University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame

America - Europe

A Transatlantic Diary 1961 - 1989

Klaus Lanzinger

Section 7: End of August, 1976 - December 31, 1979

Innsbruck, [End of August], 1976

The First Days Back in Austria Again

The beauty of the landscape that one enjoys on a train ride from Salzburg via Zell am See to Innsbruck is much more impressive than I remembered. The beauty of the Alps and the cultural wealth of the country surprise one time and again when one returns to Austria after a longer period of absence. But the drawbacks of living in Europe are felt the moment one starts driving a car. The Autobahn between Salzburg and Munich and from Munich to Stuttgart is hopelessly congested, stalled for hours in a traffic jam. At the border crossings, there are mile-long backups. The access to cities is still a nuisance, for one drives continuously over torn up road constructions. Furthermore, it is nearly impossible to find a place to park the car. On the other hand, the recently opened pedestrian lanes in the inner cities are pleasant. They are charming and preserve the old, historical character. This is rarely to be found in America.

Innsbruck, Tuesday/Wednesday, November 2/3, 1976

The Night of the Election

From 11 p.m. to 9 a.m., Europeans have followed in suspense the outcome of the American presidential election. Via satellite and by the cooperation between the American and the European broadcasting systems, people here can follow live the election in America. The neck-and-neck race between Carter and Ford makes this election the more suspenseful. Europeans are more inclined to wish that Gerald Ford remained President and that Kissinger’s foreign policy would be continued. One is accustomed to it, while Jimmy Carter is still unknown. Carter’s statement that America would not intervene if Soviet troops invaded Yugoslavia shocked the Europeans. The great interest in Europe in the American presidential election may be explained by the fact that one is witnessing an event, which can have a decisive influence on Europe’s destiny. Whatever the outcome, the American presidential election is a matter of worldwide political significance. It is undisputedly accepted in Europe that the President of the United States takes on the leadership role of the free West.

In the early morning hours it has become increasingly clear that Jimmy Carter has won this election. The Deep South voted solidly, the industrial North, especially the black population, with a large majority for Carter.

November 4, 1976

According to the tabulation in today’s edition of the International Herald Tribune Carter won 51% vs. Ford 48% of the nearly 80 million ballots cast. 272 electoral votes go to Carter, 235 to Ford. The Democrats also won big in the Senate and the House. The new Senate is made up of 62 Democrats and 38 Republicans; in the House the Democrats now have 288, the Republicans 142 seats.

Newly elected to the Senate are S.I. Hayakawa, R-California; Howard M. Metzenbaum, D-­Ohio; Daniel P. Moynihan, D-New York; and Richard G. Lugar, R-Indiana.

Jimmy Carter is the first politician from the South, who has been elected U.S. President since the time before the Civil War.

Innsbruck, November 7, 1976

Like an Unreal Shadow Play

Returning from America, life here appears like an unreal shadow play. One cannot separate from the life in Europe, yet neither can one be fully part of it anymore.

Innsbruck, November 28, 1976

The Entertainment Industry

The popular entertainment industry here is more and more fed by American models. This applies to jazz, rock, country music, thrillers and western films, and to an increasing extent to shows on television. Unfortunately, often third-rate American productions are shown or imitated.

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