University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame

America - Europe

A Transatlantic Diary 1961 - 1989

Klaus Lanzinger

South Bend, October 6, 1973

Again War in the Middle East

While driving home I turned on the radio in the car, suddenly at 11 a.m. the news broke that war has erupted again in the Middle East. It was immediately clear that these are the fiercest engagements since the Six-Day War in June 1967. Yet for the moment, nobody assumed that this would be a full-out war. The various newscasts from the combat zones reported that Egyptian troops are advancing on the left side of the Suez Canal and Syrian units on the Golan Heights, no doubt that this means total war. The attack was shamelessly launched on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and the highest Jewish holiday. The fronts have soon stiffened; there is heavy fighting on all sides.

South Bend, October 10, 1973

Agnew’s Resignation

Today U.S. Vice President Spiro T. Agnew announced his resignation. In a shortened court trial in Baltimore, Agnew admitted that as Governor of Maryland he had accepted bribes and that he was guilty of tax evasion. Rumors in recent months that Agnew was involved in a bribery affair have thereby been corroborated.

South Bend, October 12, 1973

Choosing a Successor

In a movingly solemn ceremony - a rare event these days in Washington - , President Nixon announced his choice of nominating a candidate to fill the vacant post of Vice President. There was a great deal of guessing about possible candidates to succeed Agnew. But when Nixon mentioned that he has chosen a man who has served 25 years in the House, it was obvious that it could only be Congressman Gerald Ford from Michigan. There was spontaneous applause, for Ford is higly respected by both Parties in Congress. He is seen as a person who can establish a basis of trust between the White House and Congress.

[Gerald R. Ford was born on July 14, 1913 in Omaha, Nebraska, but he grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. By profession a lawyer and politician, he represented the 5th District of Michigan in Congress, 1948-73. He supported Nixon’s foreign policy in the House. Gerald Ford was sworn in as Vice President on December 6, 1973. After Nixon’s resignation, he was U.S. President from August, 1974 to January, 1977.]

South Bend, October 18, 1973

The Sinai Peninsula

The largest battle of war materials since the Second World War is presently raging on the Sinai Peninsula. About 2,000 tanks are doggedly wedged in one another. The Middle East has once again become the drill field, where the latest weaponry of East and West is being tested. This war has to be stopped. The Security Council of the United Nations has urgently called for a cease-fire.

South Bend, October 20, 1973

The Tapes

How was it possible that such a harmless technical aid like a tape, which is generally used in language laboratories for foreign language teaching, could cause a government crisis? President Nixon made the compromise suggestion to give the court a summary of the tapes. After Archibald Cox had declined the suggested compromise as being insufficient, Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson to immediately relieve Cox of his duties. As Richardson had doubts on constitutional grounds to carry out such an order, he resigned as Attorney General. Only Robert Bork as Acting Attorney General was willing to dismiss Cox. The dismissal of the Independent Special Prosecutor caused an uproar of indignation. The Office of the Presidency was thrown into a constitutional crisis the like of which the Republic had never seen before. How will Congress react? Will it come to the feared impeachment proceedings? One wonders what these tapes may contain that Nixon refuses with all the power at his disposal to release them.

South Bend, October 25, 1973

An Unmistakable Hint

Secretary of State Henry Kissinger warned in not to be misunderstood language that there was the danger of a nuclear war if the Soviet Union would carry out its intention to unilaterally deploy troops in the Middle East. By this unmistakable hint, the specter of a nuclear confrontation between the two superpowers was again evoked. The détente, which has been achieved with such great effort, is being tested to the breaking point. To underscore the seriousness of the situation, President Nixon put the American armed forces on global alert. In this most precarious situation, the United Nations not only proved to be a useful but a life saving institution. This should be kept in mind when the United Nations will again become the target of criticism. The resolution by the Security Council to send a troop contingent to keep the cease-fire was the only way out of this dilemma.

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