Since acquiring a 1961 Strat-O-Matic season set for my recreation of that historic baseball season, it is my current obsession to not only recreate that season, but to try and recreate some of the TV of that year, some of which is virtually non-existent, especially network TV newscasts of that year. From 8:00 to 8:15 a.m., CBS ran a 15-minute news summary before the kiddies got to see Bunny Rabbit con Captain Kangaroo out of some carrots. I have a feeling none of those newscasts even exist, but here is what one of those newscasts probably looked like, using to full advantage the numerous free newspaper archives of Google and the Chicago Tribune. The morning is Monday, April 10, 1961.
“ANNOUNCER: WTOP, Washington. It’s 8 O’clock.(CBS top of the hour “bong”)”
“CBS MORNING NEWS” “Richard C. Hottelet, good day from New York. Earthquake rocks Northern California, 175 feared lost after ocean liner catches fire off the Persian Gulf and South Vietnam re-elects President Diem by a huge percentage.”(pause for commercial)
CBS ANNOUNCER: Monday is the funniest night of the week here on CBS. It all starts with those unpredictable truth-stretchers on To Tell The Truth. Then, a quiet weekend in a cabin for Pete And Gladys takes a funny turn when a four-legged visitor intrudes! Then, when Buddy’s aunts find a girlie magazine, they fear the worst on Bringing Up Buddy. Danny’s nightclub act becomes a “mob” scene on the Danny Thomas Show, followed by another delightful Andy Griffith Show, where a prison inspector gets more than he bargained for! Then top off the evening with the Naval shenanigans of Hennessey and another powerful story with June Allyson. It’s all tonight, right here over most of these stations.
HOTTELET: 2 strong shocks rattled the city of Hollister, California overnight, causing cracks in city buildings as well as a few rattled nerves. The shocks registered 5.8 and 5.5 on the Richter Scale and was centered on the San Andreas Fault, with shocks felt well north and south of the area, 100 miles south of San Francisco. There were no major injuries. 175 passengers aboard a downed cruise ship were feared lost today after the ship went down due to a fire off the Persian Gulf. Those who survived made it to life boats, some fighting off seasickness as the ship went down over the rough seas. Salvage efforts are now underway. The downed ship had a London registry. 2 more bodies were found near the wreckage of a shot-down B52 in Grants, New Mexico Sunday on top of 3 which were discovered when the plane was accidently shot down on Friday. The Defense Department has suspended all further intercept missions while an investigation is ongoing.(Commercial pause)
HOTTELET: In South Vietnamese elections Sunday, President Ngo Dinh Diem was re-elected with a stunning 75% of the vote, a vote attributed to a strong effort by election organizers in preventing Communist interference with the vote. Diem’s term will run through 1966. 3 lunch counters in the Virginia community of Phillipsburg became integrated over the weekend, warding off what could’ve been a sit-down by Negroes over the segregation policies of those counters. The announcement of the integration was made during Sunday church services which were attended by President and Mrs. Kennedy, who were visiting the area this weekend. The State Department has apologized to the charge d’affaires of the African nation of Sierra Leone after he was denied service at a restaurant in Hagerstown, Maryland. The department is demanding an explanation from the restaurant on their policies and their treatment of the charge, Dr. William Fitzjohn. And from London this morning, the Chicago Tribune is reporting that Socialist Party leader Hugh Gaitskell was completing a campaign tour of a housing project when he got down to the political tradition of kissing babies. Spotting a baby, he turned to kiss it, but the baby refused. Richard C. Hottelet, good day from New York. (CBS TELEVISION NETWORK logo)
WTOP: “The news continues now with local stories from the WTOP newsroom…”
Trust me, I have no idea what happened in DC besides the usual political business, but the Senators were hosting the White Sox in the Presidential opener.(I may cover that in a later post)