The Case for Impeachment of Richard M. Nixon - Now [Broadsheet with old video cassette in plastic case]

By: AFL-CIO

Price: $249.94

Quantity: 1 available


1 pages; Broadsheet -- 45 x 28 cm, folded twice to make a small quarto gathering: (folded size: 23 x 14 cm.) The "Title page" in this folded format has the printed notation, underlined, at the top: "First in a Series." The last page of the folded format has the running title: "A Full and Fair Hearing." The nine-paragraph text begins: "The AFL-CIO believes that President Nixon should be impeached. Last week we published the 19-point bill of particulars that led to that conclusion. This week we begin a series documenting those charges..." Signed (in facsimile) at the bottom "George Meany" with the printed note at the bottom: "Reprinted from the AFL-CIO News, Nov. 17, 1973." With both folds open, the verso of the sheet forms a single broadside in double columns. The text contains a detailed timeline of the AFL-CIO points in favor of its call for impeachment. Printed at the bottom is the name and Washington DC address of the labor organization. This broadsheet is described in a single OCLC Number, with only one location reported [see OCLC Number 68129481 -- NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIV. This is for the broadsheet only; no mention of a video component in the description] Our copy is tucked into a large plastic clamshell box. The molded plastic box contains an old video cassette. There are two typed paper labels attached to the clear plastic "window" at the top side of this ancient Sony cassette. One reads: "INAUGERATION [sic] OF PRES. FORD. 8/9/74 / TAPE 1." This label has an additional notation handwritten in ink: "acceptance speech." The lower label has the typed text: "PRESIDENT' NIXON'S ABDICATION. / Tape 1" The Surplus-Duplicate stamp of the Library of Congress has been stamped vertically accross the pair of labels. Even for those of us old enough to remember (and still own) the once-ubiquitous VHS format video cassette tapes, this object is unfamiliar. It is larger, thicker, and heavier than the VHS tapes (or the smaller Sony Betamax tapes which preceded the VHS tapes to the graveyard of technical formats). This is a Sony U-matic analog recording videocassette format -- introduced to the market in September 1971. The tape is 3/4" (1.9 cm - as opposed to the familiar consumer formats which both measured 1/2"). It was among the first video formats to employ a cassette, rather than the reel-to-reel tapes (2" and 1") which had been used before, mostly by broadcast television stations. Another unusual feature, considering all that came later: the supply and take-up reels in the cassette turn in opposite directions during playback, fast-forward, and rewind: one reel would run clockwise while the other would run counter-clockwise. As a potential consumer format, the U-Matic system was a failure. The tapes were expensive (particularly the largest capacity model like this example, which held up to a hour's worth of video). The play-back equipment was VERY expensive. However, the format was very successful for such applications as business communication. Film companies also used U-Matic widely for daily rushes. But the largest group of users constituted broadcast television; local TV stations and national TV networks adopted the Sony U-Matic format when its first portable model, the Sony VO-3800, was released in 1974. "Electronic News Gathering" as the system came to be called, may have been expensive, but so was the 16-mm film camera and related ancillary equipment formerly used out on location. And, crucially, U-Matic video was so much faster. While we cannot prove that this 40-year old video cassette was issued by the AFL-CIO -- the Library of Congress would have had no reason to tuck their "Case for Impeachment..." broadside in the case before making the choice not to accession this object. It is most likely that this case and contents were sent to the LC in hopes of registering a Copyright. In support of this assumption, the metal guard across the tape access window of the cassette body has the stamped letters: "Copyrighted Program" at the top edge. The side edge is usefully stamped: "Do not touch the tape inside." (An interesting side note: the large, round, red button on the underside of the cassette body, marked with the raised letter: "R" is still present. One would expect that this would have been removed, which would make it impossible to erase this tape. The blank tapes were expensive (one-hour first series U-Matic tapes then sold for about $100 each in quantity), so it is likely that this was done by the AFL-CIO in a limited number of copies. Of course, then, as now, the major operatives of political lobbying seemed to have vast resources at their fingertips . So, this now-rare video-tape and the broadside contained in its purpose-molded plastic case, represents a rare peek at "inside-the-beltway" politics of four decades ago. The Watergate affair was, arguably, the beginning of the 24-hour news cycle, with revelations seemingly coming daily during those crowded months of 1974. The new speed of reporting, and information (both for providers and recipients) was largely made possible by technical advances such as the U-Matic three-quarter video tape offered here. If prospective customers wonder about current means of playing the tape, it is still true that many public television stations maintain an old deck or two in their racks, since so many programs and films were archived in this format back in the day. If all else fails, the Library of Congress audio and media facility in Culpeper, Virginia, holds thousands of its titles on U-matic video (many of them copyright deposit exemplars) and the means to play them. For the technically inclined, this cassette is the old and original U-Matic cassette format, rather than the similar, but slightly smaller U-Matic S (which was not widely used until 1975, but quickly became almost universal). The distinction between the two formats does bolster the supposition that this tape was made and circulated in the warm months of 1974, as Watergate news was breaking, rather than even slightly later. The plasic case shows minor wear, particularly at the bottom edge of the "spine" -- and has a 5-inch cut to the plastic surface along the "rear" cover. The front cover is dusty, and has a plastic sleeve meant to receive a title slip -- (now empty).

Title: The Case for Impeachment of Richard M. Nixon - Now [Broadsheet with old video cassette in plastic case]

Author Name: AFL-CIO

Categories: Political Science, Law and Legal History, Americana and American History,

Publisher: Washington, D.C., American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations: 1973 (& 1974)

Binding: VHS Tape

Book Condition: Very Good

Size: 4to

Seller ID: 41585

Keywords: Watergate Richard Nixon Gerald Ford Impeachment AFL-CIO George Meany Political lobbying