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Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio
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Published Tuesday, June 05, 2018 @ 12:05 PM EDT
Jun 05 2018

Many have compared 2018 to America's annus horribilis, 1968. I started that year as a 13 year ninth grader and ended it as a 14 year old tenth grader, enjoying the triumph of Apollo 8 and watching episodes of Star Trek during its original run on NBC.

But those months in between...

Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In premiered, North Korea seized the Pueblo, the North Vietnamese launched the Tet Offensive, Walter Cronkite said Vietnam was "mired in stalemate," Robert Kennedy entered the presidential race, Johnson said he wouldn't run, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, Hair opened on Broadway, the Supreme Court ruled that burning a draft card was not an act of free speech protected by the First Amendment, Andy Warhol was shot, RFK was assassinated, the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia (nipping that Prague Spring nonsense in the bud), The Beatles' "Hey Jude" was released, the televised riots outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, CBS' "60 Minutes" debuted, the Boeing 747 was rolled out, the black power salute at the Olympic Games in Mexico City, Nixon was elected president, a Farmington, WV mine explosion killed 78, Elvis had his comeback special, and Apollo 8 orbited the moon.

Lots of other things happened, but these I actually remember, and clearly. Or, more precisely, as a self-absorbed teenager I remember these events because they in turn generated events which affected me personally.

Take Laugh-In. I remember watching the pilot episode with my grandmother on that Monday night in January. It was a big deal, because it meant her missing the last half of Gunsmoke and all of Here's Lucy. To my delight and astonishment, Grandma loved the show and we watched it together for years. I remember being surprised that someone as old as my grandmother would get the jokes. I was also somewhat surprised to have just realized that I am now about the age my grandmother was when Laugh-In first aired.

I remember my grandmother waking me up for summer band camp, crying and yelling "they shot Bobby! God help us!" I did trudge the ten blocks to the high school that morning, but the band director, Jerry Veeck, gave us the option of going home or staying in the band room and listening to the radio. I remember two songs on the charts that week: Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" ("Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you...") and Richard Harris' "MacArthur Park" ("I will take my life into my hands and I will use it; I will win the worship in their eyes, and I will lose it...")

Yet somehow, at the end of the December, I remainded optimistic. I felt, like many, that Apollo 8 had salvaged an otherwise horrific year. And we had somehow survived.

June 2018 feels a lot like June 1968. The current administration fills me with the same sense of dread I had that summer after RFK was killed. And society seems to be regressing, losing some of what we've apparently taken for granted the past half-century.

But at lot can happen in six months. Let's work so that it will happen.


Categories: 1968, 2018, Apollo 8, Hair, Laugh-In, Lyndon B. Johnson, MacArthur Park, Mrs. Robinson, Richard Harris, Richard Nixon, Robert F. Kennedy, Simon and Garfunkel, The Daily KGB Report, Walter Cronkite


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Historical quote of the day
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Published Sunday, November 17, 2013 @ 7:02 AM EST
Nov 17 2013

I'm not a crook.
-Richard M. Nixon (news conference, November 17, 1973


Categories: Quotes of the day, Richard Nixon


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Quotes of the day
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Published Wednesday, January 09, 2013 @ 6:29 AM EST
Jan 09 2013

Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 - April 22, 1994) was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974, when he became the only president to resign the office. Nixon had previously served as a Republican U.S. representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961. (Click for full Wikipedia article.)

Always remember that others may hate you but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.

Defeat doesn't finish a man- quit does. A man is not finished when he's defeated. He's finished when he quits.

Finishing second in the Olympics gets you silver. Finishing second in politics gets you oblivion.

From a personal standpoint, what I would prefer to be remembered for is the example I set for surviving and coming back from adversity.

I don't think that a leader can control to any great extent his destiny. Very seldom can he step in and change the situation if the forces of history are running in another direction.

I reject the cynical view that politics is inevitably, or even usually, a dirty business.

I would have made a good Pope.

I'd like to see people, instead of spending so much time on the ethical problem, get after the problems that really affect the people of this country.

Once you get into this great stream of history, you can't get out.

Politics is like the stock market: it's a bad business for people who can't afford to lose.

Politics would be a helluva good business if it weren't for the goddamned people.

Solutions are not the answer.

Sometimes at the end of the day when I'm smiling and shaking hands, I want to kick them.

The jawbone of an ass is just as dangerous a weapon today as in Samson's time.

The trouble with most conservatives is that those who have brains lack guts and those who have guts lack brains.

Voters quickly forget what a man says.

When the President does it, that means it is not illegal.

You must not give power to a man unless, above everything else, he has character. Character is the most important qualification the President of the United States can have.

-Richard M. Nixon

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I think that Richard Nixon will go down in history as a true folk hero, who struck a vital blow to the whole diseased concept of the revered image and gave the American virtue of irreverence and skepticism back to the people.
-William S. Burroughs

Did you know Richard Nixon is the only president whose formal portrait was painted by a police sketch artist?
-Johnny Carson

You roll back the stones, and you find slithering things. That is the world of Richard Nixon.
-John Kenneth Galbraith

The two-party system has given this country the war of Lyndon Johnson, the Watergate of Nixon and the incompetence of Carter. Saying we should keep the two-party system simply because it is working is like saying the Titanic voyage was a success because a few people survived on life rafts.
-Eugene McCarthy

Richard Nixon would have been better off if I'd beaten him. Then he'd be remembered for the EPA and China instead of Watergate.
-George McGovern

Nixon is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump for a speech on conservation.
-Adlai E. Stevenson II

It is a fitting irony that under Richard Nixon, launder became a dirty word.
-William Zinsser


Categories: Quotes of the day, Richard Nixon


The web edition of KGB Report is published Monday-Thursday, except on holidays. Follow KGB Report and my personal account on Facebook for frequent daily updates.


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