RETURN OF THE CHICAGO SEVEN

September 23 in history:

German Big Chill

Senator Richard Nixon had to give the biggest speech of his political career on this date in 1952.  Nixon’s role as Dwight Eisenhower’s running mate in the presidential election was in jeopardy, because of questions about a fund used to help him pay campaign expenses.  In a live, televised address, Nixon claimed that he would keep just one gift to his family:  a dog named “Checkers.” The speech saved his spot on the Republican ticket.

Nixon went on to be elected president in 1968, the year that protesters rioted outside the Democratic Convention in Chicago. Eight organizers of the protests went on trial, starting on September 23rd, 1969.  When the judge ordered a separate trial for defendant Bobby Seale, the protesters became known as the “Chicago 7.”

Bobby Seale’s name was used in a punchline in the college-reunion movie “The Big Chill,” which opened the New York Film Festival on September 23rd, 1983.  That was the 36th birthday of “Big Chill” cast member Mary Kay Place, also known for her role as a country singer on “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.”

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