(Third in a series.)
July 8, 1974, is a Monday. The Supreme Court hears arguments in United States v. Nixon, regarding whether the president must comply with an order by U.S. District Judge John Sirica to turn over the actual tapes of certain subpoenaed White House conversations and not merely transcripts. (On July 22, the Court will rule against Nixon 8-0, stating that the president does not have absolute and unqualified executive privilege in all cases. The ruling will lead to the eventual release of the previously unknown “smoking gun” tape. That tape will prove Nixon’s complicity in the Watergate coverup and lead to his resignation announcement one month from today.) The current edition of Time features a cover story about Watergate and the press, discussing whether reporters are covering the president fairly. Elsewhere in the magazine, it is reported that “the fragile facade of impartiality” in the House Judiciary Committee was frayed as the majority Democrats set a date of July 15 to begin the process of debating and voting on articles of impeachment. Newsweek‘s cover story is about the Nixon/Brezhnev summit that concluded the previous week in Frankfurt, West Germany. The new vice president, Gerald Ford, is on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the headline “My View of Sport.” Swimmer Mark Spitz and his wife, Suzy, are on the cover of People. Shortstop Jim Mason of the New York Yankees hits four doubles, tying a major league record, in a 12-5 win over Texas. National elections are held in Canada, resulting in a third term for Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. California’s Zodiac Killer sends his last cryptic letter to a newspaper, this one to the San Francisco Chronicle. The 1000th episode of Hollywood Squares will air this week on NBC, featuring Vincent Price, Rose Marie, John Davidson, Kent McCord, Paul Lynde (in the center square), Sandy Duncan, Charley Weaver, Ruta Lee, and George Gobel. Celebrity guests on The $10,000 Pyramid this week are Lynn Redgrave and Leonard Nimoy. Uncle Duke, based on Hunter S. Thompson, makes his first appearance in Doonesbury. An 18-year-old hostess at Disneyland, Deborah Stone, is accidentally crushed by a carousel, becoming the first Disneyland employee to die on the job. The Chicago home of Ida B. Wells-Barnett, a journalist and civil rights advocate who had died in 1931, is declared a National Historic Landmark. Sixty-eight year old Elizabeth Ennis of Hempstead, Long Island, is slammed against a fence and bitten by an elephant at a wildlife park in New Jersey.
Van Morrison plays Frankfurt. Shirley Bassey performs in Tokyo, Bob Seger plays Denver, and ZZ Top plays in Central Park. “Rock the Boat” by Hues Corporation tops the new survey at WCOL in Columbus, Ohio; big movers this week include “The Night Chicago Died” by Paper Lace, “Feel Like Makin’ Love” by Roberta Flack, and “Hang on in There Baby” by Johnny Bristol, up 18 spots to Number 13. A 14-year-old radio geek in Wisconsin likely hears the latter two records several times that day on Chicago’s WCFL, and each time, they make him twitchy in a way familiar to anyone who’s ever been 14.