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snopes
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quote:
I wasn't alive to see Ronald Reagan as governor, but I understand that he said, "If it takes a bloodbath to silence the demonstrators, let's get it over with," in reference to the 1960s student unrest at Berkeley. Is this quotation apocryphal?

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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It was quoted in this article about Reagan

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Bonnie
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What makes Reagan's observation more interesting, I think, is the damage control that followed it.

Within hours of making the comment, Reagan insisted that he had never intended to use the word "bloodbath" in this, his off-the-cuff response to a delegate's question at a meeting of the Council of California Growers on 7 April 1970. As the UPI reported the following day,

quote:
Gov. Ronald Reagan says his remark that a "bloodbath" may be needed to quell militant demonstrators was only a figure of speech "I wasn't even aware I had used."

In response to a question at a meeting of growers at Yosemite National Park Tuesday afternoon Reagan said:

"If it takes a bloodbath, let's get it over with. No more appeasement."

But later both at a news conference and during a talk at a fund-raising dinner [in Bakersfield], Reagan said he had not meant to use the term.

"I certainly don't think there should be a bloodbath on campus or anywhere else," he said. "It was just a figure of speech." [1]

In a later interview with Reagan biographer Lou Cannon [2], Paul Beck -- Reagan's press secretary during his governorship -- maintained that "Reagan did not realize he had used the word 'bloodbath.' Beck had to play Reagan's remarks back to him on a tape recorder before Reagan would believe him."

Unfortunately, Beck's public clarification at the time of the Governor's comment was not itself entirely flawless. A reporter for The Long Beach Independent revealed that,

quote:
Paul Beck, press secretary for Reagan, told newsmen that the governor's "bloodbath" statement was meant merely as a "figure of speech" although Reagan did not make that distinction when it used it in a re-election campaign audience composed of members of the Council of California Growers in Yosemite. Beck maintained the remark was "not literal."

"I don't think anyone in his right mind would say he wanted a bloodbath," Beck said.

-- Bonnie

[1] From the UPI's "Bloodbath 'Figure of Speech'," reprinted in The Oakland Tribune, 8 April 1970, Pg. 1.]

[2] From Cannon's Governor Reagan: His Rise to Power (New York: Public Affairs, 2003; Pg. 295).

[3] From Bob Schmidt's "'Bloodbath' Remark: Reagan's Big Blunder?" 9 April 1970, Pg. A-4.

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Floater
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Obviously he wasn't the only one with bloodbath on his mind at the time as the Kent State shootings occurred only a month afterwards. It would have been very interesting if it had been the other way round.

ETA Or not. Either way one can wonder who inspired whom.

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Richard W
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quote:
"I don't think anyone in his right mind would say he wanted a bloodbath," Beck said.
Well, there you go...
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Floater
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[Big Grin]

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Små hönor skall inte lägga stora ägg för då blir de slarviga i ändan

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DesertRat
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Of course, no one else in American history, and certainly no one on this board, has ever used exaggerated or hyperbolic language they didn't exactly mean while in a stressful situation...

[Roll Eyes]

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High on the wind, the Highland drums begin to roll, and something from the past just comes and stares into my soul... --Mark Knopfler

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snopes
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quote:
Of course, no one else in American history, and certainly no one on this board, has ever used exaggerated or hyperbolic language they didn't exactly mean while in a stressful situation...
The difference is that few of us have the power or authority to actually bring about the literal results of such hyperbolic language.

- snopes

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Pogue Ma-humbug
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quote:
Originally posted by DesertRat:
Of course, no one else in American history, and certainly no one on this board, has ever used exaggerated or hyperbolic language they didn't exactly mean while in a stressful situation...

[Roll Eyes]

Then let's look at Gov. Reagan's actions.

According to the People's Park official site:

quote:
Rocks and metal rods were thrown at the police. Eventually, the National Guard, in full battle gear, was ordered in by Governor Ronald Reagan to put down the protests. Many people were injured, one was blinded, and another was shot and killed. The streets of Berkeley were shrouded by a blanket of tear gas for days during the demonstrations. The National Guard occupied the City for weeks
The very day the "bloodbath" quote appeared in the San Francisco newspaper, Reagan sent the National Guard in to take over the park, giving them "carte blanche to use whatever methods they chose against crowds that swelled to approximately 6,000 people. Officers in full riot gear (helmets, shields and gas masks) obscured their badges to avoid being identified and headed into the crowds with nightsticks swinging."

See more here.

Here's the history from the viewpoint of the Berkeley police.

All in all, one dead, 51 people shot, and 111 police hurt, including one knifed in the chest.

It looks like Reagan got his bloodbath.

Pogue

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Pogue Ma-humbug
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quote:
Originally posted by Bonnie:
Within hours of making the comment, Reagan insisted that he had never intended to use the word "bloodbath" in this, his off-the-cuff response to a delegate's question at a meeting of the Council of California Growers on 7 April 1970.

This source has the quote appearing in The San Francisco Chronicle on May 15, 1969.

Pogue

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Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

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Richard W
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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
quote:
Of course, no one else in American history, and certainly no one on this board, has ever used exaggerated or hyperbolic language they didn't exactly mean while in a stressful situation...
The difference is that few of us have the power or authority to actually bring about the literal results of such hyperbolic language.

- snopes

"Who will rid me of these turbulent students?!"
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Bonnie
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quote:
Originally posted by Pogue Mahone:
quote:
Originally posted by Bonnie:
Within hours of making the comment, Reagan insisted that he had never intended to use the word "bloodbath" in this, his off-the-cuff response to a delegate's question at a meeting of the Council of California Growers on 7 April 1970.

This source has the quote appearing in The San Francisco Chronicle on May 15, 1969.

Here's an image of a portion of the front page of the 8 April 1970 issue of The Oakland Tribune. The first couple paragraphs of UPI's report are on the bottom left corner. The story broke in papers across the country that day. The quote further generated Democratic backlash, which was covered for the next week or two, and was fodder for several columnists during that month.

I dunno, but I haven't found anything to suggest that Reagan also happened to have used "bloodbath" in May of 1969.

-- Bonnie

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First of Two
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Pogue Mahone:

quote:
Rocks and metal rods were thrown at the police.
All in all, one dead, 51 people shot, and 111 police hurt, including one knifed in the chest.

It looks like Reagan got his bloodbath.

Pogue

Looks like the crowd got their bloodbath.

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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
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quote:
Originally posted by First of Two:
quote:
Originally posted by Pogue Mahone:

quote:
Rocks and metal rods were thrown at the police.
All in all, one dead, 51 people shot, and 111 police hurt, including one knifed in the chest.

It looks like Reagan got his bloodbath.

Pogue

Looks like the crowd got their bloodbath.
Really! They asked to be shot! Where's the cite. I've gotta see this.

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by First of Two:
quote:
Originally posted by Pogue Mahone:

quote:
Rocks and metal rods were thrown at the police.
All in all, one dead, 51 people shot, and 111 police hurt, including one knifed in the chest.

It looks like Reagan got his bloodbath.

Pogue

Looks like the crowd got their bloodbath.
I can still remember Kent State and the sentiment expressed by a few that the students wouldn't have been killed if they had been in class. Clearly that kind of despicable "blame the victim" attitude is still alive and kicking.

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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