(An Eisenhower Press Conference - cheerfully referred to as Old Bubblehead)
I'm trying to do the math here. The tape says this is Press Conference Number 68. It's from May 11, 1955 - Eisenhower has been in office since January 1953. So as best as I can round it out, that's about one Press Conference every two weeks. I've spoken with several people who were with the White House Press Corps at the time and they honestly did refer to Eisenhower as "Old Bubblehead" - I'm not making it up.
I wonder if he was guilty of being overexposed?
At any rate - two subjects were covered:
First was The Big 4 Summit back when only four countries were considered worth getting together. Times have changed.
Pres. Eisenhower: “I would think the most important thing to possibly be done at such a meeting would be to define the lines or directions in which we commonly would want our Foreign Ministers to work to see if there’s any opportunity to relieve the tensions in the world. And beyond that, I don’t think you can possibly say what the subjects would be. Certainly there would be no agenda except in the most generalized form, to talk about a general group of subjects . No agenda in the sense that Foreign Ministers would normally meet.”
A sort of summit to sit around and talk about what they're going to sit around and talk about.
The other important topic in this press conference was the newly introduced Polio Vaccine which had been temporarily held up by reports of Polio outbreaks among people who got the vaccine.
1955 was the year the Salk Polio Vaccine was made public. People don't talk about Polio that much anymore, as it has been all but eradicated. But in the 1950s it was scary, especially if you were a kid.
The one thing that struck me was the civility of the press - not much in the way of screaming. Fancy that.