Wednesday, June 19, 2013

June 20 -- the 50th anniversary of the "Red Phone" and Dump the Pump Day

Henry Fonda on the Hotline to
Moscow in the 1964 thriller Fail Safe.
There really was a "Red Phone" or "Hotline" to Moscow, only it probably wasn't red.

Whatever color it was, the direct connection from the Oval Office to the Kremlin was installed pursuant to a June 20, 1963 agreement entered into with the Soviets. Thursday will be the 50th anniversary of that agreement. We may never know whether the Hotline ever saved the world from Armageddon.

It was an 18½ gap in a June 20, 1972 White House Oval Office tape that made Rose Mary Woods a household word in 1974, when she explained how she accidentally erased that interval on the tape. Many serious observers thought her testimony "stretched" the truth....

June 20 is also the 8th Annual Dump the Pump Day, a day to celebrate the economies and other advantages of public transportation. Take the bus or train to work Thursday. It only makes good sense. Dollars and sense. The national average pump price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline as of Tuesday was $3.60. In Chicago, the average price is well over $4.00 -- $4.40 or more in most places in the City proper. Why isn't this price gouging? The answer to that question seems to be as big a secret as anything said over the Hotline or during the 18½ minute gap.

Perhaps the first big Summer blockbuster, Jaws, was released on June 20, 1975. And Thursday will also be National Ice Cream Soda Day.

No comments: