Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Another History Post

1. Camp David is named after Eisenhower's grandson.

2. President Johnson tried to broker a peace accord with Vietnam in his last year of presidency, but failed. Nixon had already asked South Vietnam to wait until he was elected, suggesting that he would bring them a better deal.

3. Johnson loved skinny dipping and Fresca, and was said to have announced his ideas for the The Great Society to his advisers while he was nude in the swimming pool.

4. Nixon had so many enemies, he had to keep a list of their names.

5. Carter turned the AC off in the White House during summer days, and it was said to have been broiling hot. Carter, the good southern boy and eco-evangelist, didn't seem to mind the heat.

6. Nancy Reagan served as Reagan's protector and had Donald Regan fired.

7. George Bush Sr. was so popular after Desert Storm, and so unpopular after he gave up on his promise--no new taxes. I think about that, and I worry about Obama. After all, so many president's approval ratings have depended on the economy doing well , and yet, economic woes are often inherited from prior administrations.


Lyle Daggett said...

On some T.V. news show recently, someone (I think a long-time Washington reporter) said that Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon had a strong dislike for each other. Nixon wanted some favor from Johnson, and Johnson wouldn't do it; Nixon told Johnson "If you don't do this for me, I'll reveal publicly that you had my plane bugged." Johnson retorted, "If you do that, I'll reveal that you delayed the Vietnam peace talks in order to get elected President, which is treason."

The Nixon "enemies list" became famous and infamous while Nixon was president. The existence of the list became public news at some point while the Watergate scandal was unfolding.

I'm not quite sure if I would put it exactly the way you did: that Nixon had so many enemies, he had to keep a list of their names. Nixon and his staff made the list aggressively, declaring people to be enemies, with an eye and a mind toward suppressing political opposition.

The list included labor leaders, members of Congress, a few Hollywood celebrities, some business people, people who worked in the academic world in various fields, some progressive political organizations, and -- by far the largest category -- news media people.

A few of the famous names on the list were Edward Kennedy, John Conyers, Shirley Chisholm, Eugene McCarthy, the Black Panthers, the Brookings Institution, the National Farmers Organization, the Washington Post, Hunter S. Thompson, Bill Cosby, Jane Fonda, Paul Newman, Tony Randall (the actor on the T.V. show "The Odd Couple"), Robert McNamara (Secretary of Defense under Kennedy and Johnson), Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, Carl Djerassi (one of the inventors of the first oral contraceptive)...

Wikipedia has an article that gives the original White House memo that started the enemies list, here, and another article that gives the full "master list" of the enemies list, here.

Nin Andrews said...

Yes, thanks! Nixon is fascinating--and I never tire of reading/learning about him. I was thinking of Ford's comment about Nixon when I wrote that--Ford said something along the lines of--no man should have so many enemies, he has to keep a list.
I do think/wonder if Bush didn't learn one thing well from Nixon--to destroy the evidence--or any people who might provide evidence--of your criminal behavior.