I received my master’s degree in communication in August of 1972, after taking several courses at AU’s School of International Service. A course on Southeast Asia provided historical perspective on the Vietnam War. The instructor was Kenneth Landon, a onetime missionary and diplomat whose specialty was Thailand. Landon had the distinction of being the author of the first Pentagon Paper, a memo he had written in 1945 recounting a conversation with Ho Chi Minh. Ho had asked Landon whether the United States was going to support Vietnamese independence following World War II or whether it was going to back France in reclaiming Vietnam as a French colony. It was an interesting document, but Landon’s wife, Margaret, had done more lucrative writing. Her book, Anna and the King of Siam, became The King and I, one of the biggest hit musicals of all time.
It was an eventful summer for those of us at WTOP. The Watergate break-in occurred in June. The first accounts of the crime said the suspects were six Cubans, and that’s how I remember telling the story to my listeners in the local news section of the broadcast: “Six Cubans were arrested by D.C. police last night at the Watergate office complex and charged with breaking in to the offices of the Democratic National Committee.” I probably said no more than another sentence or two. A few weeks later, the Washington Post concluded it was more than a local story.