Washington Scandals

Published: 1974
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Leonid I. Brezhnev (l), general secretary of the Communist party with US Seretary of State Henry Kissinger exchange laughs in the Kremlin 3/25/1974. (In center is Helmut Sonnenfeldt, State Dept. Counsellor). (UPI Photo)

A car in which Mills was a passenger was stopped one night by Washington Police for speeding. While police were investigating the incident, one of the occupants raced out of that car and jumped into the Tidal basin. After the police pulled her out of the water, the woman was identified as burlesque stripper Fanne Fox, a friend of Mills. Mills came out of that affair, scratched, bleeding and with a black eye, but survived the election unscathed. Fanne Fox took advantage of the incident. Her performance fee went up to $3,500 a week. Her first appearance under the new fee was in Boston and Wilbur Mills showed up and took a ball on stage of the club where Fanne had just finished her bumps and grinds. Now, Mills is the very powerful chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and some congressman did not look at his recent ethics with much sympathy. A move was made to strip Mills of some of his control and there was talk of stripping him of the chairmanship. Amidst the furore, Mills entered a hospital complaining that he was too tired to work. As for Fanne Fox, now billed as the Tidal Basin bombshell, she made her debut in a New York City burlesque house, complained of a soar foot and gave a very short performance. Some of the customers complained.

Unknown Speaker: Not enough of a two minutes.

Unknown Speaker: It was s fuss, this whole thing is ridiculous.

Unknown Speaker: That was base and choose, she was nude for 12 seconds, and after 12 second there was nothing left.

Unknown Speaker: I thought the show was basically stunk.

Ed Kirtz: And so the Tidal basin Bombshell bombed out. Former Attorney General John Mitchell and Former Commerce Secretary Maurice Stans were both acquitted of charges they had attempted to impede a securities exchange commission investigation of financier Robert Vesco. The charge said Vesco contributed $200,000 to Nixon's campaign for the favor. Some of the President Nixon's former aides were convicted and sentenced to jail terms during 1974, some of their role in the Ellsberg break in. Charles Colson pleaded guilty and received a one to three year sentence and $5,000 fine. John Ehrlichman got a 20 months to five years sentence for conspiring to violate the civil rights of Ellsberg psychiatrist and John Dean, Former White House attorney for Nixon was sentenced to one to three years for his role in the Watergate cover up. After his resignation from the presidency, Nixon remained in the headlines when he was hospitalized for a flare up of Phlebitis in his left leg. After being released from the hospital, his condition worsened and in October Nixon had to have an operation, a blood clotted formed in the former president's leg and if it wasn't removed it could have developed into a lethal condition. Six hours after surgery and Nixon experienced intensive internal bleeding which sent him into shock. Ron Ziggler explained the seriousness of Nixon's condition.

Ron Ziggler: In talking to the doctors and to those who were with the President yesterday afternoon, there is no question about the fact that we almost lost President Nixon yesterday.

Ed Kirtz: Nixon remained on the critical list for a few days, but by the end of the year, he was back in San Clemente recuperating. 1974 was a different year from any other. Certainly it was one that had more than a cheer of gloomy news, the economy, political turmoil, disaster, unemployment, but the year is done and gone with it all the good, the bad, the sorrow, the joy. All that's left are the memories. 1974 in review was a production of audio network of United Press International. This program was produced by Stan Savic. Technical Production and Supervision by Franc Shortino. And this is Ed Kritz.