Skip to comments.'64 copy of LIFE key to Kerry's '60s mindset
Posted on 08/17/2004 12:24:44 AM PDT by kattracks
It was just a chance encounter with a little piece of history.
LIFE Magazine, the Aug. 21, 1964, edition, just waiting to be snatched up at the Boston Public Library book sale.
Ah, the summer of '64! I would have called it an idyllic one - days at the beach (in pre-casino Atlantic City), nights listening to the Philadelphia Orchestra under the stars at Robin Hood Dell. The future filled with possibilities.
The pages of LIFE chronicled the fact that ``The Munsters'' was the TV hit of the year, the widowed Jackie Kennedy was vacationing in Europe and Chesterfields were marketed as ``a mild smoke'' for those who ``just don't like filters.''
But this wasn't one of those happy celeb-covered LIFE Magazines that made it so popular. No, the cover shot was of South Vietnamese General Khanh as he ``eyes the enemy.''
It marked the start of a decade-long war that would tear this nation apart and take the lives of more than 50,000 young Americans. Some of them would be my high school classmates. It was a war that would come back to haunt us even during the 2004 presidential race - as aging former swiftboat crews and captains refight its battles on the presidential stage.
But four decades ago was when it all began. And this is the way LIFE described it:
``Hard against the border of Communist North Vietnam, South Vietnam premier, General Khanh, stood watch as his troops threw up defenses against an invasion that could come at any minute. The move followed the first direct U.S. action against North Vietnam - an air strike that President Johnson ordered against North Vietnam's navy after torpedo boats twice attacked an American destroyer in the international waters of the Gulf of Tonkin.
``Thus did South Vietnam's jungle war against the Communist Vietcong take an ominous new turn.''
The Gulf of Tonkin incident led to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in Congress on Aug. 7, 1964, which was as close as this nation ever got to a declaration of war against North Vietnam.
John Kerry [related, bio] was midway through his years at Yale. It would be more than four more years before he would begin his four-month tour of duty in Vietnam and nearly seven years until he would become the star of the anti-war protests on Capitol Hill.
And for those who like to draw comparisons with Iraq, imagine the timeline. A decade would separate the Tonkin Gulf incident and evacuation of the last Americans from Saigon. Today, not yet a year and a half from the start of the war that ousted Saddam Hussein, Iraq's own leaders attempt to forge a new democracy.
But John Kerry is caught in a time warp. A child of the '60s, he's still fighting that last war as he told us in his speech at the Democratic National Convention:
``I will wage this war with the lessons I learned in war. Before you go to battle, you have to be able to look a parent in the eye and truthfully say: `I tried everything possible to avoid sending your son or daughter into harm's way. But we had no choice. We had to protect the American people . . . from a threat that was real and imminent.. . . this is the only justification for war.''
The world has changed, but not Kerry's '60s-era mindset. And that's about as close to today's truth as that old Chesterfield ad.
or the junk cars on blocks, your choice.
Take the land, get horses, cow, goats, pigs and chickens....
You will love the country. =o)
I loved Creepy Crawlers, too. My boys wondered if I still had it. They miss my childhood so much: cap guns, riding in the back of pick up trucks, ...
Yup . . . Grew up in Kansas. Would like to get back to the country . . . Where I can plink cans from my own back porch if I want to. Gotta get something that won't blow away, though!
They still make a dumbed-down gummy-version of Creepy Crawlers I think....
blow away?? Have you never heard of granite blocks? =o)
and you might not need to worry about that...
it'd be turned into scrap by a twister...
"It's Like This, Cat by Emily Cheney Neville"
Oh my gosh! I loved that book. I bought it from Scholastic Book services in school. I guess it stayed a hit with the Juvenile set for some years, I probably bought it about 1968-1970.
Jump to 1/13/67 issue . Swift boats on the cover. Main article about " The Delta " ( Mekong) Fertile Swamp of suspicion.
A number of those episodes might seem roughly relevant, even as they are. There's no description for most, so it's difficult to say.
"from a threat that was real and imminent"
The problem is, Kerry's idea of real and imminent is an army landing on our shores. As they sail across the ocean he'd be at the UN begging for them to join us in a coalition.
"$20,000 for a house? I'm definitely living in the wrong decade"
In this area $20,000. bought a very nice house in 1964. Most people were spending considerably less, as little as half that, $100.00 a month was considered a huge house payment. There was land available with marketable timber on it for less than $100.00 per acre.
I want a trailer house in the country!! Can I borrow $5000?? =o)
And average yearly income was $7500! It's all relative.
Southern creativity ping! Check out #30 for some security options.
Doesn't Humbert Humphrey look like he's about to pass gas in that photo?
My alarm system is wireless.