sydney and I are officially the biggest watergate geeks ever
Stubbly Nixon makes babies happy!
Source: LA Times
Didn’t realize I Reblogged that shiba post in here. Oops.
The best thing.
Elvis Meets Nixon
A colleague called and announced, “The king is at the gate. I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ He said, ‘The king is at the gate.’ “
Presley explained his goal in a six-page letter to Nixon:
"I have done an in-depth study of drug abuse and Communist brainwashing techniques, and I am right in the middle of the whole thing where I can and will do the most good," Presley wrote in part, citing his status as an entertainer. “I am glad to help just so long as it is kept very private."
Presley asked Nixon for “federal credentials” and expressed his concern with some current developments in the country.
"The drug culture, the hippie elements, the SDS, Black Panthers, etc. do not consider me as their enemy or as, they call it, the establishment," Presley wrote. “I call it American and I love it. Sir, I can and will be of any service that I can to help the country out."
MEDIA ROOTS — October 3rd, 1970, Elvis Presley wrote the following letter to Richard Nixon:
“First, I would like to introduce myself. I am Elvis Presley and admire you and have great respect for your office. I talked to Vice President Agnew in Palm Springs three weeks ago and expressed my concern for our country. The drug culture, the hippie elements, the SDS, Black Panthers, etc. do NOT consider me as their enemy or as they call it The Establishment…
I will be here for as long as long as it takes to get the credentials of a Federal Agent. I have done an in-depth study of drug abuse and Communist brainwashing techniques and I am right in the middle of the whole thing where I can and will do the most good. I am Glad to help just so long as it is kept very Private.”
On December 21st, 1970, Elvis Presley was invited to the White House for a personal meeting with Richard Nixon and his advisors. To pre-empt said meeting, Nixon was given a briefing that stated:
To thank Elvis Presley for his offer to help in trying to stop the drug epidemic in the country, and ask him to work us in bringing a more positive attitude to young people through-out the country…
Suggestions for Presley activities:
*Encourage fellow artists to develop a new rock musical theme, ‘Get High on Life’”
After this fruitful meeting between the two men, Nixon sent a letter in response to Elvis:
“It was a pleasure to meet with you in my office recently, and I want you to know once again how much I appreciate your thoughtfulness in giving me the commemorative World War II Colt 45 pistol, encased in the handsome wooden chest. You were particularly kind to remember me with this impressive gift.”
President Nixon had presented Elvis with an ‘honorary’ badge granting him superficial status as a drug enforcement agent, predating the formation of the DEA. The seeds planted in this meeting and orchestrated PR campaign eventually lead to the formation of the Drug Enforcement Administration. When Elvis received the badge, the Washington Post described the scene (via January 27th, 1972):
“By presidential dictum, Elvis Presley, the swivel-hipped singer, has been issued a federal narcotics badge. The Emotional Presley was so overwhelmed at getting his own genuine, gold-plated badge that tears sprang from his eyes, and he grabbed President Nixon in a Hollywood bear hug.”
Officially the agency known as the Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA, was established on July 1st, 1973, with a signing order by President Richard Nixon. The act effectively combined the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD) and the Office of Drug Abuse Law Enforcement (ODALE) under one umbrella. We will continue to write more about the origins of the DEA on Media Roots in the coming months, but for now enjoy this actual happening as surreal as it may seem.
Nixon is bemused by Ike’s magical measurements.
Today’s Historical Headline: Soap Opera Viewers Find ‘Watergate Show’ Dull Fare
The Watergate Hearings, which led to Nixon’s resignation, were first televised on today’s date in 1973. Led by Sen. Sam J. Ervin (the man in focus in the photograph above), they examined the break-in at the Watergate Hotel and Pres. Nixon’s involvement in the scandal.
There have been comparisons made in recent weeks between Watergate and the 9/11 Benghazi attacks. Bob Woodward, of Watergate’s Woodward and Bernstein, says Benghazi is a serious issue. The Guardian and New York Magazine beg to differ, while the Christian Science Monitor explains Woodward’s comments in greater detail.
If you want to read more about Watergate, here’s some of the Washington Post’s original groundbreaking coverage. Prefer the printed page? Here’s Woodward and Bernstein’s book about the scandal and their coverage, All the President’s Men, and here’s the movie starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman.
(Photo from here.)
Side note: If you follow other history blogs, you’ll see that today was also the day that the decision in Brown v. Board of Education was handed down, in 1954. We wanted to cover something we’d seen a little less about, but here’s the Oyez article, as well as a Westlaw article on the significance of the ruling that struck down the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson “separate but equal” doctrine.
Raised by Liberals, Conservative by Choice: An Oldie but a Goodie - Hugh Hewitt interviews James Rosen of FNC about Watergate1
For those who haven’t read it, James Rosen’s 2008 book, The Strong Man: John Mitchell And The Secrets Of Watergate is amazing. There wasn’t a book on Mitchell, a central figure of the Watergate Scandal; so Rosen, too young to even remember Watergate, wrote one.
"Let’s not forget, for…
When I ordered this from Amazon I wasn’t expecting a copy from 1977. Not complaining. #Journalism #Watergate #History #Nixon #70s #books
So awesome. My copy from Amazon was decidedly newer looking, and I lament it.