The $64,000 Question
A new and intoxicating form of magical entertainment appeared in the early nineteen-forties, an intrusive square box filled with a cathode ray tube: television. The new medium rapidly progressed and by the early nineteen-fifties became the plug-in drug, a pleasant new form of hypnosis, a narcotic drip for America’s consumers. In 1955 on Tuesday nights, CBS Television aired a new narcotic drip known as The $64,000 Question, the name of which represented the maximum prize money available for a contestant who answered a series of increasingly more difficult questions about his or her chosen topic. $64K in 1955 had the purchasing equivalence of $615K in today’s inflated market place; so winning that top prize in the mid-nineteen-fifties was a life changing event, not unlike winning Who Wants To Be A Millionaire several years ago.
For decades, questions regarding the location of Robert Kennedy during the weekend of Marilyn’s death have been hotly debated. Was he in Northern California, along with his wife, Ethel, and four of his children, visiting the family and the ranch of John Bates in Gilroy, California; or was the attorney general in Southern California? Did he ride a helicopter from Gilroy to Hollywood and visit Marilyn at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive? Did he visit Marilyn that August Saturday? That debate continues; so, allow me now to ask you today’s $64K question: Where was Robert Kennedy on August the 4th in 1962? Yes, television fans, that is the question. Truth or consequences; so take your time before answering.