THE CONGRESS: How the SST Died

Heading into the showdown Senate vote on the SST, proponents clung to a single hope, wispy as a contrail, of keeping the aircraft from crashing. Their head count showed 49 Senators against the plane, 47 for it, two absent and two wavering: Maine's Margaret Chase Smith and Kentucky's John Sherman Cooper. If Richard Nixon could land those two Republicans, the SST might yet take off. Vice President Spiro Agnew stood ready to cast a tie-breaking vote to continue the aircraft's funding.

Nixon telephoned Cooper, pleaded for his support. Cooper had voted against...

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