United States and American History: Late 1974

About the history of the United States in 1974, Muhammad Ali wins the rumble in the jungle, Rockefeller becomes vice-president, the murder rate going strong.


July 15 Sarasota, Fla., TV commentator Chris Chubbuck finished reading the news to her audience and then said, "And now, in keeping with Channel 40's policy of always bringing you the latest in blood and guts, in living color, you're about to see another 1st-an attempted suicide." She then shot herself in the head and later died in a hospital.

July 24 The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that President Nixon had no right to withhold evidence in a criminal case, and ordered him to release 64 tapes to the Watergate special prosecutor.

July 27 The Judiciary Committee voted 27-to-11 to recommend to the full House of Representatives that President Richard Nixon be impeached for criminal acts committed while covering up the Watergate break-in and for obstructing the subsequent investigation. The Articles of Impeachment stated: "... Richard Nixon has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of Constitutional Government, to the great prejudice of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the U.S."

Aug. 5 Nixon released a transcript that revealed that he had approved the cover-up only 6 days after the Watergate break-in.

Aug. 8 Richard Milhous Nixon resigned as President of the U.S.

Aug. 9 In a farewell speech to the White House staff, Nixon stated that he wished he were a rich man; that a biography would never be written about his saintly mother; and that the nation needed more plumbers (and carpenters). "Au revoir," he said. Gerald Ford became President.

Sept. 8 President Ford granted Richard Nixon a "full, free and absolute pardon" for any crimes he may have committed.

Oct. 26-27 The largest cash theft in U.S. history occurred in Chicago when burglars removed $4.3 million from the vault of Purolator Security, an armored-car and guard-service company. The loot weighed 700 lbs.

Oct. 29 In Africa, Muhammad Ali regained his heavyweight championship by KO'ing George Foreman in the 8th round. Draft-refuser Ali was invited to the White House by President Ford. New York City declared a Muhammad Ali Day.

Nov. 5 Citizens in Rush Springs, Okla., voted to outlaw dancing in public.

Dec. 5 The movie system of rating pictures was endorsed when a Federal court in Chicago threw out a $7 million law suit filed by Paul Bernstein. When the film Papillon opened in March, it was rated PG-preteen-agers might attend with parental guidance. Bernstein took his 3 daughters, aged 7, 11, 14, to the movie, was shocked by its violence, claimed he had been misled, and filed the 1st suit in the 6-year history of the rating system against the Motion Picture Association of America. The judge ruled: "Plaintiff was accurately put on notice that he should exercise caution in letting children view this movie and he failed to do so."

Dec. 9 Johnson Van Dyke Grigsby, 89, was released from Indiana State Prison after serving a world-record 66 years for stabbing a man to death at a poker game in 1908.

Dec. 19 Former New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller was sworn in as Vice-President of the U.S. Rockefeller was appointed VP by Gerald Ford who had been appointed VP by Richard Nixon whose election in 1972 proved to be the result of illegal campaign tactics.

Dec. 31 Glen Bladen, 23, shot to death in a Chicago alley, became the city's 968th homicide victim of the year. There were over 20,000 murders in the nation as a whole.

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