forgiven by the Carter campaign for weakening their candidate before his battle with Reagan in the November election.
1994 – Terrorist Illich Ramirez Sanchez, long known as Carlos the Jackal, was captured in Khartoum, Sudan, by French intelligence agents.
Sanchez, who was affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Organization for Armed Arab Struggle, and the Japanese Red Army, was widely believed to be responsible for numerous terrorist attacks between 1973 and 1992.
Since there was no extradition treaty with Sudan, the French agents sedated and kidnapped Carlos. The Sudanese government, claiming that it had assisted in the arrest, requested that the United States remove their country from its list of nations that sponsor terrorism.
State Department officials in Washington said Sudan’s surrender of Carlos was insufficient to erase the country from the department’s list.
1992 – John Sirica, retired Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, died of cardiac arrest at the age of 88.
In 1973, Sirica ordered President Nixon to turn over tapes of White House conversations to special prosecutor Archibald Cox and congressional investigators. The Supreme Court upheld his ruling in July 1974, spurring Nixon’s resignation in the face of impeachment.
In all, 19 officials from the Nixon White House and reelection campaign were convicted. For his role in uncovering the truth about Watergate, Sirica was named TIME magazine’s “Man of The Year” in January 1974.
Sirica chronicled his Watergate experiences in a 1979 book, To Set the Record Straight: The Break-In, the Tapes, the Conspirators, the Pardon.
1996 – The Republican National Convention in San Diego nominated Bob Dole for president and Jack Kemp for vice president.
Following a bitter primaries battle between Dole, Pat Buchanan and magazine publisher Steve Forbes, the Dole campaign sought to use the convention to unite the party, to appeal to political moderates, and to highlight Dole’s honorable service in World War II and in the U.S. Senate.
Incumbent President Bill Clinton soundly defeated Dole in the November 4 general election, winning by 8.2 million popular votes and 220 electoral votes.
2003 – A major outage knocked out power across the eastern United States and parts of Canada.
Beginning at 4:10 p.m. ET, 21 power plants shut down in just three minutes. Fifty million people were affected, including residents of New York, Cleveland and Detroit, as well as Toronto and Ottawa, Canada.
Although power companies were able to resume some service in as little as two hours, power remained off in other places for more than a day. The outage stopped trains and elevators, and disrupted everything from cellular telephone service to operations at hospitals to traffic at airports.
In New York City, it took more than two hours for passengers to be evacuated from stalled subway trains. Small business owners were affected when they lost expensive refrigerated stock. The loss of use of electric water pumps interrupted water service in many areas.
Authorities were initially unable to determine the cause of the massive outage. American and Canadian representatives pointed figures at each other, while politicians took the opportunity to point out major flaws in the region’s outdated power grid.
Finally, an investigation by a joint U.S.-Canada task force traced the problem back to an Ohio company, FirstEnergy Corporation.
When the company’s East Lake plant shut down unexpectedly after overgrown trees came into contact with a power line, it triggered a series of problems that led to a chain reaction of outages.
2006 – Actor Bruno Kirby died from complications related to leukemia at the age of 57.
Over the course of his 35-year career, Kirby appeared in 40 films, including leading roles in City Slickers, When Harry Met Sally, Good Morning, Vietnam, The Godfather Part II, This Is Spinal Tap, The Freshman and Donnie Brasco.
2009 – Lynette Alice “Squeaky” Fromme, a Charles Manson follower who tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford in 1975, was released from a Texas prison hospital after 34 years behind bars.
Fromme, then 60, moved to Marcy, NY following her release.
Compiled by Ray Lemire ©2018 RayLemire.com. / Streamingoldies.com. All Rights Reserved.