(John McCormack - rumored to have thrown up and fainted when told he might be President in 1963)
The opening of the 2nd session of the 87th Congress - January 10, 1962. A pretty busy year. Former speaker of the House Sam Rayburn had suddennly died, leaving the seat open. John McCormack was voted to succeed him. McCormack had the dubious distinction of informing the House on November 22, 1963 that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. When told there was a rumor Vice-president Lyndon Johnson may also have been assassinated - the thought he may be next in line as President was a bit too much.
In this broadcast, Senators Eugene McCarthy and Leverett Saltonstall are interviewed to discuss upcoming Legislation. Eugene McCarthy was to become a Presidential candidate in 1968 and 1972 and was an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War. Here he talks about the proposed Medicare Bill - one which didn't pass during this congress, but did eventually pass in 1965.
Eugene McCarthy: “ I do expect that we will have a good fight on the Medical Aid question. This would be drawn I suppose, quite clearly on party lines. In my judgment we can pass a bill which is somehow tied to Social Security, which is the kind of bill I think we ought to pass in the Senate. I’m not sure as to what the response will be in the house, but I do think this is a proposition which the Democratic party and certainly the President are both firmly committed and that we should make a total kind of political fight on this one.”
I am always amazed, listening to these old broadcasts, how civilized two people from opposite sides of the aisle could be towards each other.