Each Friday as an alternative way of posting about a historical event that occurred on this day in history, I will weave the event into a fictional story while still providing all the necessary facts.
In the summer of 1974, two friends embarked on a few weeks of fun at Camp Sacajawea, a Girl Scout camp in southern New Jersey. At the time of this summer fun, the country was in turmoil. A year before, the United State’s direct involvement in the Vietnam War ended but there were still lasting effects. Serious events were underway in Washington DC too.; however these were girls who were not yet teenagers and most current events didn’t really touch them.
Sitting on her cot, writing a letter, Ann said, “Do you want to sign up for arts and crafts for tomorrow’s activity?”
“I don’t mind. The counselor in charge was pretty cool and had a guitar. While we were making our sit-upon, she played music and made comments that made me laugh,” said Maryann.
“What did she say?”
“The Show Must Go On was playing on the radio and she said, listen up girls. If I teach you nothing else this week, remember this. Three Dog Night is the greatest band that ever lived.”
Ann and Maryann burst out laughing and couldn’t seem to stop. They were still laughing when there was a knock at the tent platform opening. Maryann opened the tent flap and peered out.
“I’ve been asked to pass the word. Everyone has to report to the pavilion but the counselors didn’t say why.”
“Ok. Do you need any help rounding up the campers?”
“No just a few more tents and I’m finished. Thanks though.”
Maryann and Ann made their way to the pavilion and joined a crowd of girls also heading in that direction.
Standing at one end of the pavilion near the outdoor stone stove was the head counselor Terry. She has a serious look on her face and the other counselors were whispering among themselves.
“Everyone come in and find a seat. There is plenty of room for everyone at the tables.” Everyone found seats and began to settle down.
“Girls. Most of you are probably too young to know what has been going on with our President. I’m in college and I’m not sure I fully understand about Watergate. They made an announcement today that the President was going to speak to the American public on television tonight. We don’t have televisions at camp. I know because I missed Tony Orlando and Dawn last night and I’m going to miss The Streets of San Francisco tonight. We do have a radio so we’ll listen to Richard Nixon’s speech.
There was a collective moan from the girls. After all these girls were ten and eleven years of age and didn’t understand. Terry asked the girls to settle down and turned on the radio. After a few announcements, the President began to speak.
Author’s notes: Richard Nixon really did resign and I actually listened to it on the radio at Girl Scout camp. A camp counselor really did lectures us about Three Dog Night but I don’t remember the actual song or if it was the summer of 1974. I guess I listened and remembered because whenever I hear a Three Dog Night song, I remember camp and I laugh. Going to camp was what I remember most about girl scouting.