German official presents color TVs to U.S. troops
September 26, 1973
MAINZ, Germany — A high German official presented the first of five color television sets to members of the 8th Inf Div here Tuesday.
Dr. Helmut Kohl, minister-president of Rheinland-Pfalz, made the initial presentation to USAREUR Commander-in-Chief Gen. Michael S. Davison at the state chancellory. During the ceremony, Davison called the gesture "symbolic of the deep interest the people of the area have for the presence of U.S. troops."
The official, who is the equivalent of an American governor, then repeated the presentation at the Patton NCO club at Lee Barracks. He stated that "whatever we can do to help the welfare of the troops will be done."
Speaking as leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the chief opposition party, he said that "here and in Bonn there is much concern for the continued presence of the Americans."
Col. John J. Costa, 1st Brigade CO, thanked Kohl for his initiative to the federal government "for an organized relief from the financial difficulties that face American servicemen at this time."
Kohl jokingly mentioned his own position on the board of directors of the Second German Television (ZDF) and then apologized for the fact that "many of the things you observe on German TV have no real tie in with the German way of life." He added, "What we are trying to accomplish here is for the Americans to have some insight into the ways the Germans live."
He also turned over sets at Baumholder and Ramstein Air Base later in the afternoon. The remaining sets will be given to isolated sites in the near future.
The sets cost approximately $630 each and the money was provided from Kohl's personal representation fund.