Showing posts with label Richard Nixon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Richard Nixon. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Unfortunately, the judge believed in jail

Aug. 8, 1974: The front page of the Baton Rouge (La.) State-Times had the biggest headline I'd ever seen in my 13½ years on Earth: Nixon to Quit.
Inside, on Page 20-A, was this campaign ad for Gil Dozier, running for Public Service Commissioner that fall.

His campaign chairman, Dr. Billy Cannon -- local orthodontist and LSU's only Heisman Trophy winner -- paid for it. Dozier lost.
But the next year, Dozier got himself elected Louisiana agriculture commissioner. And in 1980, he got himself convicted on federal racketeering and extortion charges. After a failed appeal in 1982, he took up residence in the federal pen in Fort Worth, Texas.

In 1983, Cannon ended up in federal prison, too -- in Texarkana, Texas -- after being convicted of counterfeiting $6 million in $100 bills. Both got out of the pen in 1986.

I wonder how many folks ever think "Hey! Both of these guys went to federal pen -- funny how life works" when seeing an old newspaper political ad from their misspent youth. I'll bet a bunch . . . if they're from Louisiana.

Friday, July 04, 2014


Well, this is something you don't see every day.

Wait, it gets better. 

The Spiro Agnew Room, in honor of the disgraced Richard Nixon's disgraced first vice president, is at the Omaha Press Club. Which, in 1972, named a private room in honor of Agnew, who famously called the nation's press "nattering nabobs of negativism."

APPARENTLY, the naming was done while the press club's board put its collective tongue firmly in its collective cheek, but it nevertheless honored the then-vice president by putting his face on the barroom floor -- a longtime honor at the club -- with Agnew himself attending the dedication.

"I don't get press rooms dedicated to me too often," he said at the June 10 event. "In some places, I'm not even allowed in."

A year and a half later, after Agnew was forced to resign right before pleading no contest to tax-evasion charges stemming from an alleged bribery scheme in 1967, when he was governor of Maryland. The press club, though, decided it would keep the room's name just as it was. According to Bob Considine's newspaper column of Nov. 11, 1973:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Simply '70s: Hard-won wisdom born of sin

I always thought this was the best speech Richard Nixon ever gave.

Nearly 37 years on, I still remember watching it. And I remember being incredibly sad, though not as sad as my mother, who thought Nixon was the bee
's knees and got railroaded by the communists.

But it was sad. It's never a happy affair when a man is brought to his knees, no matter how richly deserved and no matter how much his own doing.

IN AUGUST 1974, the republic was saved because the Constitution worked. Back then, no man was above the law. Even the president.

What was remarkable about this, Nixon's best speech, is that he could not have given it just days before. This was the speech of a broken man, a hated man, one who deep down inside knew he had done wrong.

It was a speech born of the wisdom of a sinner. It was the same wisdom David found after Nathan confronted him with his murderous sin -- the same grief later born of a heart broken by Absalom, the son who died in rebellion against him.

The wisdom of sin. And a heart softened by its brokenness.

We are a nation presently full of tragedy, and one that has seen much worse. We, however, are a nation with little sense of the tragic, but plenty taste for anger, strife, hatred and alienation.

We have yet to learn the one hard lesson Richard Nixon learned from the bitter fruit of his own sin:

"Always give your best, never get discouraged, never be petty; always remember others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself."