A Look Back - February 1964
By Wally Peel
Saigon Assassination Plot
The Communists distributed leaflets in Saigon, calling for an all out drive against Americans.
The leaflets, circulated to coincide with an upcoming Communist holiday, said every effort must be made to carry out a sabotage campaign in celebration of the anniversary of the North Vietnamese Communist Labor party.
U. S. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge received several assassination threats. He agreed to have tighter security precautions put in place, but he himself was seen walking around Saigon without the accompaniment of guards.
Tight security measures remained in place at the American school, and all other official American establishments.
American citizens were warned to keep their social activities to a minimum.
Earlier in the week, South Vietnamese Premier Major General Nguyen Khanh was the target of an assassination plot backed by French officials.
Khanh learned of the plan in time to call off a trip during which the killing was to take place. Khanh claimed French officials gave a terrorist 100,000 piastres (about $1,300) to kill him.
French President Charles de Gaulle had called for neutralization of Southeast Asia, including South Viet Nam.
Khanh took over rule of the country in a coup the previous month in order to prevent neutralization.
Big Sky Country - Texas?
Montana is known by many names.
Our official nickname is the "Treasure State". Early fur traders gave us the name "Land of the Shining Mountains".
In the early 1960's, State Advertising Department Director Jack Hallowell asked for, and received permission from A. B. Guthrie Jr., author of the novel The Big Sky, to use the term Big Sky Country to promote tourism in Montana.
Those three simple words described Montana perfectly. We spoke them with pride.
Just as we were getting used to our new nickname, photojournalist George Silk did a photo essay about the Texas rangeland for Life Magazine.
The title of the piece grabbed our attention.
The two page color photo of the Texas countryside was called "A President's Big Sky Country - The Land Lyndon Johnson Lives In And Loves".
That drew the ire of many Montanan's, who sent letters of protest to Life Magazine. In his letter, Governor Babcock wrote, "We approve of President Johnson having a slice of "Big Sky Country" of his own in the Lone Star State. If it offers the restful atmosphere, the relaxation and the peace and quiet of the ORIGINAL Big Sky Country - Montana - then we fully understand his love for it."
Commission Wants To Eliminate Eyesores
Members of the City Commission were determined to do something about the problem of dilapidated buildings in Helena.
They promised their cooperation with any governmental agency that had the power to take action to resolve the problem, whether it was the State through the Board of Health, or the County through its taxing power.
The Commissioners named several buildings, barns and outbuildings within the city that were run down, were eyesores, and were a source of danger for children who play in them and transients who often used them for shelter. In addition to structures, the Commission was also concerned about the number of unsightly wrecking yards around town.
When asked about the city's legal authority to address the issue, City Attorney Michael Chilton said the strongest ally would be the State Board of Health which could condemn properties that are a health hazard to the community, and the City Fire Department, which could eliminate fire hazards. He added that in some cases the County could take action through foreclosure for delinquent taxes.
Commissioner Dave Lewis suggested that if the city had proper authority to demolish buildings and take title to the property they stood on, that would provide incentive for property owners to take care of the problem themselves, and would go a long way toward ridding Helena of its blighted areas.
Carroll College Growing
The Most Reverend Raymond G. Hunthausen, Bishop of Helena Diocese, announced plans for the construction of six new buildings on the campus of Carroll College.
The first phase of the program, he said, is construction of a combined administrative-classroom building. When administrative offices and classrooms are moved to the new building, St. Charles Hall will be renovated to make more dormitory space available.
A new physical education center is also a high priority. Once that new facility is completed, the Carroll gymnasium will be renovated and become the new Chapel.
The plan also included construction of two new dormitories, and a library addition.
The expansion, scheduled to take place over a 15 year period, was designed to meet the future growth of Carroll, thus allowing the college to continue the high degree of academic excellence the school is known for.
Also in the News.........
The Government of Italy asked for International assistance to stabilize the Leaning Tower of Pisa to prevent it from falling over.
Former astronaut John Glenn suffered a mild concussion from a bathroom fall. The accident delayed the start of his announced campaign for the U. S. Senate.
An Eastern Airlines jetliner with 58 persons on board disappeared shortly after takeoff from New Orleans. The plane crashed into Lake Panchartrain. There were no survivors.
A rock 'n' roll singer electrified a federal courtroom when he testified he knew about the Frank Sinatra Jr. kidnapping about two months before it took place. Dean Torrence, of the duo Jan and Dean, said defendant Barry Keenan told him of the plan, and borrowed about $25,000 to carry it out. Torrence earlier testified he had no knowledge of the plot. District Judge William East said the singer committed perjury, and the matter would be dealt with.
An FBI agent testifying in the Sinatra kidnap trial said defendant Barry Keenan told him the first thought was to kidnap Tony Hope, son of Bob Hope. Keenan told the agent he changed his mind when he realized that Hope was a good American who had done a lot to entertain our troops...and that such a thing shouldn't happen to him.
In one of the most stunning upsets of all time, Cassius Clay, the Louisville Lip, scored a seventh round TKO over heavily favored Sonny Liston, and became the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. .
Liston, suffering from cuts and bruises under his eyes, and a shoulder injury he obtained before the bout, refused to answer the bell for round seven.
Clay, never at a loss for words, announced to the world "I am the greatest."
The two would meet again in a little more than a year, but it appeared Clays next fight would likely be with the Draft Board.
The Montana Supreme Court barred political hopeful Francis F. Leonhard from filing for Governor as an American Party of Progress candidate.
Montana Theatre owners opposed the growing move for statewide adoption of Daylight Saving Time. The group claimed the change would create a financial hardship of an alarming nature for their businesses.
Admiral Ulysses S. Grant Sharp Jr. was named Commander in Chief of the United States Pacific Command. Admiral Sharp was born in Chinook, Montana.
Major General Richard C. Kendall was chosen as head of the Montana Draft Board. He succeeded the late General Spencer H. Mitchell. Kendall, Commander of the Montana National Guard, would continue to serve as Adjutant General, and State Civil Defense Director.
An early morning fire destroyed the Community Creamery in Helena. At one point an exploding ammonia tank knocked several firemen out the front door. Helena Fire Chief Bob Richeson, a 24 year veteran of the department, said it was the toughest fire he had ever fought.
In recognition of Leap Year, the Marlow Theatre featured a "Get Your Man" Leap Year Show. The theatre gave girls free man-hunting licenses, and free wedding rings. All the boys got free escape permits. On the screen that evening, Gary Cooper and Audrey Hepburn starred in "Love In The Afternoon".
In Mount Sterling, Kentucky, patrolman George McClure was writing a ticket for a car parked overtime, when he noticed a sign on the windshield that said, "Men working inside building." McClure replaced the sign with a ticket, and added the PS..."Policeman working outside the building."
Here at the Station.........
A killer handcuffed to Marshal Dillon planned to knock the lawman unconscious and convince a couple of strangers that he was the marshal on "Gunsmoke".
On "Petticoat Junction", Betty Jo had her first crush, and learned the object of her affection was more interested in tinkering with cars than he was in romance.
A French beauty named Babette was a stow away on the PT-73 on "McHale's Navy".
Gene Autry, Wild Bill Elliott and Hopalong Cassidy made up an Old Time Cowboy panel on the "Steve Allen Show".
An Indian chief set out to prove that Indian criminal cases could be settled by law, rather than through payoffs to corrupt officials on "Temple Houston".
The Beatles returned for the third week in a row on "Ed Sullivan". Their performance, taped earlier in New York, included "Twist And Shout", "Please Please Me", and "I Want To Hold Your Hand". By the time the show aired the Beatles were back in England.
Viewers witnessed the most disastrous event in the world of finance since the stock market crash when "Lucy" got a job at a bank.
Ed rebelled when Wilbur and Carol decided to install a swimming pool in the middle of his pasture on "Mr. Ed".
|Did You Know?|
| Italy's famous tourist attraction, the Leaning Tower of Pisa was originally designed to be a free standing bell tower for Pisa Cathedral. Construction began in 1173, 840 years ago.
The towers three meter base was set in weak, unstable soil, and by the time work started on the third floor, the structure began to lean.
The upper floors were built with one side taller than the other in an effort to correct the problem.
A series of wars interrupted construction, and it took almost 2 centuries to complete the tower.
Through the years, attempts to correct the lean were unsuccessful. Some of those efforts actually made the lean worse.
Modern methods applied between 1990 and 2002 appear to have stabilized the landmark. Experts now believe the tower will remain standing for at least another 200 years.
At the last eight days in February 50 years ago.
Soviet Runaway Wants Asylum
The United States was prepared to grant political asylum to Yuri I. Nosenko, a Soviet Secret Police official who had defected to this country.
In an interview conducted in Washington, the man told an official of the Soviet Embassy that he did not want to go back to Russia.
The 36 year old KGB agent, who defected while in Geneva, was also interviewed by an official of the Swiss Embassy. The Russians had asked the Swiss police to locate Nosenko after he disappeared.
Nosenko's interviews, conducted separately, each lasted less than an hour.
In both interviews the Soviet runaway reconfirmed his desire to stay in America.
The U. S. State Department dispatched a note to the Soviet Embassy. In it they described the circumstances under which Nosenko presented himself to American officials and asked for asylum.
In Moscow, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko told U. S. Ambassador Foy D. Kohler that the United States was guilty of improper behavior in the case, but he would not elaborate.
Although it was not known publicly at the time, U. S. officials were extremely interested in Nosenko. As a Lieutenant Colonel in the Soviet Secret Police and Intelligence Agency, he had reviewed the files of Lee Harvey Oswald, when the accused assassin of President Kennedy lived in the Soviet Union.
Ruby Trial Begins
The murder trial of Jack Ruby, got underway in Dallas.
Ruby's attorneys Melvin Belli and Joe Tonahill opened the trial with a motion for a directed verdict of acquittal, and District Judge Joe B. Brown promptly overruled it. The attorneys based their request on the result on a neurological examination of their client. They claimed Jack Ruby suffered from brain damage.
In response, Judge Brown said that was a matter for the jury to decide.
Ruby was charged with murder with malice in the shooting death of Lee Harvey Oswald, the man accused of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
The courtroom was filled to capacity for the opening day of the trial.
A panel of 900 jury candidates, nearly double the normal number, was called. From that group they hoped to find 12 jurors unprejudiced enough to serve.
By day four of the trial it was clear that selecting a jury would not be easy.
Of the 32 candidates questioned, only one juror had been accepted.
Based on his belief that an impartial jury could not be assembled in Dallas, attorney Belli renewed his earlier motion that the trial be moved to another Texas city.
When the change of venue was denied, Belli said, "You can't find a city with finer men of integrity than in Dallas. They are men of family, men of God, men of the church. They are willing to do their civic duty. But, so much has happened here that it is difficult for such men to do this civil duty conscientiously."
Judge Brown overruled the motion.
Jury selection was expected to take two to three weeks.
Renne Runs For Governor Dr. Roland R. Renne announced his plans to run for Governor on the Democratic ticket.
The announcement came as no surprise, as there had been a great deal of speculation that the recently resigned President of Montana State College would enter the political arena.
A crowd of friends and supporters from both parties cheered when the long expected announcement was made in the MSC Student Union Building in Bozeman. The declaration touched off a spirited demonstration that lasted about 15 minutes.
Renne outlined what he considered to be the State's major needs. He called for a better balanced tax structure, sound, and aggressive development of Montana's vast resources, quality schools at all levels, and improvement of the structural organization and efficiency of state government.
Renne was considered to be the strongest candidate in the Democratic primary. He would likely be challenging Governor Tim Babcock in November.
In response to Renne's announcement, Governor Babcock came out swinging. "I wonder what faction of the Democratic party made up his mind for him?". Babcock asked.
Referring to Renne's leave of absence from his MSC duties to take a federal post as Assistant Secretary of Agriculture in December of 1962, Babcock quipped, "The people have a right to ask if he becomes governor whether he will restrain himself from asking for another leave of absence to go to Washington for another federal job before his term expires."
From all indications, it looked like the race for Governor in 1964 would be a spirited, interesting contest.
Murray Rejects Third Party Petition
Secretary of State Frank Murray refused to accept the nominating petition of third party gubernatorial hopeful, Francis F. Leonhard of Great Falls.
The petition identified Leonhard as a candidate of the American Party for Progress.
Murray said the petition was rejected because it was not from a candidate of either the Democratic or Republican party, the only parties qualified under Montana law in the most recent general election.
When his petition was turned down, Leonhard asked his attorney, Anthony F. Keast. to start legal action to force Murray to accept the petition.
Keast, a former Missoula County Attorney, said in his opinion neither the constitution, nor any legislative statute prohibited a man from running in the primary, regardless of what party affiliation he may have. He said he would ask the Montana Supreme Court to issue a writ that would either require the Secretary of State to accept his client's petition, or offer an explanation as to why it should not be accepted.
If the high court did not agree with his interpretation of the law, Keast said he would challenge their decision.
Murray said if an action was filed, the state's defense would be turned over to the Attorney General's office.
Also in the News.........
The North Vietnamese Air Force scored its first aerial victory against American aircraft when they shot down a C-123 transport plane.
Dallas police reported that ballistic tests indicated the mail order rifle believed to have killed President Kennedy was also used in an unsuccessful attack on Major General Edwin A. Walker.
President Johnson appointed retired St. Louis Cardinal Stan "The Man" Musial to head the government's physical fitness program.
Not a single juvenile crime was reported in New York City the night of the Beatles first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. Crime rates plummeted all across the nation that evening.
Responding to the high demand for Beatle memorabilia in the United States, the United Kingdom flew in 24,000 rolls of Beatle wallpaper, and a half ton of Beatle wigs.
The Helena Chamber of Commerce went on record as favoring Daylight Saving Time in the Capital City.
Governor Babcock and movie star Gary Cooper shared a similar outlook on their work.
A New York Journal reporter recalled a time when Cooper was brought in for an interview. Since Cooper had some newspaper experience (with the Helena Independent) he was asked to sit at a typewriter.
The room soon filled with employees who were eager to get a glimpse of the famous Montanan. Somewhat shy, and a little embarrassed, Cooper doodled at the keyboard.
When Cooper left, the reporter took the sheet of paper from the typewriter. On it the star had typed "Isn't this a heck of a way to make a living?"
When told the story, Governor Babcock pointed out a similarity. He said, "There are times, sitting in my office, I have voiced the same sentiment, only in stronger terms."
Betty Babcock, wife of Governor Tim Babcock, was named an honorary member of the Montana Press Women. The honor was given to Mrs. Babcock in recognition of her work on the recently published "First Ladies' Cook Book".
Earlier in the Month President Johnson asked Congress to address the issue of deceptive packaging as part of his consumer protection plan. It may have just been a coincidence, but Dennison's began advertising that each can of their Chili Con Carne with Beans contained 106 chunks of oven braised beef. (We're still waiting for Campbell's and Van Camps to tell us how much pork they put in each can of pork and beans.)
Here at the Station.........
Mayberry was proclaimed a major disaster area when Sheriff Andy and Deputy Barney learned that the town's habitual drunk had acquired an automobile on "Andy Griffith".
Phil set off a chain reaction when he tried to fix a parking ticket, and ended up fixing his own wagon instead on the "Phil Silvers Show".
On "Petticoat Junction", when an art dealer bought one of Uncle Joe's paintings for its valuable frame, Uncle Joe mistakenly thought he was on his way to artistic fame.
On "Gunsmoke", Festus faced the prospect of marriage, when his pretty cousin traveled all the way to Texas by mule to make good the pact their fathers made on the day she was born.
The polio vaccine came in three doses. So did the Beatles. America got its second dose of Beatlemania when the British group appeared for the second straight week on the "Ed Sullivan Show". The songs they performed were "She Loves You", "All My Loving", "This Boy", I Saw Her Standing There", "From Me To You", and "I Want To Hold Your Hand".
Maude Frickert celebrated her 100th birthday with her boyfriend on "Jonathan Winters Wild Winters Night".
Professor Le Blanc, the man who gave Jack Benny his first violin lesson, was dismayed to learn the musical miser had not improved. The frustrated Frenchman returned to try again on "Jack Benny".
Captain Binghamton and Ensign Parker became unwilling passengers on a Japanese plane bound for Tokyo on "McHale's Navy".
|Did You Know?|
| The Four Georgians discovered gold at Last Chance Gulch in 1864, and from that discovery, Helena, Montana was founded.
The four prospectors were John Cowan, D. J. Miller, John Crab and Reginald (Robert) Stanley.
Only one of the group was actually from Georgia? Cowen came from Acworth, Georgia. Miller was from Alabama, Crab came from Iowa, and Stanley was from England. It is believed they were called the Four Georgians, not because of where they were from, but because they practiced what was known as the Georgia method of placer mining.
At the third week in February 50 years ago.
On Friday, February 7, 1964 Pan Am Flight 101 from London landed at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport.
On board that flight were four young men whose arrival would change the music world forever. Whether we were ready or not, the Beatles had arrived in America, and things would never be the same.
As the lads, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr stepped off the plane, they were greeted by some 3,000 screaming teen agers. Most were playing hooky from school to get a glimpse of the British rock stars whose song, "I Want To Hold Your Hand" had reached the #1 position on the Billboard Charts earlier in the week.
Following an impromptu news conference, the rock stars with the bowl shaped hairdos that flopped over their eyes sheepdog style, were pelted with jelly beans and candy kisses tossed by their adoring fans. From the airport four limos (one for each) took them to Manhattan's Plaza Hotel.
Sunday night a record setting 73 million viewers tuned in to watch the Beatles American television debut on The Ed Sullivan Show.
The network received over 50,000 requests for seats for the show originating in CBS's Studio 50. That studio could only accommodate an audience of 700.
With his usual flair, Sullivan introduced the British Rock 'n Rollers with haystack hairdos.
The Beatles led off with "All My Lovin'". The next song was a Paul McCartney solo, "Till There Was You". During that number the cameras zoomed in for individual shots of each Beatle, showing his name on the screen. Beneath John Lennon's name was the added notation "Sorry girls, he's married". Their third song was "She Loves You".
The group finished the live performance later in the show with "I Saw Her Standing There", and their #1 hit, "I Want To Hold Your Hand".
Concerned that the enthusiastic shrieking fans might steal attention from the other acts on the show that evening, Ed Sullivan admonished the audience with the warning "If you don't keep quiet, I'm going to send for a barber."
Two days after the Ed Sullivan debut, Beatlemania erupted in the nation's capital when the group played to a capacity crowd at the Washington Coliseum.
The next day the Beatles returned to New York and appeared twice in the same day at Carnegie Hall. Both Carnegie Hall concerts were sold out. Front row seats went for a premium price. They cost the lucky teens who got them $5.50 each.
Later in the week the mop haired lads traveled to Miami Beach, Florida with Ed Sullivan, for a live broadcast of the Ed Sullivan Show from the Deauville Hotel.
They appeared for an unprecedented third week in a row on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 23rd. During that performance the Beatles sang "Twist And Shout", "Please Please Me", and "I Want To Hold Your Hand". That appearance was not live. They recorded it earlier while in New York.
The four mop topped entertainers returned to England, leaving behind thousands of screaming fans, plenty of great memories, and a musical legacy that will last forever - "Yeah Yeah Yeah".
Civil Rights and Health Care Legislation
In a 290 to 130 roll call vote, the House approved the most sweeping civil rights legislation in history.
President Johnson hailed the action as "an historic step forward for the cause of dignity in America."
The Civil rights bill would now move on to the Senate where it was expected to face tougher opposition. In that body, the Southerners held the weapon of a filibuster, and hoped to weaken the legislation by forcing a compromise.
In a prepared statement, President Johnson paid tribute to the bipartisan nature of the triumph in the House, declaring the effort represented the culmination of months of hard work by men of good will in both parties, He expressed hope that the same spirit of nonpartisanship would prevail in the Senate.
On the topic of Medicare, President Johnson told Congress that Americans need, want and can afford "the best of health."
He outlined his plan of medical care for the aged.
The first item on his lengthy health care agenda was hospital insurance for the elderly, a controversial program that had been before Congress for at least four years.
Johnson recommended an insurance program that would be financed in part by increasing the amount of annual earnings subject to Social Security taxes from $4,800 to $5,200. In addition to raising the Social Security tax base, the President asked Congress to raise the Social Security tax rate by one and a quarter percent for both workers, and their employers. He said by doing so the medical insurance program would be soundly funded.
Under his plan, Johnson said insurance benefits should be available to everyone who reaches the age of 65. The cost of insurance for those not covered by Social Security would be paid for out of appropriations.
Benefit payments would cover the cost of services customarily furnished in semiprivate accommodations in a hospital, but not the cost of services of personal physicians.
He said the plan would in no way hinder a patient's freedom to choose his doctor, hospital or nurse.
His health care plan also called for the creation of a Commission on Heart Disease, Cancer and Strokes. That commission would gain knowledge, and develop ways to reduce the hazards of those diseases.
Johnson's health program also called for a five year extension of the federal program to promote hospital construction, and asked for greater federal help for nursing homes and hospitals that cared for the chronically ill.
Government Accused of Spying
Teamster President James R. Hoffa accused the government of "trying to silence our voice", when a federal judge put off a hearing on charges that the government was spying on the defense team.
Hoffa's lawyer, James Haggerty, told the court earlier that the defense had been forced to hire armed guards to insure privacy from federal agents that he said were spying on Hoffa, his lawyers, and others on trial with him on charges of jury tampering.
Haggerty's request for a hearing was denied by U. S. District Judge Frank Wilson, who said such a hearing should wait until the case went to the jury since it involved possible grounds for a new trial.
During a news conference the stocky union leader displayed documents which he said showed the Justice Department was carrying on a regular underground movement against his defense.
Hoffa showed newsmen pictures which he said showed FBI agents in cars outside his hotel, the restaurants where he ate, and in the lobby of the hotel he was staying at.
"We are being followed from the time we get up until the time we go to bed.", he said, adding that they had the names, code numbers, dates and assignments of the agents that were following him.
"These are the Gestapo methods of Bobby Kennedy and Jim Neal." Hoffa said, referring to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and chief prosecutor James Neal.
When advised of the Hoffa's charge, Neal responded by saying "No agent of the government is spying on defendant Hoffa or any other defendant, or defense counsel at the present time. Hoffa is up to his usual antics of trying to divert the attention from the issues on trial. This is just another Hoffa diversionary tactic."
Defense attorneys had subpoenaed Attorney General Kennedy and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to testify in the trial, but Judge Wilson said the two officials need not respond pending further order of the court.
Near Riot in Browning
Mothers of hungry Indian children engaged in what was described as a near riot in Browning. The melee started when the women were informed there was no money available for school lunches
The reason for the lack of money was the slow action of Congress on Public Law 874, which provided funds to school districts with children whose families lived or worked on federal property such as military bases and Indian reservations.
As the result of insufficient federal funds for the school lunch program, the Browning public school asked the Blackfeet Tribal Council to support the program until federal funds became available.
The Council made $2,000 available for lunch needs, but that money eventually ran out.
When the tribe fell behind in its payments to the school, a letter was sent to parents notifying them that the money involved was too much for the school to cover, and that students participating in the school lunch program would have to purchase lunch tickets at a cost of 25 cents a day.
For many of the needy children, the hot lunch at school provided the principal nourishment for the 24 hour period,
Things came to a head when it was learned that while the poor people were begging for money to feed their children, six members of the Tribal Council were leaving Browning for Washington, D. C. to place a wreath on the grave of the late President Kennedy.
The mothers were furious that the Council had no money to pay for hot lunches, but were spending that money on themselves, and trying to forget their debt. Council members were using the money for politics while their people were suffering.
Tempers flared during the protest, but tribal policemen were able to prevent the disturbance breaking out into a full scale riot.
Congress eventually acted on Public Law 874, and funding was made available
The incident took place in the fall, but state officials were not aware of the problem at the time. They first learned of it when they received a copy of the December Tribal Council minutes. That document made reference to the confrontation.
Also in the News.........
Governor Tim Babcock announced his intention to run for Governor. Babcock became Montana's Chief Executive in January of 1962 when Governor Donald G. Nutter was killed in a plane crash.
Dr. Roland R. Renne resigned as President of Montana State College. His resignation increased speculation that he would be seeking the Democratic Gubernatorial nomination.
Dr. Leon H. Johnson was named President of Montana State College.
East German tobogganist Ute Gaehler slipped out of her billet in Olympic Village, and defected to West Germany. (East and West Germany entered a combined team.) Thirteen tourists from Communist East European countries also took advantage of the opportunity to defect while attending the Olympics.
The jury trying Byron de la Beckwith for the murder of civil rights leader Medgar Evers was discharged when it couldn't reach a verdict. The defendant was sent back to jail awaiting a new trial.
The 1964 Winter Olympics came to a close in Innsbruck, Austria. U. S. athletes brought home six medals, one gold, two silver and three bronze.
Dutch Princess Irene denounced her right to the Dutch throne. She chose to live in exile rather than give up her marriage to Spanish Prince Don Carlos de Borbon.
Ford Motor Company announced it would soon introduce a new spots type car. The four passenger vehicle, dubbed the "poor man's Thunderbird", will sell in the $3,000 range. It will be known as the Mustang.
Helena's new Dairy Queen on the corner of Prospect and Sanders opened on Valentine's Day. They invited everyone to stop in for free ice cream.
Buffalo coats were coming back, and J. M. McDonald's had them. Helena women could be right in style for the Centennial Celebration in a snappy hip length jacket for $450, or a luxurious three quarter length Buffalo fur coat for $575.
Here at the Station.........
Beatlemania hit Helena in a big way when our viewers tuned in to the "Ed Sullivan Show".
When a pretty jewel thief was arrested in Mayberry, her flirting ways turned Sheriff Andy and Deputy Fife into putty on "Andy Griffith".
David Janssen found his life in danger when he learned the secret of a champion Irish Setter on "The Fugitive".
A government scientist was accused of espionage when he refused to divulge the secrets of a super weapon he invented on "Defenders".
A blow on the head caused Uncle Martin to forget he was a Martian on "My Favorite Martian".
Frank Sinatra was too skinny, and Bing Crosby had too much "bu bu ba boo". Those were a few of the reasons Jack gave for passing Sinatra and Crosby up, and hiring Irish Tenor Dennis Day as his show's singer on "Jack Benny". (For trivia buffs - Dennis Day's real name was Owen Patrick Eugene McNulty.)
Some very long handshakes, typists with fly-away rollers, and a car with an unpredictable flat tire provided plenty of laughs on "Candid Camera".
|Did You Know?|
| When the Beatles arrived in America, their hit "I Want To Hold Your Hand" was already #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. It held the #1 position for 7 weeks before relinquishing the top spot to another Beatle hit, "She Loves You". Two weeks later the Beatles "Can't Buy Me Love" climbed to the top..
Their 14 week dominance of the chart ended when Louis Armstrong's "Hello Dolly" reached #1.
Three other Beatles songs reached #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 that year. They were, "Love Me Do"..."A Hard Day's Night"... and "I Feel Fine".
At the second week in February 50 years ago.
Castro Shuts Off Guantanamo Water
The Castro government notified the U. S. that it was cutting off the water supply to Guantanamo Naval Base. The cutoff was to remain in effect until the United States released 36 Cuban fishermen who were being held in this country on charges of illegally fishing in Florida waters.
U. S. officials said shutting off the flow of fresh water to Guantanamo had been expected sooner or later, and plans were in place to keep the base supplied with water indefinitely.
Castro originally planned to shut the water off completely, but he changed his mind and later announced that he had no desire to harm civilians, including women and children, and would therefore supply the base with water for their needs for one hour each day.
In Washington, President Johnson and his advisers were exploring the possibility that the Cuban government might have arranged the crisis by deliberately sending the fishing vessels into U. S. waters. The captains of the boats radioed Havana, stating they were inside American waters just before their vessels were intercepted.
In line with that, the Citizens Committee for a Free Cuba quoted a defector from the trawler crews as saying "All of us knew we were going to fish in Florida waters. Anyone who says anything else is lying."
Some questioned whether the arrest of the fishermen was really the reason for Havana's action. There was speculation that Castro might have been using it as an excuse to set the stage for new demands that the United States abandon its base on his island.
Daring Viet Cong Raid
Two Communist guerillas were killed, and one U. S. officer was wounded in a nighttime raid on an American military complex.
It was the first time in the history of the Viet Nam war that a Viet Cong assassination squad had attempted such a daring attack on an American installation.
The attack occurred in the mountain city of Kontum, 260 miles north of Saigon.
Under cover of darkness, four guerillas cut their way through a barbed wire fence that surrounded the eight building compound.
While one stood guard at the fence, three others ran toward a building that housed American officers.
A sentry spotted the intruders and opened fire with his rifle, but the trio made it into the officer's billet, where each tossed a grenade. One grenade went off, wounding a U. S. officer. The explosion set the building on fire.
As the terrorists raced back to the fence, the sentry opened fire again, this time killing two of them. A .45 caliber pistol and a French submachine gun were taken from their bodies.
The nine Vietnamese civil guards assigned to guard the complex were absent without leave at the time of the raid. That prompted an investigation to determine if they were involved in the incident.
The American sentry was on duty because the American's, taking no chances, had wisely posted their own security perimeter.
Johnson Promotes Consumer Protection
President Johnson asked Congress for new laws for the protection of consumers.
In a special message on consumer interests, the President endorsed nine specific pieces of legislation.
He asked for a new law that would require lenders to disclose in advance the total amount of interest to be paid, and the annual rate of interest on installment purchases.
Johnson recommended legislation that would address the issue of deceptive packaging, in order to enable the consumer to make a rational choice among competing package products.
The most novel idea in his message was suggesting the use of trained government workers to help low income families learn more about budgeting, and how to get the most for their money. That request was not put forward in the form of legislation. Instead, Johnson asked all federal agencies interested in consumer education to explore the possibility of cities and towns adopting the Agricultural Extension Service concept that was so successful in rural areas.
He also said the government would try to promote consumer education in schools, and encourage more young people to seek instruction in the fundamentals of budgeting, buying and borrowing.
Ranger 6 Lands On The Moon
Anticipation was running high as the Ranger 6 spacecraft neared its destination.
The craft completed its difficult approach maneuver without fault, and was headed for its planned crash landing on the moon.
Cameras on board Ranger 6 were designed to send back spectacular pictures of the lunar landscape during the ten minute time span before impact.
At 1:09 a.m., the command was given to turn the cameras on. Ranger radioed back that the order had been received.
Engineers and newsmen at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory listened to the tone of Ranger's radio signal as the craft sped at 5,000 miles per hour toward its target, the Sea of Tranquility.
Excitement was building with each tone they heard.
Then, when the five minute warm up period for the cameras ended, the project engineer gave the first indication that all was not well. Over the loudspeaker he announced, "There is no indication of full video power".
The countdown continued.
"Seven minutes to impact-still no video."
"Six minutes to impact-still waiting for video power."
Rangers "heartbeat" sounds continued for the next several minutes. At one minute to impact there was still no indication of full power.
Dissapointment filled the room as they heard the final count..."Five seconds - four - three - two - one - Impact."
Ranger's "heartbeat" went silent. It was on the moon.
Then came the words no one wanted to hear. The project engineer announced, "No video."
The unsuccessful mission of Ranger 6 was the sixth straight failure in the Ranger program, a series of flights designed to gather the information needed for manned U. S. landings on the moon later in the decade.
Ranger 7 would be launched in July.
Also in the News.........
Pan Am Yankee Clipper flight 101from London Heathrow landed in New York. Among the passengers were four young men from Liverpool. As they stepped off the plane, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were greeted by 3,000 screaming fans, and the phenomena known as "Beatlemania" began.
The Beatles "I Want To Hold Your Hand" reached #1 on the charts. It stayed in the #1 position for seven weeks.
Paris and London agreed to build a railroad tunnel under the English Channel.
General Motors unveiled two new station wagons, the Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser and the Buick Sport Wagon.
An order issued by the Veterans Administration stopped the free distribution of cigarettes and other tobacco products in its 168 hospitals nationwide.
The Interstate Commerce Commission granted the Milwaukee Railroad permission to discontinue passenger train service in Montana. Their trains had been covering the 855 mile run from Deer Lodge to Aberdeen, South Dakota.
Three Explorer Scouts from Twin Bridges, John Hopper, David Lancaster and Patrick Seyler were recommended for scouting's Medal of Merit. The three saved the life of a Twin Bridges man who was engulfed in flames in the cab of his pickup.
Butte's Judy Morstein finished 15th in the Women's 1,500 meter speed skating event at the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria. Butte's other Olympian, Sylvia White finished 21st in the Women's 3,000 meter event. They didn't bring any medals back to the Mining City, but they no doubt returned home with a lot of great memories. (Olympian Judy Morstein later became Judy Martz - Montana's 22nd Governor.)
Dedication services were held for the new Plymouth Congregational Church at South Oakes and Winne in Helena.
Need a new truck? You could lease a new '64 Ford pickup for $59 a month at Capital Ford.
In Tallahassee, Florida a nine year old boy had been begging for months to go hunting with his father. When the big day arrived, the Dad shot down a duck. The bird was only wounded, and as the man was about to kill it, his son snatched it up. "It's hurt," the lad said. "Don't kill it. I want to take it home." The father next tried to shoot a turkey, but the boy objected, because the noise would scare his duck. The hunting trip ended at a veterinarian's office where the boy received instructions on how to nurse his duck back to health.
Here at The Station.........
ABC offered a full week of Olympics. Events covered included ski jumping, downhill skiing, bobsledding, figure skating, cross country skiing, tobogganing, ice hockey, and speed skating. The network aired an hour of programming each evening featuring the day's highlights. Jim McKay, Curt Gowdy, and Jim Simpson were the hosts. The programs were produced on the spot in Innsbruck, fed electronically to an ABC unit in Frankfurt, flown to New York by jet, and in many cases, the highlights were aired that same evening.
Note: This year NBC TV will offer 185 hours of coverage of the XXII Olympic Games from Sochi, Russia. Primetime coverage begins on February 6th, and the Opening Ceremony is February 7th.
Bret agreed to help a man break up his daughter's romance with an unsuitable young man on "Maverick".
A group of future space pilots were given a survival lesson at the bottom of the ocean on "Sea Hunt".
Temple engaged the assistance of a horse thief to help him outwit a card shark on "Temple Houston".
When sun spots rendered Uncle Martin powerless and invisible, Tim was suspected of murdering him to collect his insurance on "My Favorite Martian".
The life of Wendell Willkie was the subject of this week's episode of "Biography".
On "Rawhide", an orphanage operator found some of Gil Favors herd after they were scattered by a storm. He thought they were strays, so he sold them.
What began as a gossip column item, blossomed into an intriguing mystery on "Peter Gunn".
|Did You Know?|
| Montana cowboy J. Robert Atkinson lost his eyesight as the result of a gun accident when he was 25 years old. Five years later, Atkinson founded the Braille Institute of America.
He invented the Atkinson Braille typewriter, and developed a method of printing braille on both sides of a page.
Atkinson translated both the Bible and the dictionary into braille.
A statue honoring Atkinson was erected in Cascade, Montana. It depicts him in cowboy clothing, with his arms raised to the Creator. Beside him is his horse Sandy.
The plaque on the statue bears the inscription, "Montana cowboy, who, deprived of his sight, founded the Braille Institute of America and with God-given vision brought light to the blind of the world."
At the first week in February 50 years ago.
|For a fascinating look at Helena's past visit Kennon Baird's Website|
|Helena As She Was
This feature is intended to be an entertaining look at our world in years gone by. It is in no way intended to be biased, nor are comments intended to offend anyone. While we encourage viewer comment, we do reserve the right to condense, edit or omit them should we feel such action is necessary.