Kentucky Fried Politics: A Colonel Sanders Timeline

…I’m standing outside a movie theater in Denver, Colorado, where a group of activists are picketing the theater and calling for a boycott of the recently-released movie “Animal House.” The film is a risqué comedy depicting the more negative potential aspects of college life. The people behind me are outraged over depictions in the film that say are degrading to women, most notably a scene where a woman passes out in front of a man with whom she was about to, um, have a moment of intimacy, and the young man momentarily seriously considers, uh, forcing himself into her, until a shoulder angel talks him out of it. Another scene depicts a 14-year-old in another adult situation. The movie, according to the boycotters, also makes light of underage, eh, relations, and various levels of sexual pestering…

– news correspondent, CBS News, 8/19/1978 broadcast

Actually, the writers of Animal House wanted the censors to catch the "really thirteen years old" line and have them go back and "correct" it to 16 or 17; imagine their surprise when the line was not considered objectionable (I'm assuming that happened ITTL)...

BTW, @gap80, Animal House, in its current form, would never be made today, given the #MeToo and other considerations...

Calgary, Alberta, CANADA – Despite a late entry into the process, the Canadian city won the bid to host the 1984 games over Sarajevo, Yugoslavia; Gothenburg, Sweden; and several other cities, especially several American cities, who possibly sought to gain wealth from hosting the major event amid economic recession…

– The Daily Mirror, 18/5/1978

Congrats Calgary, but hopefully we'll see another city in the future, one that's either Muslim-majority, in a Non-Aligned Movement country, or both, host any Olympics, as Sarajevo is the only one to hold that title OTL.

The nation’s fruitful economy of the 1970s was giving way to the ripple effects of the 1978 recession. Even though Yugoslavia’s factories were hit less than other parts of Europe due to them being less centralized than they would have been in other socialist nations, growth halted; inflation and unemployment were soon on the rise. The worst came when the government’s decision to borrow large quantities of capital from the West to grow funds through exports hit a fatal snag once the recession decreased demand for Yugoslavian imports, thus creating a huge debt crisis for the nation as the decade came to a close…

– Leslie Benson’s Yugoslavia: A Concise History, Palgrave Publishers, 2001

And so, another timeline sees one of the major developments for Communist Yugoslavia manifest itself. It's a shame the butterflies couldn't catch up to Yugoslavia and do something about the bipolar party division into the Centralists and Federalists, leading to unfortunate compromises whenever the latter tried to introduce reforms, if well-intentioned (such as giving the individual republics control over their economic plans from 1971 onwards, leading to a wave of investment, which in turn was accompanied by a growing level of debt and a growing trend of imports not covered by exports; disconnected from the federal government's later decision to borrow capital from the West, which also suffered the same issues).

At the very least, hopefully we'll see countries attempting to help Yugoslavia rather than tear it down...
I noticed the Beverly Hills Supper Club mention at the beginning of the first update. That fire not happening because of Sanders' policy is one of the best butterfly effects I've seen in any TL.
Had he survived, Thurman Munson reportedly was thinking of leaving the Yankees as a free agent and going to Cleveland to be near his home. Don't know if he'll survive in this timeline but I wanted to point that
1978 champs
World Series -- New York Yankees
NFL Super Bowl -- Pittsburgh Steelers
NBA Finals -- Philadelphia 76ers
NHL Stanley Cup -- Montreal Canadiens
NASL Soccer Bowl -- Cosmos
NCAA Football -- Notre Dame
NCAA Basketball -- Kentucky

1979 partial champs
NFL Super Bowl -- Dallas Cowboys
NBA Finals -- Philadelphia 76ers (Dr. J becomes the first dominant player of the post-merger era, winning two straight championships)
NHL Stanley Cup -- Montreal Canadiens
NASL -- still being contested
MLB -- still being contested
NCAA Football -- Alabama (media poll), Southern Cal (coaches poll)
NCAA Basketball -- Michigan State over Indiana State; the two superstars of that game, Earvin 'Magic' Johnson and Larry Bird, went to the Detroit Pistons and the Houston Rockets, respectively; the media reaction was that it would have been much better for the league if they had landed in bigger markets and that their true impact might not be felt until they were eligible for free agency in 1982.

@gap80 how about this for a twist in the history of pro soccer ITTL?

...with rumors of the 1986 World Cup being reassigned from Colombia due to domestic turmoil, FIFA officials met separately in July (1979) with officials from the American and Mexican federations as well as those from the NASL and the Mexican league. The U.S. and NASL contingents were pointedly told: address issues on the horizon with competitive balance and financial stability with clubs in the NASL, and get the NASL rulebook on the same page as the rest of the world. FIFA also wanted NASL to be proactive in the development of American and Canadian players, as NASL also was the de facto top Canadian league at the time.

It was far easier to remove Americanized rules changes (like the 35-yard offsides line) and end the practice of deciding tied games during the regular season with a shootout. The league also abandoned its Americanized team points structure in favor of the 3 for a win/1 for a draw/0 for a loss used in the rest of the world, and split its 26 teams into two regionalized conferences (eastern teams play in the American, western teams in the National).

It was much more difficult to rein in certain team owners from overpaying star players from Europe and paying peanuts to others. When the Cosmos were told that if they didn't "play ball" there probably wouldn't be any league for them to play in by '86, ownership announced it would work with the league to help "spread the wealth". No one in the mainstream nor the soccer media knew what exactly that meant but that led to the single-entity structure adopted by the NASL in 1983 that its American successor, Major League Soccer, would adopt before the 1994 World Cup...
--Sports Illustrated, June 2010

The NASL expanded to 26 teams in 1979 with the addition of Calgary and Edmonton, while the league took over ownership of the Oakland Stompers. The Caribous of Colorado were sold to the owners of the Denver Nuggets in March, and the Oakland Athletics' ownership agreed in late June to purchase the Stompers. At the same time, coaches were hired for the two new 1980 NASL expansion teams in Jacksonville, Florida and Louisville, Kentucky. Both teams were also used as guinea pigs for the league's first soccer academies, modeled on those by western European clubs; the Cosmos also announced plans to open their own academy, which drew a negative reaction from NCAA soccer coaches who thought if all 28 NASL clubs opened academies that it would drain the talent pool for America's top college division...
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The book title I left out is "Brazil: A Nation's History"

Ooh, you're right, Larry McDonald was from Georgia, not Louisiana... Whoops. Thanks for spotting that and you're welcome for the reply to the French election part.

Cool, two updates, make sense since next Thursday is Thanksgiving.

It's fun to see a few familiar name shuffling places. Especially Bill Clinton in Alaska. You wouldn't normally expect much from that state, except that the vice presidential candidates of 1972 were both from there, I wonder if that means the state will get a little more prominence in this timeline.

Six extra years, at a hundred hits a year, given the injuries meaning he probably wouldn't play quite as much just as he hadn't the last couple of years our timeline. So, Clemente probably wind up with a hit total similar to Stan musial's, probably a little above but shy of Hank Aaron's National League records.

1980 is going to be interesting. I really don't know too many of the names from our timeline on the Democratic side, I kind of doubt Gravel can win but you never know. For the Republicans, I mentioned before that I really liked Howard Baker in our timeline but I couldn't resist the chance to vote for Ed Brooke. I wonder if he would be too liberal but maybe not. Of course, he might have moderated enough considering the Point of Departure 30 years earlier. So he could be able to be nominated.

So, Carter won't run, which makes sense he is dedicated to his position at State and that is probably where he was best. But I'm surprised Nixon isn't in the list for the Republicans, at least that I could see. However, it seems like he would be happy in the Senate, perhaps happier than as president. He has a position of power and strength snd can stay in it for longer than 8 years. :)

Are you butterflying away Bostock's death, too?
As Nixon is a friend of the Colonel ITTL, he was close to the President during the hectic late 1960s and early 1970s, so he's more aware here of the stressful thanklessness of the job. His wife dislikes the idea of him running for the job, either.
Huh - you know, now that I think about it, I really should add a bit addressing that, with sources backing up said claims, in the next chapter (at the beginning of it, most likely). So Thanks!

The circumstances of Bostok's IOTL were definitely avoidable, so yep!

As for the Democratic and Republican primaries, we'll see how things play out! :D

Actually, the writers of Animal House wanted the censors to catch the "really thirteen years old" line and have them go back and "correct" it to 16 or 17; imagine their surprise when the line was not considered objectionable (I'm assuming that happened ITTL)...

BTW, @gap80, Animal House, in its current form, would never be made today, given the #MeToo and other considerations...

You are correct, @Unknown!


Also, that should read "onto" not "into" (jeez, that's embarrassing...)
EDIT: Fixed it! (whew!)

@gap80 how about this for a twist in the history of pro soccer ITTL?

Very interesting, I like it!

I'd like to see that happen.

Alrightythen! I'll mention how he's doing in the next chapter!

Also, does anyone know if this bit on Darrell Porter's wikipedia article really happened?:
Porter told the Associated Press that during the winter of 1979–1980, he became paranoid, and he was convinced that baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn—who was known to be tough on drug use—knew about his drug abuse. Porter said he believed that Kuhn was trying to sneak into his house and planned to ban him from baseball for life. Porter found himself sitting up at night in the dark watching out the front window, waiting for Kuhn to approach while clutching billiard balls and a shotgun.
Because if he really was this paranoid IOTL, would he be worse or better ITTL?

By the way, here’s a breakdown of the candidates in the polls (which help me develop the primary races) at the end of that last chapter:

The Democratic Primaries:

The Republican Primaries:

Republicans (19):
“Rockefeller” types:
Ed Brooke - a liberal-leaning Senator since 1967, he’s recently adopted more centrist/moderate-leaning positions as the party has shifted in recent years further to the right
Harold Stassen - a perennial candidate who inadvertently won the 1978 GOP nomination for Senate but lost in November
Moderates and Centrists:
Howard Baker - the new Senate leader has the connections to make an impact in the race
Jay Hammond - environmentalist who supports implementing a Federal Assistance Dividend
George Romney - Governor-turned-Senator focusing on US manufacturing in the wake of the Crash of '78
Antonina Uccello - the harmless but not invisible US Senator since 1971 often associated with the Rockefeller faction due to her friendly approach to her co-workers
Libertarian-leaning, but not outright libertarian:
Barry Goldwater - continuing his shift away from the conservative label, this is his fourth run, after 1964, 1972, and 1976
Ron Paul - the doctor-turned-Congressman just got into the Senate but is already eyeing a higher office
Aloha Eagles - The Ms. Arkansas Scandal and subsequent Ark Wave propelled this obscure state legislator to the Governor’s office back in 1972; she could appeal to an odd alliance of feminists and westerners due to her vetoing many bills while in office while also being strongly pro-ERA; also, I just love her name
“Colonel Conservative”:
Jeremiah Denton - veteran of the wars of the 1960s who served as Governor from 1975 to 1979
Bob Dole - though he's lacking name recognition and is also running for re-election in the senate
Lamar Alexander - the youngest guy in the race could be a more energetic, "outsider" version of Howard Baker
Buz Lukens - he supported Reagan in ’68 IOTL, but he may be a bit closer to the center here due to serving as Governor from 1971 to 1979; has blue-collar appeal
Deeply conservative types:
Paul Laxalt - a friendly faced-conservative like his good friend Ronald Reagan
John Ashbrook - longtime Representative with possible Midwestern appeal
Danny Lee Burton - the controversial and gaffe-prone Governor of Indiana foregoing re-election to vy for the White House
John Rousselot - US Rep from CA for the past 20 years or so
William Westmoreland - based on his record/tenure as Governor, he's fiscally and socially conservative and an unapologetically ardent interventionist

Democrats (7):
Progressive darling/bleeding-heart peacenik:
Mike Gravel - the progressive "maverick" clearly running to the left of Mondale
Bob Short - the sports-loving businessman-turned-Lt Gov appointed to Mondale’s Senate seat back in ’73
Fritz Hollings - the other deeply conservative long-serving Senator from South Carolina
Henry Jackson - Ol’ Scoop introduced himself to the national stage back in 1972
Larry McDonald - the three-term Rep and former John Birch Society President is even more conservative than Hollings
Elmo Zumwalt - the Admiral-turned-Governor is more conservative than Ralph Nader, but both men agree on higher safety standards
Walt Nixon - an obscure former Governor of Mississippi with an interest in judicial matters

I noticed the Beverly Hills Supper Club mention at the beginning of the first update. That fire not happening because of Sanders' policy is one of the best butterfly effects I've seen in any TL.

Is Con. Sanders going to live longer in this time?
We shall see (well, y'all shall see, I shall unveil)...

The question is, which one of the conservatives do the Lee Atwater-types and the religious right get behind?
Excellent question. Denton IOTL/ITTL was socially conservative, so he may win over some, but I can see other candidates hiring/going for more underhanded campaign workers/tactics, especially Lukens. Atwater was 29 in 1980, and not yet prominent enough (he was still working on congressional races at this point), so if he gets involved in any of the Presidential campaigns, it won't be at a top-ranking position (maybe heading some regional/primary part of the campaign?). ITTL, the Southern Strategy never was part of the Colonel's campaigns, but it was a part of Reagan's 1976 strategy. While worked, that more glaring fact about that race was that he didn't even win 40% of the vote, so the concept may be unpopular among Republican strategist circles. Nevertheless, Harry S. Dent Sr. would likely still be involved (his last before retiring to study the bible), though I wonder who else would be involved...
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NASL 1979

Atlanta Chiefs
Chicago Sting
Detroit Express
Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Memphis Rogues
New England Tea Men
Philadelphia Fury
Rochester Lancers
Tampa Bay Rowdies
Toronto Blizzard
Washington Diplomats
Jacksonville Chompers (1980) [1]
Louisville Thunder (1980)
Calgary Cannons
California Surf
Caribous of Colorado
Dallas Tornado
Edmonton Drillers
Houston Hurricane
Los Angeles Aztecs
Minnesota Kicks
Oakland Stompers
Portland Timbers
San Diego Sockers
San Jose Earthquakes
Seattle Sounders
Vancouver Whitecaps

[1] any NASL team during this era has to have some kind of crazy nickname. For Jacksonville, I came up with Chompers off the top of my head because a) I didn't want to use the old World Football League team name, Sharks b) the NASL team would play in the Gator Bowl c) Gators probably would put the team and league into some kind of copyright conflict with the University of Florida.
The logo will be a cartoon alligator with its bare teeth -- chompers -- very visible, like it's about to bite down on the opponent.
I just checked the polls and considering that Scoop probably wouldn't live through his first term, it baffles me as to how or why he ended up as the top of his poll. Also kinda disappointed. I was hoping that Ron Paul would win the Repub nom poll so that we could see how his Libertarian/Randian views would affect things in the 80s.
Aloha scoop Jackson wins, maybe people hope a younger feeling good you might not have had much of a chance can make it and then become president.

Or, maybe they saw the results before they voted and some voted for Jackson because Gravel didn't seem like he could win.

You know, Jackson could pick Carter as his vice president to balance the ticket which would be interesting.

By the way did you see my comment in Sports what-ifs thread on an idea for this TL?
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Chapter 45: July 1979 – January 1980
Chapter 45: July 1979 – January 1980

“Education is worth a whole lot. Just think – with enough education and brains the average man would make a good lawyer – and so would the average lawyer.”

– Gracie Allen

1980 was most likely Nixon’s last chance to run for President. Days before the 1981 inauguration, he would turn 68. Several elements favored a run – his reputation as a persuasive wheeler-dealer among Republican donors, his impressive resume, and his consistently moderate voting record – but there were two primary elements that made Tricky Dick turn down the opportunity: his power in the Senate, and, mostly importantly, his wife.

Nixon had more freedom behind the scenes, where he influenced foreign policy and legislation by maintaining his position as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Meanwhile, Mrs. Nixon was reluctant to face another campaign, as Pat had witnessed and shared the praise and vilification her husband had received over the years without having established an independent public identity for herself. Although she supported him in his career, she feared another "1960" [1] would unfold in 1980, especially if put up against a Democrat who was stronger than Gravel.

After running for public office in 1946, 1948, 1950, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1970, and 1976, Nixon announced on July 7, 1979, that he would not be launching an eleventh one in 1980.

– Bob Halderman’s The Haldeman Diaries: Three Decades of Tough Decisions and Tricky Dick, Barnes & Noble Press, 1994


The Washington Post, 7/10/1979

Chrysler’s troubles began back in the 1960s when the company tried to expand both with the United States and worldwide in an attempt to catch up to its main competitors. …The fear of millions of jobs being lost, along with resurgent German and Japanese auto industries, had many concerned. A series of economic downturns – the Salad Oil Recession of 1963, the Oil Shock of 1973, and the Crash of 1978 – worsened conditions by creating a chain reaction as many consumers cut back on the purchase of big-ticket items such as cars, while those who were in the market for new ones simply went to Chrysler’s Japanese and German competitors…This contributed to falling sales at the automaker.

While its
domestic competitors, Ford and General Motors, were affected by these economic interruptions as well, they were much larger companies and were better able to withstand a fall in sales compared to Chrysler. Another element separating Chrysler from its competitors was how it would actually produce automobiles – on speculation, rather than building the cars as the orders were received by the dealers. This system led to an inventory build-up on Chrysler lots. With massive amounts of unsold cars and dropping sales, many credit-rating agencies downgraded the company’s debt. This led to analysts worrying that the company’s working capital could drop to $600 million, violating its credit agreement with 180 banks, and putting the company in default.

Another consequence of Chrysler going under concerned national security. In 1977, Chrysler was awarded the contract to build the M-1 Abrams tank. Since the 1960s, NATO had been looking for a tank that could replace its older models. The fear was that if Chrysler went under, the national security of the country would be compromised by the loss of a manufacturer for tanks, trucks and other vehicles. At the height of the Cold War, it was thought the country had to be ready for anything

Meanwhile, domestically, throughout the 1960s, the quality of American cars had declined sharply. Many consumers felt that the Japanese and the Germans made better-quality cars. This was one reason why so many stopped buying American cars. The potential bankruptcy of Chrysler was a wake-up call for the auto industry. It either had to start producing more reliable, better-quality cars or it would continue to face major declines in sales

All of these factors forced the company to heavily
consider lobbying both Congress and the White House for a $1.5 billion loan to stay in business and protect millions of jobs. [2]

But then I came into the picture.

– Lee Iacocca (with William Novak)’s Iacocca: An Autobiography, Bantam Books, 1984

THE CASE AGAINST A FEDERAL BAILOUT: What Iacocca Must Do To Preserve Our Free Market System

…while we understand that Chrysler’s situation is dire [3], the recovering economy and growing oversees markets of China and the Middle East give pause to the hopeless rhetoric spoken by some members of the Chrysler family who believe government intervention is the only option left for them.

However, we cannot stress enough how bailing our Chrysler would undermine the nation’s free-enterprise system. Thousands of businesses of every size went bankrupt in the immediate aftermath of the 1978 Crash – why should $13billion corporation that is Chrysler be the benefit of perceived favoritism from the federal government?

Additionally, we must point out that federal loan would create a dangerous precedence if successful – producers of obsolete products will demand to be given the same level of fairness, as will less-than-honest businesses ruined by general management incompetence and not by the economy’s natural ups and downs.

Instead, an infusion of capital – a favorable bank loan or loan guarantee – could ward off bankruptcy. The use of local and national banks untainted by government control would be a more responsible way of handling the company’s ongoing economic windfall.

If the company conceded to its anti-capitalism faction, and even worse, if subsequently the government conceded to the demands of lobbyists, and a bailout did commence, another question will most assuredly arise – why not sooner? Why did so many Americans lose work if government control of the markets was available? And that method of thinking leads to unwanted products and services. Honest small businesses would be at an unfair disadvantage as mismanaged larger companies are essentially subsidized by the feds. This is not the free market system, but outright socialism!

The specter of failure has always worked to keep companies from making poor decisions so they can survive and thrive. It is this fear of failure, of bankruptcy, that allows for competent and hardworking people – and the businesses they run – to succeed in this great nation of ours.

If Chrysler has to fail for the preservation of our economic freedom, then so be it!

– National Review special issue, 7/12/1979 article [4]

The company had a host of internal problems compounding the issue, mainly from bad management in previous years by executives who did not plan ahead or spend for adequate factory modernization. I pointed these issues out, sought to address and fix them, and that required being permitted time to resurrect Chrysler as a truly competitive business enterprise. I had to install a new management team that consisted mostly of former executives of Ford Motor Co., where I had served as president until a year prior. [5] Then we sold off the parts of the company making the least amount of money and began to pinch every penny, from materials for products to expenses used in shipping and handling… We doubled-down on our most successful products and launched a media campaign to promote their sales… My biggest gamble during that period was slashing salaries by 10% for all employees across the whole company, which united both workers and managers against me. Out of desperation, I promised them that if Chrysler was not in the clear by the end of 1980, I would reinstate the prior salaries and resign from the company. That just made me work harder...

– Lee Iacocca (with William Novak)’s Iacocca: An Autobiography, Bantam Books, 1984

On July 12, Congress approved of a military aid package for Nicaragua’s President Somoza, after a rise in hostile actions against that government instigated by the socialist Sandinista National Liberation Front. However, the aid came only after Mondale had managed to pressure the Somoza government into “cutting back” on the corruption overwhelming the nation, which was causing support for the SNLF to begin with. Mondale also threatened to withhold further aid if corruption levels did not drop further in Nicaragua. ...This development came after months of sour relations between the US and Nicaraguan governments...

– Joseph Walker Barr’s The Mulling Minnesotan: Mondale’s Military Moments, Borders Books, 1994

Collective rebellion is a very special occurrence. There is no centralized leadership, there is no timed mobilizing or coordinating of campaigns or events, there is only, at its core, a shared goal of triumphing over a common enemy. It takes a certain type of monstrosity to infuriate just about every single person against you, but that is what was happening in Romania at the close of the 1970s, as the Woman Dictator continued to alienate the masses. Derided by the people of Romania, whom gave her the nickname “The Warsaw Pact’s b*tch,” the ruthless tyrant Elena Ceausescu, after eight years in power, was overstaying her welcome.

Even certain parts of the Communist Party, the military, and the wealthy were incensed by her selfishness, and were privately demanding that she assume the responsibilities that come with being in charge. Her refusing to acknowledge them led to her subordinates requesting intervention from Russia’s politburo. Unfortunately, the USSR’s Mikhail Suslov believed that conditions of life in Romania to be greatly exaggerated, and refused to oust Ceausescu. Suslov believed that a foreign intervention would aggravate the masses and worsen the situation, telling his inner circle that "if troops are introduced, that will mean a catastrophe. I think that we all share the unanimous opinion here that there can be no discussion of any introduction of troops.” [6] Suslov instead suggested the troubled party members “work with her more.” Evidently, this advice did not work, as several members of the Romanian Communist party were purged, and either exiled or executed for publicly given reasons.

Ironically, the deaths of even upper-class members of society would benefit the anti-Eleni movement by uniting, if not temporarily, all the classes of the nation. Riots overwhelmed administrative offices and entire towns fought against the dictators allies, many of which could soon be found hanging from trees outside of the rebelling neighborhoods.

In the nation’s capital of Bucharest, Eleni refused to believe that entire towns were in revolt, claiming reports were unfounded or exaggerated. This helped strengthen the causes of the rebels. The only thing standing between them and the changing of the guard that they desired was the ardent loyalists of the state military, and, much more seriously, the possibility of Soviet intervention…

– Vladimir Tismaneanu’s Stalinism For All Seasons: A Political History of Romanian Communism, University of California Press, Third Edition, 2023

PAUL: “It’s too ironic that big corporations, who think that government handouts make people lazy, often want the government to give them money to create jobs. If I was President, no hoity-toity fat cat operation will be given special privileges over the workers and consumers vital to their success.”

INTERVIEWER: “With that rhetoric, you sound like a presidential candidate. Are you planning on running for the nomination next year?”

PAUL: “I’ll let you know.”

– US Senator Ron Paul interview for Tumbleweed Magazine, mid-July 1979 issue

In mid-1979, with Congress still being off for summer break, which was scheduled to begin on July 8 and end on August 3 [7], the fiercely far-right hard-c conservative Republican Senator Richard Obenshain of Virginia began work on finding sponsors for an immigration bill meant to maintain legal immigration flow but heighten measurements for managing illegal immigration flow. Concurrently, Obenshain began shoring up support for a related bill meant to “heighten the judicial process directed toward” illegal immigrants already within US borders. The proposed legislation was popular and unpopular on both sides of the aisle. Thanks to backers such as Senators William Saxbe (R-OH) and Henry Bellmon (R-OK) claimed that the bills would lower the unemployment rate, albeit through a convoluted explanation that blamed immigrant labor for the 1978 recession.

– Anne Meagher Northup’s Chicken and Politickin’: the Rise of Colonel Sanders and Rational Conservatism in the Republican Party, 2015

“The President is willing to support a federal bailout of Chrysler on the condition that the company keeps operations within American borders and hires American citizens in order to minimize unemployment levels.”

– The White Press Secretary at an official briefing, 8/1/1979


[pic: imgur / LqPhJVF ]
– Slogan of Mike Gravel’s 1980 Presidential campaign, officially launched 8/2/1979

“Time to Truly Make This the Land of the Free”

– Slogan of Ron Paul’s 1980 Presidential campaign, officially launched 8/5/1979

WALL STREET TO THE RESCUE?: Banks Renewing Investments As Chrysler Rehires Engineers, Designers, And Fiscal Experts In An Effort To Avoid Bankruptcy

– The Associated Press, 8/9/1979

INTERVIEWER: Alright, moving on to the late ’70s, now… Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall album was released on August 10, 1979. Some have claimed that a bit of your Reeflex [8] Rock style of music can be heard in a few of the songs. How true are these claims?

TOMMY CHONG: Eh, probably very true, man. I hung out with the little man a few times when he was growing up. I think I was the one who gave him his first Mary Jane, taught him to puff away all his angst. He was a troubled dude, but he was alright. So, yeah, I probably had an influence on his music, but then again, everybody knew Michael, and I wasn’t the only maker of Reeflex Rock music, you know, so… yeah… what was the question?

–, 2014


– The Los Angeles Business Journal, 8/11/1979

PRESIDENT EAGLES, ANYONE?: With The Apt Slogan “Let Freedom Soar,” North Dakota Governor Seeks To Be Our First Female President

The Chicago Tribune, 8/12/1979

Upon Monty Python’s Life of Brian being released on August 17, 1979, religious organizations were quick to denounce the film for alleged blasphemy… The phenomenon sprouted up in the United States as well, where prominent member of that country’s “Religious Right” political movement such as Jerry Falwell and U.S. Representative Anita Bryant condemning the film for “ridiculing” parts of the bible, “most heinously [for] belittling Christ’s Crucifixion.” …In New York, nuns and even rabbis picketed screenings. …In the American South, former US President Colonel Sanders joined the voices deriding the film, but only to agree that the film should not be promoted out of fear of the film “corrupting and compromising the faith of impressionable youngin’s.” While it is not clear if the Colonel actually saw the film, his call for its opponents to “stop harassing the adults willingly going to see it” nevertheless led to some social conservatives criticizing the former President…

– Wayne Klein’s A Brief History of Blasphemy, The Southwold Orwell Press, 1990

“…With the company expecting to get out of the red this fiscal year due to this fiscal quarter revealing an uptick in the Chrysler’s financial conditions, Walter, it appears everyone here can breathe a sigh of relief as things are starting to get better…”

– Financial correspondent for CBS News, 8/18/1979

Yeah, I remember where I was when it happened. I had just turned 25, and I had been living in L.A., for two years, and I had just gotten a job working for the alternative newspaper The L.A. Reader. I was heading off to work – I had, basically, just started my drive, in fact – when I heard the report on the car radio…

– Cartoonist and activist Matt Groening, 2009 KNN interview


…Air raid sirens within a ten-mile radius of the Trojan Nuclear Plant in northern Oregon have been blaring since 6:15 this morning, but not because of an air raid. Instead, the sirens are warning the residents of Rainier to evacuate their homes over the concern of radiation fallout stemming from an unclear disaster that has occurred at the plant… While no concrete information is available at this time, most reports from the area claim that the plant’s steam tubes cracked prematurely. Similarly, we are also being informed that the plant suffered a steam generator tube leak of radioactive water. A third claim is that a transfer of cooling pool elements from the reactor vessel went awry due to outdated or uninspected safety features. A fourth claim is that there was a minor earthquake that compromised the plant’s allegedly-poorly-made construction. Whatever the reason behind it, the most visible evidence of a major incident unfolding is the unsettling sight of steam escaping from the sides of the plant’s cooling towers. …The Trojan Nuclear Power Plant has been plagued by environmental opposition since construction began in 1970 and continued on after it began operations in May 1976… The plant, located in Rainier, Columbia County, Oregon sits on the southern bank of the Columbia River that makes up part of the Washington-Oregon state border… All residents are being told to distance themselves from the area, which is slowly emptying Rainier as state officials continue to assess this crisis…

The Sacramento Union, Saturday 8/19/1979


[pic: ]
– The iconic image of the 499-foot-tall cooling tower of the Trojan Nuclear Plant Collapsing, 8/19/1979

Below: The plant’s cooling tower prior to its collapse in the “Trojan Tower Disaster” of August 19, 1979.


[pic: ]
When radiation leaked out of the plant, the EPA was eight months into a 50-state probe of nuclear plant. The Trojan Plant’s problems had been inspected one month previously and had been given a passing grade. A second, impromptu inspection revealed both elements that had been overlooked and elements that had been concealed from inspectors. Concurrent with the subsequent federal investigation and lawsuit, thousands of local residents banded together to organize a class-action lawsuit against Portland General Electric and the individuals blamed for the environmental disaster that befell both northern Oregon and southern Washington. The disaster was also a test of EPA Director Ralph Nader’s leadership skills…


Below: A clean-up crew works on removing radiological contamination from a condemned grade school building in Rainier, Oregon.


[pic: ]
As the extent of radioactive fallout became more apparent [9], Oregon Governor Victor Atiyeh and Washington Governor Julia Butler Hansen each declared a state of emergency for multiple counties in their respective states. Further evacuees were advised to avoid contact with anyone other than emergency and medical personnel until they could be tested for radiation poisoning. Others were advised to stay indoors with the doors and windows shut. People were frightened as the rest of the country looked on in horror.

The President had to respond. After calling for a thorough investigation into the disaster, Mondale sought to quell public fears by personally flying to Portland, Oregon, roughly 50 miles south and upwind of the site, and setting up a photo-op with Governor Hansen and other officials on the 21st. Throughout the whole endeavor, however, Mondale was genuinely frightened of what the effects this calamity would have on the country. In a rare showing of amiability, or at least of understanding, between the two, both Gravel and Mondale met with members of the press at the White House later that day. While the friendliness certainly did not last, its brief existence demonstrated how disasters that can affect all can often bring out the best in all.

Well, at least in most. In the post-Trojan American landscape, nuclear experts became bitterly disappointed by misguided crowds who began demanding that all nuclear plants be permanently shut down. Many supporters of the nuclear industry were quick to point out how nuclear energy is very low carbon and essentially renewable, and that without it, American consumer would have to rely more on oil and coal. This turn of events would work against the goals of environmentalists, as solar technology was still in its infancy. Mondale agreed with their assessment, and responded by approving funding for federal and private-company-led research into using Thorium, a metallic chemical element that was potentially less dangerous, as an energy source.

New Ideas For Old Problems: The Walter Mondale Presidency, Borderless Books Publishing, 2004


…Thousands of Americans are demanding immediate medical aid for Oregonians and safer nuclear procedures… Federal legislators returned from summer break on August 8 [7]

The Washington Post, 8/23/1979


The Washington Post, 8/28/1979

FOOT DOES IT AGAIN!: PM Leads Labour to Third Consecutive Victory

…After defeating Enoch Powell in 1973 and Edward Heath in the 1975 snap election, PM Sir. Dingle M. Foot has led the Labour party to victory of Edward Heath of the Conservative Party and David Steel of the Liberal Party. While Labour lost seats, they maintained a clear majority... …The most impressive performance of the night was that of the newly formed Moralist party headed by Christian conservative “moral crusader” activist Mary Whitehouse. The party won 6.5% of the popular vote and 1 seat in parliament, sending Whitehouse to parliament. Whitehouse’s campaign was divisive for its inflammatory and hurtful anti-BLUTAGO and anti-non-Christian platforms, prompting her opponents to call her the Anita Bryant of the United Kingdom… her candidacy was likely aided by her active criticism of the supposedly anti-Christian film “Monty Python’s Life of Brian” in the final days leading up to the elections…

The Guardian, 29/8/1979


[pic: ]
– Richard Pryor appears in KFC Employee Instructional Training video, filmed in June and began being used at KFC College in early September 1979

“Ready For This” "Trusted"

[pic: imgur / 9nybNPq ]
– Slogans used by the Ed Brooke 1980 Presidential campaign, officially launched 9/2/1979

“Working For You!”

– Slogan used by the Howard Baker 1980 Presidential campaign, officially launched 9/5/1979

On September 6, 1979, a Cam Bomb planted under a bridge in Tel-Aviv almost killed the US Ambassador of Israel. The device was timed, but heavier-than-usual traffic delayed the Ambassador’s motorcade’s planned schedule, and the bomb denoted before the motorcade arrived at the bridge. While the bridge was heavily damaged, only two people – two Palestinian merchants – were killed. The CIA traced the bomb backed to a cell affiliated with members of the “anti-treaty” faction of the P.L.O. The incident soured relations between the US and PLO even further, but not between the US and the Palestinian people, who condemned the attack as the reason behind supporting the peace treaty to begin with…

– Cynthia Ann Watson’s Our National Security: A Reference Handbook, 2008


Premiered: September 7, 1979
Genre (s): action-dramedy-adventure
Directed by: Michael Ritchie
Written by: Winston Groom

Joe Flynn as Harland “Colonel” Sanders
Jessica Lange as Claudia Sanders to
Vanessa Redgrave as Josephine Sanders
See Full List Here

Harland David Sanders leads a life of ups and downs from 1930s to 1950, long before he became “The Colonel.” From his landing a job at a gas station via chance encounter, to his discovery of the pressure fryer's potential culinary uses, Sanders must overcome obstacle after obstacle in his quest for success. However, the years are also filled with family drama – from the end of his first marriage and the start of his second marriage in a love triangle for the ages, to the birth of the careers and families of his three dynamic children.

Trivia Facts:
Trivia Fact No. 1: Actor Joe Flynn (1924-1991) survived a heart attack half-way through filming the movie, his second major heart ailment after surviving a bigger heart attack in 1974.

Trivia Fact No. 2: The real-life Colonel Sanders gave the film a lukewarm review in a late 1979 interview (link here), in which he explained that, while he approved of Flynn depicting “me as this optimistic larger-than-life character who never gives up trying to help people, since I think that’s pretty accurate,” he found other people presented in the film to be portrayed “very inaccurately.” Regardless, the Colonel enjoyed the “balance [between] fun and seriousness” found in the script and commended Flynn’s acting, “even if [Flynn]’s impression of my voice was a bit off.”

“Scoop Jackson knew he had some amends to make. Specifically, he had to make up with Patsy Mink, the congresswomen who had damaged his 1972 bid. Since the 1976 elections, Mink was now a fellow senator. Scoop met with her days before he made his Presidential run official on September 10 – and in his announcement speech, he focused heavily on the need to support, protect and expand upon social equality and social welfare programs. The ‘law and order’ rhetoric was used sparingly, but he still strongly emphasized our need for higher military spending. He wanted to defend freedom lovers everywhere from totalitarianism... [snip] …He also called for better environmentalist practices, and stronger support for labor unions, making him ideologically closer to Mondale than to Gravel.”

– Paul Wolfowitz, 2018 interview


[pic: ] [10]
– Left to Right: Colonel Sanders, Jerry Falwell, Doug Oldham, and Connie Smith, 9/12/1979

I remember when The Colonel got into trouble with his more liberal supporters after he was spotted hanging out with Reverend Falwell at a country music festival. At first we thought nothing of it, but soon enough we had young people calling for their peers to boycott our franchises. Not just KFC, but Wendy’s and our barbeque chains and, well, everything belonging to Finger Lickin’ Good, Inc.; we were shocked at people’s reactions to a simple music festival. When it became so significant that sales were being affected by the negative media attention, the Colonel felt that he had to go on TV and settle things out, because the thing was that the Colonel had never outright endorsed the Religious Right, nor its major players. In fact, toward the end of his life, the Colonel was becoming increasingly apolitical…

– Pete Harman, 60 Minutes interview, early 1992

“There’s nothing wrong with being friendly to people who disagree with you on things. It’s how adults behave. Y’all have to get along because refusing to recognize the right of others to have their opinions because they differ from your own is childish and unproductive. Life is like a road. And most roads aren’t straight, most roads require you to turn your wheel to the right or the left from time to time. And just because I enjoy the Reverend’s company does not mean that I have to be everything he says, and vice-versa.”

– Colonel Sanders defending his “acquaintanceship” with Rev. Falwell on Meet the Press, 9/19/1979

“I for one am very angry at the Colonel backstabbing the Reverend. How can he say he’s a man of God and then not stand up for Falwell? I man, he's not the only politician I - but - ya know, I’m tellin’ ya, it just makes my blood boil!”

– Mark David Chapman, 24-year-old security guard at Castle Memorial Hospital in Kailua, Hawaii; response was part of an “on-the-street” interviews segment of a news report on the 1979 Sanders-Falwell controversy, CBS News, 9/20/1979


…as protestors and activists continue to line the streets of D.C. over the perceived mismanagement of nuclear power plant safety in light of Oregon’s Trojan Tower Disaster, federal legislators are keen to address and reform how nuclear energy is processed and handled…

– The Washington Post, 9/21/1979


…Guion Stewart Bluford Jr. of Pennsylvania, age 36, made history earlier today by becoming only the second African-American in history to go into outer space…

The Houston Chronicle, 9/23/1979

“In Your Guts, You Know The Rest Are Nuts” “Still the Best Man for the Job”

– Slogans used by the Barry Goldwater 1980 Presidential campaign, officially launched 9/26/1979


…Former beauty pageant and Miss New York 1975 Mary Theresa Hinterberger, 25, and New York Yankees pitcher Donald Trump, 33, are calling it quits after almost four years of marriage. The couple met in late 1975, shortly after Hinterberger became Miss New York and were married in January 1976. Sources close to Hinterberger claim Trump has been “unfaithful and controlling,” with the couple reportedly fighting over Hinterberger’s desire to pursue a career in the energy industry in Texas [11]. Sources close to Trump, however, claim Hinterberger wants to “abandon” Trump and their two children, Donald Jr. (b. 1976) and Eric (b. 1978) to “sleep with half of the men in Texas and just tease the other half,” according to an anonymous associate of Trump...

– The Hollywood Reporter, 9/27/1979


[pic: ]

– Colonel Sanders appearing on the Jim Bakker Show, 9/28/1979

“The Best Choice”

– Slogan of the Buz Lukens 1980 Presidential campaign, officially launched 9/29/1979

“Tested And Proven” “Let’s Vanquish Our Enemies…Together” “For The Home of the Brave”

– Slogans of the Jeremiah Denton 1980 presidential campaign, officially launched 9/30/1979

ANCHOR: “Earlier today, President Mondale signed into law the Federal Campaigns Resources Act, which regulates and limits political campaign spending and fundraising, including the disclosure of contributions exceeding certain amounts pending said contributions’ sources.”

MONDALE (in footage): “President Theodore Roosevelt called for campaign finance reform all the way back in 1905, and now we are answering that call with this major work of legislation.”

The Overmyer Network, 10/1/1979

“RETURN TO RATIONALITY”: Harold Stassen Starts Seventh White House Bid With More Clout Than Usual

…The former Governor last held public office in 1943, but his surprise grabbing of the GOP nomination for a US Senate seat last year has made the politician relevant again…

– The St. Paul Pioneer Press, 10/2/1979

Mike was always running around. He liked to be energetic; he had to be energetic, he said. There were so many things to be done in just a day for each of us. There were so many times when we wouldn’t see other – when we couldn’t really sit down and at least speak for a little while – for days at a time.

At first I didn’t notice anything, or even suspect anything, but then the evidence began to show. Mike got sloppy. Telephone calls at unusual hours were soon followed by the smell of someone else’s perfume. Sometimes I would ask him more than once about his schedule for the next day, and he’d give me different answers each time. Finally I confronted him on it on an early October night at 1 Observatory Circle, when we were finally alone together.

We were in the bedroom, still not yet out of the clothes we’d worn to a fundraiser for nuclear radiation and cancer treatment that night, when I asked about his betrayal of our vows in a straightforward way: “So who is she, Mike?”

“Who’s who, Rita?”

“The woman you’ve been sleeping with,” I replied.

He paused for a moment and then tried to brush it off with “Oh, you’re just fooling around, aren’t you? Quit it, honey, will ya? I’m not in the mood for it.”

“Don’t toy with me, Mike. I know what you’re doing!”

“What are you talking about?”

But I didn’t let up. I was determined to keep on going until I got an answer out of him.

“Rita, are you seriously trying to ruin the one time we have the night to each other?”

I believe I responded with “We have to talk about this now, Mike.”

“What do you want from me?” he asked.

“The truth!” I shouted at him.

“You want the truth? Fine! I’ve been seeing Coya.”


“Yeah, Coya Knutson, the Governor of Minnesota. And I’ve been seeing Ella Grasso, Governor of Connecticut. And Senator Patsy Mink. And Eunice Kennedy-Shriver. I’ve even met with our frickin’ Postmaster General, Maurine Neuberger. I’ve been trying to get endorsements and support, and everyone – male and female – have been giving me the runaround!”

I was about to cut him off but he continued. “No, no, no, Rita, you need to know what I’m doing behind your back. I’m keeping the war-hawks from running this administration. I’m trying to keep the Republicans, and the conservative Democrats, off my back. I’m trying to shore up support for next year’s run amid all these establishment cronies always being one step ahead, all falling behind that damn Scoop bastard. I’m trying to get nominated so I can keep this country on the right track, but not enough people are interested in helping me with that!” He finally paused.

“Are you finished?”

“No… but my stomach is,” and he rushed to the bathroom to vomit. After a moment of hesitation, I put my anger to the side and handed him a towel. He groaned in pain, “Damn flu.” He pointed to the pills on the shelf and I handed them to him. He finished, “So, with all of that… and all of… this… how can I even have an affair?”

After cleaning himself up a bit, he sat down on the floor next to the bed. I sat next to him.

“What am I going to do with you?” I said in a sympathetic tone as I slipped my fingers through his greying hair, and started to play with the more curly locks that wouldn’t stay put. I was flattening some locks in the back when I finally noticing a pink smear on the inside of his collar.

I pulled on his shirt, nearly breaking the fabric, and swung the collar around to his face, shoving it nearly breaking right into his face so he could see indisputably see it. “Then explain this,” I inquired.

“Ah crap.” I swore he said this, quietly, in a resigned tone.

"She was there! At the fundraiser!" My anger returned swiftly. Sarcastically, I said, “Oh, but with all of your so-so important Vice Presidential responsibilities and all, how did you even have time for an affair?” I then shouted out, “I know how – you just had to get rid of loving me to fit it into your busy little f@#king schedule!” I slapped him hard across the face and left the room, leaving him there on the floor. In those moments I felt sadness and betrayal, anger and disappointment; I did not care at all for his flu, or for his latest Presidential bid.

I don’t have to point out that we did not spend the rest of the night together, yes? [12]

– Rita Martin Gravel’s memoir, Through My Eyes, Simon & Schuster, 1995


…the Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 1979 to Mother Teresa for her anti-poverty work…

The New York Times, 10/17/1979

Goldwater’s 1980 Presidential bid was upended before the Senator even made it official when he gave a controversial speech at the 1979 Chicken Dinner Summit in Jerusalem. In the first chicken-centered gathering of regional, religious and world leaders since 1978 Atlanta Treaty, Goldwater spoke for four minutes to a room of over 700 guests. In his speech, Goldwater proclaimed “There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. For example, the religious factions that are growing throughout the political party I am a part of back in the United States are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent, and it cannot happen without suppressing and silencing others.” [13]

The comments were outrageous to the guests hailing from countries with religious-based governments, but as usual, the Colonel managed to keep the peace, preventing what at the time was the closest a C.D.S.I.J. got to experiencing a walkout of several guests. The blowback was even more intense back in D.C., where even moderates criticized the Senator’s description of the Religious Right. Privately, the Colonel was “disappointed” by Goldwater’s rhetoric.

Over the following days and weeks, Goldwater saw his level of hate mail (including death threats) spike and his support in early Presidential polls plummet. For the first time, Goldwater was entering the Republican primaries without a clear path to victory. He was no longer welcomed by the conservative faction; younger and first-time candidates such as Senator Paul and Governor Eagles took up the libertarian lane; and moderates favored less controversial Senators like Baker and Brooke…

– Anne Meagher Northup’s Chicken and Politickin’: the Rise of Colonel Sanders and Rational Conservatism in the Republican Party, 2015

The end of the 1970s was tense. Economically, the unemployment rate was dropping, but not as quickly as the Mondale administration was hoping it would. Diplomatically, US-Soviet relations were back to being frigid, as Suslov perceived any offerings of comradery to be attempts to subvert his nation and weaken his rule. Culturally, the Reeflex Rock style of music was rising in popularity as economic conditions rose; people began to use it to either celebrate what they had or ignore what they did not via escapism, creating controversy over the value of the style and the subculture surrounding it. And politically, American conservatism being divided into factions led to things becoming rather unpredictable in the Democratic and Republican parties…

– Doris Helen Kearns Goodwin’s Leadership In Turbulent Times, Simon & Schuster, 2018

The private residence of the Mondale White House slowly became colder and quieter as one by one the three Mondale children moved out to enter college. Ted went off to Minnesota U in 1975 but was sure to spend the major holidays with his family.

Eleanor was more distant, though, going to St. Lawrence U in New York in 1978 and only dropping in from time to time. Even then, she mostly would check in on the Presidential Pets, both of which were hers – Digger the Dog, whom had been with the family since 1971 when he was just a puppy, [14] and the frequently-ridden pony given to Eleanor as a birthday gift by Labor Secretary Robert Kennedy and his wife Ethel [15]. Always a wild card, Eleanor chose to reinvent herself in New York; she seemed to want some space and to separate her identity from her father’s.

The youngest William, left for Minnesota U the next year. In his first semester, he told the college newspaper that he had “grown to dislike” having to “share [his] father with the rest of the world,” and was further to the left than his father, too. “Sometimes I even agree with Gravel over Dad.” William also explained that his father “had hoped that [he and his sister] would learn to understand his point of view. Dad believes that gradual change is necessary because sudden change creates a cultural shock and subsequently leads to a cultural backlash and a reversal of said policy. That’s what my Dad believes, but I disagree with that. I think if it’s a good sudden change, and you get people to understand that about it, then society will embrace it, not reject it. But you’ll never know if you don’t try it out first.”

– Clinton J. Hill’s Five Presidents: My Extraordinary Journey with the Secret Service, Simon & Schuster, 2016


The Washington Post, 10/24/1979


…The violence is intensifying as both group seek control of this Central American country…

Associated Press, 10/28/1979

“I got everyone involved to make sacrifices. Suppliers, dealers, lenders, union workers, they penny-pinched without cutting corners and made wise investments based on consumer trends. Lee himself even cut his salary to just a dollar a year to show how much he cared about turning the company around. And slowly, a gradual turnaround for Chrysler happened – without opening the floodgates to the federal overreach and oppression that would have happened had Lee given up and ask for a federal bailout.”

– Ron Paul praising Lee Iacocca’s handling of the Chrysler bankruptcy crisis of 1979, 1992 interview

The state’s August 7, 1979 Republican primary saw Mayor Charles Evers of Fayette defeat businessman Leon Bramlett, making Evers the rirst-ever African-American gubernatorial nominee of a major political party I Mississippi. On August 28, 1979, the Democratic gubernatorial runoff election resulted in Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Gandy winning over state Attorney General Albioun Fernando “A. F.” Summer by a narrow margin, after both had defeated former state congressman Cliff Finch in the primary on August 7 (Summer would later win election to the US House in 1980, but died less than a year into the term). This made Gandy the first woman ever to be the gubernatorial nominee of a major party in Mississippi.

These primary results caught national attention for their historical significance, but also brought many social conservatives who gathered around the independent candidacy of populist businessman John Arthur Eaves Sr.; while not openly racist, his vague support for traditional values – and, possibly, his being the only white man on the ballot in November, made him develop enough support among voters to be a major player in the election. At one point, Gallup polls even showed him in the lead.

On November 7, though, Gandy won 50.1% of the vote. Eaves came close to second place but ultimately received 24.7% to Evers’ 25.2%%...

– Jere Nash and Andy Taggart’s Mississippi Politics: The Struggle for Power: 1962-2004, University Press of Mississippi, 2010

John Bayne Breckinridge experienced chest pains on July 29, exactly one month after winning the Democratic gubernatorial primary. He 65-year-old four-term US Congressman was discovered to have experienced a minor heart attack, and he subsequently took a week off of the campaign trail. This health scare worried his donors as that week damaged his polling against Governor Foust. As a result, Breckinridge used the incident to his advantage by shifting his campaign’s focus to healthcare, once saying “I’ve fully recovered from a heart issue because I have a job with good insurance, but not all Kentuckians can say the same - but I think they should be able to.” The shift away from economic concerns came at a time when the economy was improving.

In November, though, Foust could not overcome her unpopularity over her handling of taxes. …while Breckinridge defeated Foust for the Governor’s seat, Democrat Martha Layne Osborne defeated Republican Harold “Hal” Rogers for the Lieutenant Governor’s seat…

– Lowell Harrison and James Klotter’s A History of Kentucky, University Press of Kentucky, 1997

“A New America: An America For All”

– Slogan of US Senator James H. Meredith’s 1980 presidential campaign, officially launched 12/12/1979

The first debate of the 1980 Presidential race was actually held in 1979, at the County Civil Center in Anderson, South Carolina, weeks away from that state’s primary, on November 15th. The state’s selection by the Republican National Committee aimed to highlight the value of early southern primaries, as southern delegates had complained of not receiving enough attention from the candidates – other than Reagan – in 1976. Despite this primary field ultimately having a larger-than-usual number of candidates, only six officially in the race participated – Lamar Alexander, Howard Baker, Ed Brooke, Jeremiah Denton, Aloha Eagles, and Harold Stassen. The declination of the state’s former Governor, William Westmoreland, to join the debate, was later seen as insulting to the people who had set up the entire affair. Nevertheless, the audience and the moderates welcomed the attendees to a 95-minute debate on foreign and domestic policies.

Baker, Brooke and Denton answered questions expertly, or with enthusiasm for their campaign messages, while the other three opponents, most notably Alexander and Stassen, seemed to struggle. Most of the candidates seemed to focus more on Gravel than on Mondale, with Denton warning that a Gravel Presidency would usher in an era of “weakness and appeasement” on the world stage

Each candidate brought something different to the table. Denton touted his military and governing background. Baker highlighted his legislative leadership, and Brooke offered a more moderate way forward. Alexander came to the defense of nuclear energy, emphasizing no less than three times that the Trojan Tower Disaster was a “random, isolated, and totally avoidable” incident. After members of the audience booed her for being an early supporter of the E.R.A., Eagles stood her ground and refused to apologize for doing “the right thing,” a phrase that rubbed many viewers the wrong way.

In regards to fiscal responsibility, only Brooke gave an affirmative when asked if he would raise taxes “if necessary to balance the budget,” separating himself ideologically from his fellow candidates and receiving jeers from some audience members. Baker replied to the same question by adding that “We've got to get over the temptation to think that we have no growth before us. I believe in growth, and I believe that we've got to reiterate our belief that we can create new wealth." He also claimed to be the only candidate who had successfully started his own business [16], a rather obvious attempt to compare himself to former President Colonel Sanders.

For foreign policy, Denton was the most bellicose in regards to the USSR, saying “the era of détente was valiant while it lasted, but now we must address the nation’s need to be prepared for action, for swift and forceful retaliation, if there ever comes such a time for such action.” Stassen had the least speaking time, but his presence renewed real interest in him for the first time in decades.

Some post-debate reviews complained that there were too many candidates on the stage, depriving viewers of having sufficient time to really understand each one. Focus groups praised the debating style of Brooke above all the other candidates, as the sole African-American on the stage, maintained an aura of sophisticated professionalism. Brooke was rewarded for it via an uptick in media attention, donations, and volunteers immediately after the debate.

– Theodore H. White’s The Making of the President: 1980, Atheneum Publishers, 1981

[vid: ]
– Newsreel on the 1979 Mecca Siege, which lasted from November 20 to December 4

…On November 21, false radio reports from supporters of the Ayatollah Khomeini claimed that the American military had overtaken the Grand Mosque in Mecca. In outrage, a misinformed mob in Pakistan attacked the US Embassy in Islamabad, set it on fire, and killed four Americans on and one Pakistani. The incident soured US-Pakistan relations even further... [17]

– David Tal’s US Strategic Arms Policy in the Cold War: Negotiation & Confrontation, Routledge, 2017

“The Best Man for the Best America”

– Slogan of Bob Dole’s 1980 presidential campaign, officially launched 11/24/1979

“Let’s Make The ’80s A New And Better Decade” “Putting People First”

– Slogans from Jay Hammond’s 1980 presidential campaign, officially launched 11/27/1979



[pic: ]
– Associated Press, 12/3/1979


The New York Times, 12/4/1979

Many fools think this attack on Mecca was an act of retaliation for the concessions made with the Peace Treaty the traitorous leaders signed last year, but it is more than that! This day of reckoning is just a drop of what my brethren can do!

With the call of “Allahu Akbar,” the Grand Mosque Seizure began with glory. A group of 400 Juhayman al-Otaybi militants occupied Mecca’s Masjid al-Haram [the holiest place in Islam], and even if Juhayman was or was not who he claimed to be, it is undeniable that his cause was sound. For too long the West has controlled our governments.

These champions rejected every aspect of the Atlanta agreement, from it recognizing the existence of Jerusalem to it complying with the UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967, which refers to “the need to work for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in which every State in the area can live in security.” What ridiculousness! They were right to reject the West Bank Resolution – of having Israeli settlers not wanting to leave the area pay taxes to both nation-states and follow the laws of both nation-states, but have religious freedom within their designated communities, despite it yielding some favorable results in recent months. How absurd!

But now their admirable cause has been suppressed by Western Forces, its hand confining our necks tightening its grip. And there is one man to blame for this – the man who began the process that led to the Atlanta Treaty to begin with.

– Osama bin Laden’s private journal, 12/4/1979 entry


In an interview on his career since winning the 1965 Kentucky Derby, professional equestrian Sirhan Bishara Sirhan went on a tangent to slam the former President and his annual Chicken Dinner Summits in Jerusalem. In the interview, Sirhan, 35, claimed the Colonel’s involvement in last year’s landmark peace treaty between Israel and several other Middle Eastern nation was responsible for the treaty being “too oppressive to Palestine” and “too rewarding” to Israel…

– The Advocate Messenger, Kentucky newspaper, 12/6/1979


…the 58-year-old Lieutenant Governor since 1972 defeated his opponent, 50-year-old State Senator and fellow Democrat Edgar Gonzague “Sonny” Mouton Jr., by a margin of approximately 5.1%...

– The Beauregard Daily News, Louisiana daily newspaper, 12/8/1979

“Reeflex Rock was kinda like a precursor to Disco, I guess, only better. Still, I think Disco gets a bum rap for being too care-free, lighthearted, you know, but at a time like then, you know, the stock market had crash and everything, and in the post-recession music scene, people needed something lighthearted. If it makes smiles, if it makes people get an urge to dance, where’s the harm? Hell, I even performed a couple of disco titles during that time. A lot of covers, a lot of original ones. I’m not proud of all the songs – in fact, in fact I think I was high when I recorded most of them – uh, but the point is I think Disco wasn’t as bad as people say it was, man. It just needed a lot more guitar, I think, yeah…”

– Tommy Chong, in an interview for Tumbleweed Magazine, 2018 issue

They finally released me after six years, two months and 18 days. I have the Attorney General Bobby Kennedy to thank for that; he was the one who listened to Zappa and Chavez and got me an appeal. Under Governor Reagan, I was a political prisoner, but under Burton and Bobby I became a free man again. And I wasn’t going to screw that up.

– Richard “Cheech” Marin, KNN interview, 2012


– The Washington Post, 12/13/1979


…Suslov has doubled down on his urge for a Moon base to be established by 1987 despite Soviet military strength remaining poor due to outdated weaponry and ICBM systems. …To summarize: despite the USSR’s funneling of weapons and other supplies to the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, to the Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq regime in Pakistan, and to the anti-monarchist militias in rural Iran, the USSR does not have the means to successfully wage an outright invasion of any of these nation. However, troop mobilizations and an increase in exercise maneuvers promote the theory of Soviet plans to send “assisting” troops to one, some, or all of these nations…

– CIA Internal memo, 12/15/1979

“Win With Westmoreland”

– Slogan of the William Westmoreland 1980 presidential campaign, officially launched 12/18/1979

“I’ve read hundreds of cookbooks. Most of those cookbooks don’t even tell you how to get a steak ready, how to bake biscuits or an apple pie. The food I’ve liked in my time is American country cookin’. But in this book I’m going to try something new. I’m going to tell how I grew up and at the same time tell you how you can have the kind of food I grew up on. When I tell you how to get food ready for eating, I won’t use just a cold mathematical formula to help you put it on your table. I’ll be telling you how to prepare it like a man who’s talking to you right over your kitchen stove. My list of American country food you won’t find in fancy cookbooks. I’ve dug into my own favorite recipes and I’ve also come up with a few of the most delicious dishes this country has ever invented – after I’ve figured them out in my own way. There won’t be hundreds of them, but even a few are worth more than all the imported recipes with unpronounceable names put together. …I’m making room in these pages for real old-time American country and farm cooking before it’s forgotten.”

– Harland Sanders’ The Colonel’s Cook Book, published late 1979 [18]


[pic: ]
– Colonel Sanders’ Christmas album, republished for December 1979

The party was torn over the concept of a one-child policy. We needed to curb our overpopulation crisis as our cities were beginning to fill back up in the wake of the 1975 Civil War. The opening of relations to America led to American sociology experts cautioning us against such a policy, claiming it would ruin the nation in the long-term. Traditionally, Chinese parents prefer having sons, and will procreate until they have at least one. To force couples to stop after just one, and that one being a daughter, would dishearten couples, and possibly make the people question traditional values such as marriage and children. So, one of us suggested prohibiting parents from having any more children after having one son. This idea was rejected on the grounds that it would create favoritism, and would likely have the opposite effect of creating more female than male citizens in the long run. There was also more to it than that. Regulating births would mean needing to ensure women were not having more children, meaning we would have to force women to learn how to use contraceptives, or even force them to have abortions. And we didn’t need any more discontent from the masses. Furthermore, the result of one child for every two parents would lead to a smaller workplace and an imbalance between young and elderly citizens.

The question then became “what other options do we possibly have.” After Deng Xiaoping’s advisors spoke with American businessmen, and subsequently studied American history, the administration found an answer. Deng agreed – instead of having Han Chinese suffocating on the coastal cities, the party would promote families moving out west, to the Xiaoping and Tibet regions of China, where “the only things out there is beautiful mountains, fertile soil, plenty of sun and rain, and absolutely nothing else at all.”

– Bo Yibo’s The Dragon and The Eagle: Chinese and American Dances, Daggers and Dinners, English translation, 1998

By December, I had let my drug problem get completely out of control. At that point, I was so paranoid Kuhn – um, the fifth Commissioner of Baseball after Gene Zuckert retired – that he Kuhn knew about my drug abuse that that December I’d spend up a night, staring out his front window while holding a shotgun out of fear that Kuhn would come to my house a fire me [19]. I couldn’t let him take away baseball from me, and in my drugged-out state, I wasn’t thinking clearly. I’ll never forget that night. It was past 7:00 A.M., but the sun wasn’t out yet, because, y’know, winter, and I saw that man. I didn’t see he was walking his dog. Instead I saw him as Kuhn. He had the same build and a similar coat, and I got jumpy. I walked out the front door, I fired and I shot him. When I went over and saw it wasn’t him, I called the police, and I stayed in my house until I was convinced to come out again. Yeah, 1980 was a bad year for me, but, you know what? I’m just glad I’m a terrible shot and I only got the man in his right shoulder…

– Darrell Porter, 2001 interview


– The Chicago Tribune, 1/4/1980


…Apart from a moment of hostility between Lukens and Hammond over what environmentalism means for workers, the night was a calm and professional examination of how five of the candidate stack up against one another… Denton, Lukens, Paul, Brooke, and Hammond each offered different ideas for the new decade, suggesting the G.O.P. could go forward in many different directions, both in this election and beyond. Denton is a fiscally moderate war-hawk with socially conservative stances that are not as religious in nature as the social policies offered by Lukens, the pugnacious Ohioan running on a more conservative platform overall, and is a strong supporter of more restrictive immigration policies. On the opposite side of these two are Hammond and Brooke, who promote more moderate policies. Hammond may be even further to the left than Brooke, though, as Hammond supports tighter anti-pollution laws, and is attempting to return the Federal Assistance Dividend proposal to the national discussion. And in a third “lane” is the libertarian-leaning Senator Paul, who agrees with Vice President Gravel’s anti-war foreign policy, but supports huge tax cuts and the removal of several federal services…

The Boston Globe, 1/6/1980


– The New York Post, 1/9/1980


…Experts on cancer and radiation poisoning are collaborating with C.D.C. and E.P.A. officials to monitors the health of citizens who were close to the nuclear plant when its tower collapsed. …investigations are still underway as to what exactly caused the tower collapse, though law officials have ruled out an act of sabotage such as a Cam Bomb…

The Denver Post, 1/10/1980


…the court judge ruled in favor of the accused due to a lack of non-circumstantial evidence…

The Tampa Bay Times, Florida newspaper, 1/11/1980

The January 1980 Canadian federal election was held on January 13, 1980, to elect the House of Commons of Canada. The election resulted in the defeat of the Conservative Party after over 10 years in power under Prime Minister Robert Stanfield of Nova Scotia. Jean Chretien of Quebec led the Liberal Party to power, albeit with only a plurality of seats and a 3% margin of victory in the popular vote. Chretien won over Stanfield as well as Ed Broadbent of the Progressive Tomorrow Party, with other parties and candidates obtaining negligible amounts of votes. Chretien became Prime Minister on January 26, 1980, and the age of 45.


On 15 January 1980, Brazil hosted its freest and most democratic election in what felt like an eternity for many. Tancredo Neves (PMDB) won the election over Paulo Maluf (PDS), 32.1% to 67.9%...

– Boris Faustino and Sergio Fausto’s, Brazil: A Nation’s History, Cambridge University Press, 1999 (Second Edition, 2014)

…In today’s Finnish Presidential election, Mauno Koivisto of the Social Democratic was elected Finland’s newest President, the nation’s ninth overall. The incumbent President, Urho Kakkonen of the Centre Party, retired due to poor health, which has become very noticeable in recent years, especially after a fall in December 1978...

– BBC World News, 16/1/1980 broadcast


The Washington Post, 1/21/1980

“See, honey? I told you we don’t need so many security folk crowdin’ us. Just look at this crowd here! None of these folks would – ”

– Colonel Sanders, 1/28/1980

ANNOUNCER: Attention! This is a Breaking News Bulletin!

ANCHOR: Ladies and Gentlemen, we have just learned that former President Colonel Sanders has been shot. The Colonel was in New York City on a book tour to promote his new cookbook when the event occurred. As the Colonel was shaking the hands of supporters outside of a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Manhattan, a man moved through the crowd and fired a gun. We do not yet know what kind of gun and we do not yet know who this man is, but we know that he fired at least once while shouting something before the crowd subdued him. We also know that the Colonel was rushed into a car and driven away, most likely to a nearby hospital. We will keep you updated on which hospital he has been taken to, and on the seriousness of his condition. Please stayed tuned as this is developing story…

– CBS Morning News, 1/28/1980 broadcast

[1] Italicized parts are from sources 31, 32, and 7 on her Wikipedia page:'s_campaigns—1960,_1962_and_1968
[2] Italicized passages are from here:
[3] But not as dire as OTL, as the 1970s were more prosperous ITTL and there was no Iranian Revolution to worsen things even further!
[4] Points and style stem from here:
[5] Italicized parts are found here:
[6] Italicized part is from here:
[7] OTL 1979 US congressional calendar found here:
[8] Short for Reefer-Love-Sex Rock, as mentioned previously (as in way back in June 1964)
[9] Full disclosure, I’m not an expert on radiological contamination specifications. But if I was to rate this disaster on OTL’s seven-point International Nuclear Event Scale (founded in 1990), it would be a point-six: worse than Three Mile Island (a point-five), but certainly not as bad as the Kyshtym Disaster (a point-six), so it’d just barely count as a point-six, I guess.
[10] Picture was found here:
[11] What she did IOTL according to her Wikipedia article.
[12] Gravel admitted in an interview that his first marriage ended because he was unfaithful (quote: “I’d been a womanizer”):
[13] OTL quote from 1981:
[14] The 1983 NYT article “Understanding Mondale”:
[15] Eleanor was a horse-rider according to her OTL NYT obituary.
[16] OTL quote found here:
[17] Apparently an OTL thing, according to wikipedia: (see November section)
[18] Quote from the Introduction of his OTL 1966 book, “The Autobiography of the Original Celebrity Chef”
[19] Based on the following passage found on Darrell Porter’s Wikipedia article: “Porter told the Associated Press that during the winter of 1979–1980, he became paranoid, and he was convinced that baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn—who was known to be tough on drug use—knew about his drug abuse. Porter said he believed that Kuhn was trying to sneak into his house and planned to ban him from baseball for life. Porter found himself sitting up at night in the dark watching out the front window, waiting for Kuhn to approach while clutching billiard balls and a shotgun.” So…yeah…

E.T.A. for the Next Chapter: no later than December 12!

I just checked the polls and considering that Scoop probably wouldn't live through his first term, it baffles me as to how or why he ended up as the top of his poll. Also kinda disappointed. I was hoping that Ron Paul would win the Repub nom poll so that we could see how his Libertarian/Randian views would affect things in the 80s.

Maybe people are voting based on what the people of 1980 would know about these candidates?
Well Ron Paul is in second place in the polls - that's really good for someone who just got into the Senate, and will definitely influence things one way or another.

Aloha scoop Jackson wins, maybe people hope a younger feeling good you might not have had much of a chance can make it and then become president.

Or, maybe they saw the results before they voted and some voted for Jackson because Gravel didn't seem like he could win.

You know, Jackson could pick Carter as his vice president to balance the ticket which would be interesting.

By the way did you see my comment in Sports what-ifs thread on an idea for this TL?

What would Carter think of Scoop's hawkishness?

Oh, sorry, no I didn't see it. Link, please?

Does Reefer Rock have any effect on reggae?

Their similar, but Reflex has a more American vibe to it (heavier use of guitar, for instance)

With regards to LGBT rights ITTL, some interesting facts to point out here from OTL: the first state to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in all forms of employment, housing, credit, education and public accommodations was not California but...Wisconsin, of all states (given its Progressive history, though, it might not be a surprise--in fact, during the 1950s, when Laverne and Shirley and Happy Days were set in, Milwaukee had a Socialist Party mayor (1); keep in mind that this was during the Red Scare period), in 1982, way before gay rights became a big issue...

And Minnesota was the first state to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity in housing, insurance, goods/services, contracts, health benefits, hospital visitation rights, and 1993 (over a decade before gender identity started being the issue it is today)...

That's interesting, methinks...
Yes, very! Good to know!

And the Trojan Tower disaster reminds me a little of the Fermi plant disaster in @dartingfog's TL How We Lost Detroit...

It is sort of inspired by that (and more so the power plant from the Simpsons, which is based on the Trojan Power Plant), but don't worry, we won't lose Oregon ITTL (though in Astoria and Portland (both roughly 50 miles away from the site), people are freaking out and, fearing safety, many are debating moving away)!

Wisconsin reflects the schizophrenia of Middle American politics. It has produced some of the most liberal politicians in America (La Follette and Russ Feingold) and some of the most conservative politicians (Joe McCarthy and Scott Walker).
Very astute observation - also good to know!

And the situation in the Northwest won't be helped at all when a certain volcano erupts in May of 1980...
Indeed! Washington's Governor Julia Butler Hansen will certainly have her hands full - all while she considers running for re-election in 1980, too!
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Is there a law that Mark David Chapman HAS to shoot someone in NYC in 1980 or something?
My first thought wasn't that it was Chapman, it was that bin Laden had arranged for an attempt on the Colonel because of the Atlanta treaty. Although, I suppose it could be Chapman that bin Laden used as his triggerman for the hit. But if that's the case, I can't wait to see what Gap's explanation for how that came to be is.
My first thought wasn't that it was Chapman, it was that bin Laden had arranged for an attempt on the Colonel because of the Atlanta treaty. Although, I suppose it could be Chapman that bin Laden used as his triggerman for the hit. But if that's the case, I can't wait to see what Gap's explanation for how that came to be is.

Sirhan Sirhan was kinda pissed at the Colonel too.
The link is here. Uh,I got the page right anyway now, you can scroll down, I don't know what I'm doing wrong with that link, but that shows I probably didn't @ you correctly either :). But the suggestions is just in time for another contender for the "Who Shot Colonel Sanders" derby. :)

I mean, this is so awesome - I even wonder if Lee Harvey Oswald is still around. first thought was Sirhan Sirhan, but Chapman is possible, too. You've set this up so beautifully - funny thing is, I was wondering if the Colonel might get shot when I read Sirhan's quote (which probably is why I went with him first; but if he's a former Derby winner, would he be too well-known in the crowd?). It's right ab out the time of "Who Shot J.R." also, which makes it even cooler.

People in the Northwest are going to be even more supportive of getting the place back to its natural condition than OTL even.

I think Carter would be disappointed at Jackson's hawkishness, but at the same time, he's been in tghe senatge for a while and may have diffeent views about the soviet Union after seeing up close the nature of Suslov's regime. Which means he might be willing to be on a Jackson ticket in the same way Bush was Reagan.

Still, he probably would decline. B ush accepted because he had come in 2nd and knew that after 8 years he would have a decent shot at the White House if Reagan served 2 terms; plus he'd be in the public eye more than if he declined - whereas there was no assurance he coud win election as governor or senator in 1982 - the more I think about it. Whereas Carter has more chances to be in the public eye now.
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