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THE NIXON/GANNON INTERVIEWS

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Transcript: Richard Nixon/Frank Gannon Interview, February 9, 1983 [Day 1 of 9]

interviewer: Frank Gannon
interviewee: Richard Nixon
producer: Ailes Communications, INC.
date: February 9, 1983
minutes: approximately 7 hours
extent: ca. 698kb
summary: This interview, comprising six video tapes, or just over 7 hours, is the first in a series of taped interviews which extend over a total of more than 30 hours. Donated by Jesse Raiford, president of Raiford Communications, the interviews took place nearly a decade after Nixon's resignation, and were conducted with the benefit of some historical perspective and without media hype. They were conducted by Frank Gannon, special assistant and trusted friend of President Nixon. The first three video tapes contain discussions which mainly relate to Nixon's early life in California, focusing on his family, his childhood friends, and his experiences working at the "Nixon Market". As the interview continues on through tapes 4 - 6, Gannon leads the discussion toward broader topics, including U.S. presidents and foreign leaders, the Great Depression, World War II, VJ Day, the Viet Nam War, and anti-Semitism in Russia. Nixon and Gannon also discuss such topics as the Pumpkin Papers, the Hiss Case, the Checkers speech, and the Hollywood Ten.
repository: Walter J. Brown Media Archives, University of Georgia Libraries (Main Library)
collection: Richard Nixon Interviews
permissions: Contact Media Archives.

Day one, Tape one of six, LINE FEED #1, 2-9-83, ETI Reel #1
Feb. 9, 1983

Day 1, Tape 1
00:02:06
[Frank Gannon]

This is the first in a series of several tapings which will extend over several months and several hours with President Nixon. In the subsequent sessions, we'll talk about some of the domestic and foreign leaders that he's known and get his insights into their lives and careers. In this first session, we will begin at the beginning with his early life and political career. To begin at the beginning, do you have a first conscious memory?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:03:39
[Richard Nixon]

Well, curiously enough, my first memory is of running. I recall that when I was about three or three-and-a-half years of age that my mother was driving a horse and buggy, a very fast horse. She was carrying my younger brother, who was then one, Don, on her lap, and a neighbor girl, who was about twelve, was holding me. The buggy turned a corner and the horse took off and the neighbor girl dropped me. I fell out of the buggy. I got a crease in my scalp, and I jumped up afterwards, and I was running, running, trying to catch up, because I was afraid to be left behind. Incidentally, I had a wound from that for many years thereafter. I wasn't able to part my hair on the left due to the fact that I had about fifteen stitches down that scalp.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:03:36
[Frank Gannon]

Didn't you - in the 1946 campaign, didn't you -- weren't you going to mention that in a -- in a biography and didn't your press secretary suggest that you not?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:03:46
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yes, the suggestion was made that, Oh, you can't tell them that you got hit in the head by a carriage or wheel, because they'll think that that's why there's something wrong with your head. And so I haven't told that story too often lately.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:04:00
[Frank Gannon]

Didn't - actually, that did work against Wayne Morse, didn't it?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:04:04
[Richard Nixon]

Yes, Joe McCarthy in -- I thought -- one of his attacks that I thought was out of line -- they weren't all out of line but this one certainly was -- he said, The trouble with Wayne Morse is that he got kicked in the head by a horse sometime, and that was why he was a little nutty.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:04:21
[Frank Gannon]

Your -- in your memoirs, you wrote about your parents that whoever said that opposites attract was describing the two of them. We have some photographs of your mother here. The first one, I think, was taken as a girl in Indiana and the next one is a group portrait, very characteristic of the times, taken in Whittier, when she was a teenager, and the last one, I think, is also of her at that same time. It's remarkable how much she looks like Julie, I think, in these pictures.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:05:00
[Richard Nixon]

Yes, she does.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:05:03
[Frank Gannon]

Do -- what do you think of -- what characteristics do you think of when you think of your mother in that period, in the early years?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:05:14
[Richard Nixon]

Well, I have said that she was quite a remarkable woman, and I guess most of us say that about our mothers and really feel it, and each of them is, each in a different way. But I think in her case those characteristics that stand out, among many, are, first, great strength, great kindness. She had a soft manner about her in her speech and the way she acted. I never recall the time when she raised her voice in anger about anything, but she could be very, very convincing in speaking very, very softly about something with which she disapproved. And in addition to that, she had a great capacity for love which extended far beyond her husband, whom she loved dearly, her children, for whom she would do anything. She -- that capacity for love seemed to emanate to everybody, to her sisters, to those she cared for when my brother was sick, and all of this made her develop characteristics that some friends used to say -- they used to tell me, you know, "Hannah", which was her name, "is a Quaker saint".

Day 1, Tape 1
00:06:32
[Frank Gannon]

Did -- I think you wrote somewhere that were she alive today that she wouldn't support the strong law and order ethic that underlies a lot of contemporary politics.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:06:46
[Richard Nixon]

She had too much compassion to do that. That's true. As a matter of fact, I recall an incident at the time that we had the grocery store, and we were working there and one of our customers, whose children were good friends of mine in school and of Don's, my brothers, she found had been shoplifting. And under the circumstances the sheriff came by, and she mentioned it to him, and he said, "Well, you'll have to report this." And she says, "I won't do it, because it will be terrible for her and for her children." So one day when the lady came in and what she picked up, incidentally, was so small -- it was just a kleptomaniac problem, because they weren't poor, not by the standards of those days. She had a pound of butter and a little -- a -- and some eggs and some cheese and she had slipped it into the bag and she took it out and had it -- checked it through. My mother followed her out of the car and she said, "I wonder if you would like to pay me for those things?" The woman burst into tears and said, "Please don't tell my husband. He would kill me and it will ruin the boys." And my mother said, "Don't be concerned." She says, "How much do you think you've taken?" And the woman estimated about seventy-five dollars' worth. She says, "I'll pay you back." And for the next year she paid her back at five dollars a month until it was all paid. The boys never heard about it. Her husband didn't hear about it, and, of course, she didn't continue to come in the store. But that was the way my mother would do it. She would never enforce the law if some other way you could work the thing out.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:08:38
[Offscreen voice]

Excuse me, gentlemen. Could we fix the mike cable just for a second? Keep rolling tape. Go ahead and fix that mike. That's perfect. If it'll hold, that's perfect. Okay, Frank, we'll come up to camera two and keep right on going.

Day 1, Day 1, Tape 1
00:09:49
[Frank Gannon]

Your mother was a very community-minded woman, but she was also intensely private, even, I think, in her praying.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:09:57
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, she certainly was. She never believed in wearing religion on her sleeve. We went to church a great deal, I must say, and she insisted on that, as did my father. I recall, for example, we used to go to Sunday school and church in the morning on Sunday, and Christian Endeavor at church in the evening, and then even go to prayer meeting sometimes in the middle of the week. But, on the other hand, when it came to praying, first, we always had silent grace at table, except on occasion she would have each of the boys repeat a verse so that she could be sure that we were learning our verses. And when she prayed, she would often go, as the "Bible" indicates you should, into the closet and close the door. She never prayed publicly.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:10:49
[Frank Gannon]

Your father -- many of the people who remember him think of his most prominent characteristic as his temper, and I gather that even in the store you had to sort of insulate him from the customers.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:10:52
[Richard Nixon]

Well, he was argumentative. He was combative. He was competitive. He -- he was a character. There's no question about that, the very opposite of my mother in that respect. And she often had to soothe ruffled feathers of customers who came in because my father would pick arguments with them. He loved to talk about politics, or anything, for that matter. And she sometimes, when people would come into the store that he was having a running argument with, one or the others of us would rush up to wait on that customer to assure my dad didn't get to them. And that's the way we handled him. But, on the other hand, don't get the wrong idea about him as a real man. He, too, was remarkable in his way. You know, he -- my mother understood him. My mother was quite well educated for those times. She was proficient in Greek and in Latin and in German. She also knew something about the piano, helped me a bit in that respect. She had been to college for two years and then got married before finishing. My father only went through the sixth grade.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:12:11
[Frank Gannon]

We have a photograph here of him, taken, I think, shortly after he moved to Whittier. He'd had a lot of interesting jobs before that, hadn't he?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:12:18
[Richard Nixon]

Well, as a matter of fact, he went only to the sixth grade not because he was dumb, but because his mother died of tuberculosis when he was about eight or nine years old. And from then on he was shunted from family to family, and he worked in every kind of a job. He worked as a streetcar motorman in Columbus, Ohio. He worked in the wheat fields in Colorado. He worked in the oil fields. He was a excellent carpenter. As a matter of fact, he built the house that I was born in. He was the greatest fireplace maker that Yorba Linda or anybody ever had. He used to make fireplaces for all the people when they were building fireplaces in their houses. And then, of course he was one who was always ahead of the times. He bought the first tractor in Yorba Linda, and then he contracted out to all the others to do work with tractors when others were still using horses. He was one who bought the first -- built the first service station and store between Whittier and La Habra when people -- other people didn't see that this was a real money-maker. So, as I say, we -- I think that the boys, all of us, inherited from our mother certainly some of her fine characteristics, but we also inherited from our father some of his characteristics. In my case, I guess I'd have to credit him with the competitive spirit, with the combativeness, et cetera.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:13:45
[Frank Gannon]

Didn't he believe strongly in work, the importance of work, above all else, even to the exclusion of labor-saving devices?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:13:53
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yes. Oh, you can say that again. Not only did he believe in work, but he had worked all his life himself. That didn't mean that he didn't have concern about people that couldn't get a job. You know, his bark was much louder than his bite, and while the tramps would come along, as they did in those days, particularly in the Depression, my mother always fed them and he always insisted they do a little work. And his feeling was that if you worked hard, you could get a job and you could keep it. And as far as labor-saving devices were concerned, you see, in those years, in the Depression, we weren't too aware of it, of course. But I can remember very well he said the way to get more jobs is not to have all these machines that dig ditches, get people out there to dig those ditches, that's the way to have jobs. So he was -- he would have done very well in India, where they also oppose labor-saving devices.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:14:53
[Frank Gannon]

Did they have discussions later on about moving back to Pennsylvania, where I think your mother had fond memories of a farm and he had very realistic --

Day 1, Tape 1
00:15:03
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, they had discussions not only of moving to Pennsylvania but just of going to a farm generally. My mother had the most pleasant, almost mystical, memories of her growing up on a farm in Indiana. And she remembered all the nice things about it -- the harvest time and the springtime and the snow and so forth -- and she used to talk about it and dream about it and so forth, because she was twelve years old before she left Indiana. And so she used to say to my dad, says, "We've got to go to a farm." And I remember one time we drove clear up to Oregon looking for a farm. It wasn't just Pennsylvania. That's where they eventually bought one after I came to Washington. But she wanted to go farm, and my dad would say, "Hannah, forget it." He says, "I've been on a farm. I know what it is", and then he would describe the hard work of a farm, the back-breaking work, having to shovel manure, take care of the horses, et cetera, et cetera, having to run the risk, of course, of bad weather destroying a crop, you know, scratching and biting around. He says, "I don't want any part of a farm". But eventually, of course, she won, as sheusually did. They did go to a farm. Just as she won on the matter of religion. Now, my mother was a Quaker, as I think everybody is quite aware of. I referred to her as a Quaker saint, and my father was a Methodist, but when they married they compromised. They both became Quakers, of course.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:16:32
[Frank Gannon]

When they went to the farm, didn't he disconcert visitors by the way he named some of the animals?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:16:39
[Richard Nixon]

Well, yes. He would name the animals for certain political people that he didn't like, and, under the circumstances, some of them didn't particularly appreciate that. I think one was named for Truman and another one for Stassen and people like that, as I recall.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:16:57
[Frank Gannon]

This is a -- we have a photograph here of the house that he built that you were born in. I think at one point in the 1950 campaign you went back there and commented about how small -- coming back to it, how small it seemed to you after not having been there for a while. What are your memories of early life in that house?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:17:15
[Richard Nixon]

It -- it didn't seem small then. I remember particularly Christmastime. I remember you'd see the fireplace there, which the old man built, and it was a marvelous fireplace. It threw out a lot of heat, and I remember -- of course, we believed in Santa Claus -- and I remember coming down those stairs. We used to sleep upstairs. My mother and father's room was over on this side of the house, the bedroom in which I was born, because I was born in that house, and we'd come down and we'd sit around the fireplace, and it seemed like it was a very big room and a very nice room. I guess what I remember most about that house, though, was talking. There was no television then. There was no radio, but did we talk, evening after evening. And that's one of the reasons, for example, that I think I got an interest in politics very, very early, because I can even remember my father berating my mother for having voted for Woodrow Wilson in 1916. Now, this was much later, about 1920, ' 21, when he then was saying, "Now, look, you vote the straight Republican ticket", and yet in 1924 I remember very well that he didn't vote the straight Republican ticket. He voted for La Follette, because he thought La Follette was against the trusts, La Follette was against big business, that La Follette was for the little man, and he thought that Coolidge was too much for the big man. And so he was -- he was -- with all of his talk of voting the straight party line, he was very independent in his own way.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:18:48
[Frank Gannon]

Given that opposites do attract, what do you think it was that your mother saw in your father? They met, I think, at a Valentine's dance and within three months were married, and yet the differences must have been tremendous at the time. She came from a very refined, restrained, rooted Quaker family and he was sort of a freewheeling rambling kind of --

Day 1, Tape 1
00:19:12
[Richard Nixon]

Diamond in the rough.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:19:13
[Frank Gannon]

Yeah, right.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:19:14
[Richard Nixon]

I think she saw in him, first, that he was a very handsome fellow, vigorous, handsome. He had a lot of magnetism, and I think that emanated. That affected her to an extent. And I think another thing that affected her was the fact that she felt that he really needed her. I mean, my mother had such a heart, you know, and I think when she realized that this boy hadn't had a mother, and, incidentally, he hated his stepmother even though she -- and, incidentally, she lived right near us in -- there in -- near Yorba Linda -- but he didn't like her at all, and he had never really had much of a chance in life. And he wanted desperately -- I remember my father always said to each of us, You've got to go on to school. He says, "I didn't finish. You've got to". And he insisted we go on. He wanted us to have a better time than he had.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:20:08
[Frank Gannon]

Why didn't he like his stepmother?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:20:10
[Richard Nixon]

I think it's because stepmothers are stepmothers. She was somewhat of a disciplinarian. I knew her. She was married, as a matter of fact, to Doc Marshburn, who was the father of Oscar Marshburn, who married my mother's youngest sister, and -- quite an interesting coincidence. I met her. I knew her. I liked her, but she was a very strong personality, and I just think that my father -- just -- he -- he was probably independent -- probably as much fault of his as hers.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:20:43
[Frank Gannon]

Was it difficult growing up around a man with a -- with a voluble temper?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:20:50
[Richard Nixon]

To an extent, yes, but -- and if it had not been for my mother, it would have been very difficult. But insofar as his temper was concerned, I should make it clear that he was not a violent man. I remember, for example, to show you what a soft touch he was, we used to love to go barefoot, and in the winter, of course, we couldn't do that, but just as soon as spring came we would go to my mother and say, "Can we go barefoot now"? because in school you wore shoes if you had them, which we did, and she'd say, "Go ask your father", and he'd say, "Go ask your mother". But finally it was always the old man that gave in. He said, O.K. Go barefoot. As a matter of fact, he -- he -- while you're not supposed to -- I suppose they say don't--you fail to use the rod, you spoil the child. But he was not one who could use that physical punishment as much as others did. I can't recall it too much.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:22:01
[Frank Gannon]

We have some early family photographs of you in a chair and some other ones with -- didn't your father cut your hair? That's a very --

Day 1, Tape 1
00:22:14
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yes, and, boy, we hated that.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:22:16
[Frank Gannon]

The bowl look brings that question to mind.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:22:17
[Richard Nixon]

My father, you know, as I said, he could do it all, and he was the barber, too. And he not only cut our hair when we were growing up, but he insisted on continuing to do it even after there was a barber in town. And I remember I think I got my first, what we called "store haircut," when I was about eight, nine years old. And I was glad to have it, because I remember sometimes -- my father had clippers but sometimes they pulled, and getting a haircut was agony and I just hated to do it. But he was a good barber. It was a pretty good job he did, I thought when I looked at those pictures.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:22:55
[Frank Gannon]

We have a couple of other ones, I think. You had -- there is young Nixon amidst the pumpkins. I think that's you below and Harold up above.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:23:06
[Richard Nixon]

That's exactly who it is, yes. I don't think I've seen that picture before.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:23:10
[Frank Gannon]

The psychologists would say that the pumpkin papers were prefigured in this photograph.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:23:16
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yes, they'd figure some way to - -the psychohistorians would figure that that -- that that had to have something to do with Whittaker Chambers hiding the microfilm in pumpkins forty years later.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:23:29
[Frank Gannon]

And this is you and I guess that's Arthur on your mother's --

Day 1, Tape 1
00:23:32
[Richard Nixon]

Don. That's Don.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:23:34
[Frank Gannon]

Don

Day 1, Tape 1
00:23:35
[Richard Nixon]

And I am there three and a half years. Don was two years younger than I. That's right.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:23:39
[Frank Gannon]

She named -- except for Don, who was named after your father, Francis Donald, didn't she name you -- she had -- historical--

Day 1, Tape 1
00:23:46
[Richard Nixon]

Always that. Yes, she had a historical sense and we were all named after the early kings of England, of course. Harold, obviously, Richard, Edward, and Arthur.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:24:02
[Frank Gannon]

It was a remarkable family. I think Jessamyn West has written about some of the early Milhouses in "The Friendly Persuasion" . This is a photograph of your great-grandmother, Elizabeth Milhous.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:24:16
[Richard Nixon]

Who is also Jessamyn West 's great-grandmother. They're the same.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:24:20
[Frank Gannon]

And wasn't she the model --

Day 1, Tape 1
00:24:21
[Richard Nixon]

See, we're cousins. As a matter of fact, she was the model for the, for the mother in Friendly Persuasion, playing opposite Gary Cooper, you know, in that marvelous movie, which, incidentally, was Mamie Eisenhower's favorite movie. She saw it, she told me, half a dozen times.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:24:38
[Frank Gannon]

Wasn't -- Elizabeth Milhous was a Quaker preacher?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:24:42
[Richard Nixon]

Remarkable, capable, apparently, and very famous. She was a preacher in the Indiana - Iowa area. Now by "Quaker preacher," I should say that the Quakers didn't have preachers in the real sense, but she would -- she was one that had the spirit, as the Quakers would say it. She was moved by the spirit, and she would go from place to place to Quaker meetings and she would speak and she was in much demand. I think one of the favorite family stories, and this is not apocryphal because I've heard it from all the people who knew her, and I knew her, too, because she lived to be ninety - four, and I knew her, and, of course, admired her, too. Anyway, she was scheduled to go on a long train trip in order to do a meeting in another city and because in those days the food on the train was expensive and this and that and the other thing, she made some sardine sandwiches up. And she put them in her cape, one of these long capes, and she rode on the train, and she got very busy preparing her remarks for when she got to the meeting that she didn't get to eat the sardine sandwiches. So she went into the -- right in time to give her sermon and her theme that day was the parable of the loaves and the fishes, and she was very apparently expressive in her gestures. And when she came to the loaves and the fishes, she had had her hands in her cape, she threw out her hands and out came the sardines and the sandwiches over the early -- people right in the front row. So, it was a very graphic illustration before -- I guess some of these modern television preachers would love to have had that one. Incidentally, her eyesight was amazing. My dad used to have his socks, they'd get holes in them, and she insisted that she wanted to darn the socks and she could do it. She didn't have to wear glasses to do so.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:26:47
[Frank Gannon]

This is a photograph of your Grandmother Milhous, who had a very important effect on your life.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:26:56
[Richard Nixon]

You see, the great-grandmother was on my grandfather's side. This is on my grandmother's side, what I would say -- and Almira was her name. Everybody called her Aunt Allie. And she, too, lived to be very old -- ninety-three, ninety-four. I have many vivid memories of her. She -- she was a poet, not a great poet, but she used to write me and my brothers and all of her children and so forth on birthdays often in rhyme, and she -- she took a special interest in me. I don't know why, but she did. And I recall she'd always give me very special presents when I graduated. One, for example, I recall when I graduated from the eighth grade. She gave me a picture of Lincoln and beneath it was the famous Longfellow poem,
["A Psalm of Life"]

Lives of great men oft remind us
We can make our life that kind
We can make our lives sublime
and, departing, leave behind us
footprints on the sands of time.

Incidentally, I took off from that, because I was the president of the eighth grade graduating class and so I gave the class history. I wrote the class history in poetry, myself, and I concluded it with these lines,

Lives of great men oft remind us
we can make our life that sort,
and, departing, leave behind us
footprints on the tennis court.

Well, some of them didn't appreciate it, but I thought it was a pretty good line. In any event, my grandmother, then, when I graduated from high school, gave me a biography of Gandhi. Of course, she, being a Quaker, that meant a great deal to her and to me, and I read it from cover to cover several times. I graduated from college, and she gave me a leather-bound "Bible", and when I graduated from law school, she gave me a marvelous illustrated "Life of Christ", which Billy Graham says is one of the great classics. But more than that, I think what she meant to me was the fact that her manner and everything -- oh, I perhaps should mention that it wasn't just me, but she was equally good and generous to all of her children. You have to understand. She was the mother of seven herself, and there were two others. I mean, she was the mother of six and there were two others. And, in addition to that, there were all kinds of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. All were treated equally. And I remember Christmas-time she would be there, and we'd always have what we called a family reunion. Incidentally, the old man didn't like to go to those reunions, you know. He was pretty cantankerous about it, but he loved my grandmother, and she liked him, because she understood him, just like my mother did. And at Christmas she would sit there in a lovely velvet dress, I remember, around the Christmas tree. And all of us -- she gave, incidentally, to us on Christmas, every Christmas, five dollars, five dollars in little envelopes that were on the tree, and, of course, that was a fortune in those days. But anyway, she'd sit there and we had presents for her. They were nothing things, but she'd make over those presents as if, "It's just what I wanted". Another thing that was interesting about her -- my grandmother always addressed us with what we call -- we Quakers call -- the "plain speech". She wouldn't say, "Are you going?" She says, "Richard, is thee going?" and "Is this thine?" She did that with everybody she met, including people that were strangers. Then in the next generation my mother with her sisters always broke into the plain speech whenever they were talking on telephone. It was always very interesting to me to hear them say -- she'd say, "Martha," or "Jane," or whatever sister might be calling, "I just thought that this thing of mine was very good", and so forth and so on. And then we got down to our generation, and we didn't use it at all. My mother, for example, never used the plain speech with her children. She did with her sisters, and, of course, my grandmother with everybody. So, it seems like a nothing thing at the moment, but it is a pleasant memory now. Another thing I remember about her, though. You know, she was a very devout pacifist, as a good Quaker should be, but I remember often on a Sunday my grandmother would ask one of us to drive her to Sawtel, which was the veterans' hospital way across town. It took about an hour to get there, and she would pack some goodies -- oh, cakes that she had baked and cookies and that sort of thing, and she'd spend a couple of hours over there going among the wounded soldiers and so forth -- this, of course, was after World War I -- and reading to them, writing letters for them, and so forth. While she didn't -- while she hated war, she loved those that had to fight.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:31:53
[Frank Gannon]

Wasn't it her use of plain speech or the use of plain speech amongst herselves and the -- and her -- and the sisters that convinced you that -- many years later during the Hiss case -- that Chambers was telling the truth about part of his memories of Hiss?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:32:33
[Richard Nixon]

One of the factors that did, yes. See, the difficulty in the Hiss-Chambers case, when we were at that stage, when we were attempting to decide or to prove that Hiss knew Chambers, after his denied having known him, was that although we had had from him -- I prepared an enormous number of questions to Chambers about everything he knew about Hiss, and he was able to say, for example, describe all of the houses that Hiss had lived in, describe the cars, describe his family, describe his wife's blushing when she was excited, and so forth and so on. But the problem was whether or not Chambers could have known all those things and didn't know them indept -- by -- independently. The problem was whether or not Chambers could not have studied Hiss' life and then told us about all those things without ever having known Hiss himself. But I recall one time when I went up to the Chambers farm, we were sitting out on the porch looking over the -- his cattle, which he was very proud of, and Mrs. Chambers -- it was a very hot day -- brought us out some cold lemonade. And as we were drinking it, I asked him to tell me a little more about the background of Mrs. Hiss. And I mentioned - happened to mention in passing that I was a Quaker, and he said to me -- he snapped his fingers. He said, "Priscilla was a Quaker". Let me say that again. I remember that I happened -- when I went up to see him, I mentioned that I was a Quaker and he said, you know, Priscilla Hiss was a Quaker, too. And then he snapped his finger, and he says, "That reminds me of something. She always used the plain speech". Or "She quite often used the plain speech when she was talking to Alger". And I thought for a moment that the way he said it -- I mean, he could have -- others could have told him that -- that Mrs. Hiss, being a Quaker, sometimes used the plain speech when she was talking to her husband, but the way he said it, so spontaneously -- that -- he's talking about a man he knows, not somebody he's read about.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:34:32
[Frank Gannon]

The Quaker families at that time, too, were sort of extended families in that when you -- for example, when you wanted to take music lessons, or when your parents wanted to encourage your music lessons, you went and stayed with Aunt Jane in Lindsay.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:34:55
[Richard Nixon]

Yes. Well, let me say that when you speak of an extended family, you're right. First, it was a very big family, and my first music lessons actually were from my uncle Griffith, who was my mother's half-brother. He was the -- he was the--the oldest, and a marvelous man, and I took lessons from him by the time I was seven years of age. As a matter of fact, I've got to do a little puffing here. My mother recalls that I -- I played by ear, which I did, before I ever took any lessons. And I remember the first song I ever played was "Joy to the World", the Christmas carol. Well, after she'd heard a little of that playing by ear, I could pick out tunes and so forth, she had uncle Griff give me lessons in piano and violin. And then when I was in the seventh grade, aunt Jane, who was a very accomplished pianist, as was uncle Griffith, came down to the Christmas reunion, as a matter of fact, and she heard me play a couple of pieces and says, "Richard, these -- it's -- you have got to come up and have lessons". She spoke to my father and mother about it, and so I went back with her and Alden and Sheldon, her children, and my uncle Harold, her husband. It was a great trip going back. I remember -- I remember it particularly for a rather curious reason. It's the first time I ever saw snow. At least I had seen it on the mountains before from Yorba Linda, because that was a -- a marvelous place in those days. You -- before the days of smog, you could see the snow in wintertime on Mount Baldy, and you could see Catalina, if you got up on one of the little hills, off in the distance, twenty-five miles away. But I had never been in snow and we got out of the cars. We went over the Tehachapi, and I played in the snow there and I was really excited, and I said, "Golly, this is fun"! And Alden said to me, rather sternly, he says, "We don't say 'golly' in our house". And I thought I'd been raised rather strictly, but when I got up there to the Beesons, believe me, it was strict. But she was a marvelous teacher and I became quite advanced for that age. I could play Sinding's Rustle of Spring , which, of course, everybody learns to play who has any advancement at all, Grieg , and a few other things.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:37:14
[Frank Gannon]

Weren't you -- I've read somewhere that you were sort of the class cutup there, and that you and one of your cousins did something with a clove of garlic that got you in trouble.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:37:28
[Richard Nixon]

I don't think I recall that.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:37:33
[Frank Gannon]

I've read that you ate a clove before going into the class and then breathed on the girl students next to you.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:37:43
[Richard Nixon]

Well, I think I know what you mean now. It was -- it was very unpleasant, and, incidentally, I've really not liked garlic ever since then. As a matter of fact, a little of it goes a long way.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:37:43
[Frank Gannon]

Aunt -- your aunt Beth was one of your favorites.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:38:01
[Richard Nixon]

Yes. aunt Beth was younger than my mother, and she had a marvelous voice. I remember her and my singing, for example, in church, a beautiful soprano voice. And she was so full of life and so very pretty and always jolly and fun, always cutting up and so forth and so on. And I'll never forget that one of the most moving moments was -- and a very sad moment -- was when she got cancer. And I remember that she went to all these quacks and one time went clear back in the middle of the country where somebody had some scheme where you burn it off, and then she came back and then finally she died and she was so young and so pretty and so vibrant and left three children. I -- it was a difficult time for us.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:39:00
[Frank Gannon]

The --

Day 1, Tape 1
00:39:01
[Richard Nixon]

Let me say all of my aunts were something, too. My aunt Edith, which was the oldest one, my mother's oldest sister, she was married to uncle Tim Timberlake, and he was an excellent - what do you call it - the people that deal with insects? Anyway --

Day 1, Tape 1
00:39:21
[Frank Gannon]

Entomologist.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:39:22
[Richard Nixon]

Entomologist. And they spent, which meant a great deal to us, they spent some time in Hawaii and then came back, and then they were at Riverside. And I remember at the family reunions uncle Tim would come there, and he'd always bring along one of these nets, and he'd go out and collect butterflies and insects. Everybody thought he was a little strange. And in our family, too, if I may digress, they thought he was a little strange for another reason, because he smoked a pipe. Nobody else smoked. You see, in those days my mother didn't drink or smoke. Neither did my father and none of my relatives that I know of except uncle Tim. He smoked a pipe. One year, incidentally, I did do something which my mother really didn't disapprove of. We had Prince Albert tobacco there in the store, and I got some. We would sell it, although we wouldn't use it ourselves. And I got a big can of it and gave it to him for Christmas. But they always made him smoke his pipe outside. But -- then my -- but he got what was considered a handsome salary of three hundred dollars a month over at the University of California experiment station , and my aunt Edith was so generous when I went to Duke to law school and didn't have any money. Every Christmas she sent me twenty-five dollars, even though she had three children, and I thought that was generous. My aunt Martha, who was the--my--just--the one between Edith and my mother--was a nurse, a pre--registered nurse, and, after all of her children were grown, continued to nurse between the time she was seventy and eighty-five years of age. Enormously competent. My aunt -- mentioned a moment ago aunt Olive, who's still living. You've met her. Gentle and kind and so forth. She and uncle Oscar at seventy-five years of age, while I was president, went way out to Kenya for a year with the American Friends Service Committee to work in a hospital out there. Incidentally, I've just thought of one thing about my uncle Oscar. He, of course, being a Quaker, was a conscientious objector in World War I, but it wasn't because he was afraid, because he volunteered to go over with the American Friends Service Committee, and so he went over to France, and I remember he brought back with him a collection of shells and grenades and so forth, and I remember that it was in the bedroom that they had there at the big house, because they were living with my grandmother, and my brothers and my cousins and I, we used to just revel in going into the bedrooms and taking up these shells, being informed, of course, that they were no longer dangerous. But that was as close as we came to World War I.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:42:01
[Offscreen voice]

Excuse me, gentlemen, one second. Keep rolling tape.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:42:21
[Frank Gannon]

I'm going to ask you again about music lessons.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:42:27
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yeah. Fine.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:42:29
[Frank Gannon]

And we've got a film -- a film of your mother talking.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:42:32
[Richard Nixon]

Sure, sure, sure. Sure, sure.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:42:44
[Offscreen voice]

Frank, are you comfortable crossing your other leg?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:42:46
[Frank Gannon]

Mm-hmm.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:42:58
[Offscreen voice]

[inaudible]

Day 1, Tape 1
00:43:01
[Offscreen voice]

Frank, are we going to sound on tape next?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:43:03
[Frank Gannon]

Yes.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:43:05
[Offscreen voice]

Okay, we are. We'll come out to you on camera one, and we'll [inaudible]

Day 1, Tape 1
00:43:09
[Frank Gannon]

Not -- not right away, but in a -- in a minute.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:43:12
[Offscreen voice]

Okay, fine. You can just carry on, but that's the next item, right?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:43:15
[Frank Gannon]

Yes.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:43:19
[Offscreen voice]

All right, sir.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:43:24
[Offscreen voice]

Stand by, studio. Keep rolling tape. We come out in ten. [inaudible]

Day 1, Tape 1
00:43:30
[Offscreen voice]

Oh, boy. Oh -- wait a minute.

[Action note: Screen goes black]

Day 1, Tape 1
00:43:33
[Offscreen voice]

Wait a minute.

[Action note: Picture returns.]

[Offscreen voice]

[Inaudible] Yes.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:43:39
[Offscreen voice]

Cancel that order.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:43:42
[Offscreen voice]

Got it?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:43:43
[Offscreen voice]

Got it?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:43:44
[Offscreen voice]

Got it.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:43:45
[Offscreen voice]

Okay.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:43:49
[Offscreen voice]

[Inaudible] --ten. Stand by.

[Action note: Screen goes black]

Day 1, Tape 1
00:43:58
[Richard Nixon]

They were quite a bunch of characters, weren't they?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:43:59
[Frank Gannon]

Yes, they were.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:44:01
[Richard Nixon]

Martin and --

[Action note: Picture returns]

Day 1, Tape 1
00:44:06
[Frank Gannon]

Eisenhower used to urge you to refer more to God in your speeches, and yet you resisted. Why did you do that and how do you think of the -- what is the -- what is the legacy to you of your early Quaker family background and training?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:44:25
[Richard Nixon]

Well, first, I would say that Eisenhower mentioned it to me, I don't think, from a crass political standpoint, but simply because he knew that I had a religious background, as he did. He felt that I should refer to God in my speeches, as he did, because it was good politically, and also it was honest. The difficulty was that it goes clear back to my mother's attitude, and my father's, too, that while we -- during those early years, and they through all their years were church goers regularly and tithed and all the things you do if you're a good Christian, and so forth. We never wore it on the sleeve, and consequently I just always felt embarrassed, frankly, uneasy. Whenever I would say, "Use 'God'" -- "Use the word 'God' in a speech to refer to God," and so forth and so on, it was too familiar. I didn't consider God to be familiar. I couldn't -- Billy Graham and I used to have it out on this several times. Billy used to mention the fact that it was very important to -- for me to emphasize more my Christian background, and so forth, and I just never could bring myself to do it. Perhaps it was a mistake. If I had, maybe it would have won a close election that I lost.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:45:52
[Frank Gannon]

The -- next to religion, the Quakers place a tremendous importance on education. Whittier College, I think, was founded the same year that the town was founded. They built the church and built the college. I think your mother taught you at home before you went to school, and that that had a great influence on you.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:46:08
[Richard Nixon]

Yes. My mother, as a matter of fact, taught me to read before I ever went to school, and as a result I skipped one of the early grades, I think the second grade. And also she influenced me greatly in the whole area of music, because she could play the piano. She wasn't, of course, accomplished like my aunt Jane or my uncle Griffith. She was not a teacher, but her influence in those early years was enormous in that respect. My -- as I say, from my father I got that compatitive - competitive, arguing ability and perhaps a tendency to gesture a bit at time to time, but from my mother more the dedication to scholarship and an early start. It's just great to have -- you know, when you stop to think of what a parent can do for a child, and people say, "Well, get him the best tutors and ship him off here and there and everything". The best thing a parent can do to a child, and Mrs. Nixon does this, Pat does with our two--spend time with them, spend time with them. And that's carried all down through. Julie spends hours with her two, Jenny and the little boy. And Alex. And Tricia spends hours with Christopher, and as a result they're very advanced. I think they do that because they know their mother did it and they know their grandmother did it.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:47:33
[Frank Gannon]

Your first musical rendering was "Joy to the World" .

Day 1, Tape 1
00:47:37
[Richard Nixon]

It certainly was. I can still play it, too. As a matter of fact, I played that by ear. All of my playing now is by ear in the key of G, and I also played in Sunday school, in church on occasion for many, many years. Reading music -- I did not become a good reader of music, but I had a very good memory and -- of the classical numbers. Later on I picked it up in college after I dropped it. See, I dropped -- after I went up to aunt Jane's in my seventh grade, then in the eighth grade I was busy with other things and I didn't continue. And then in college I didn't -- in high school years, I didn't take any music. I played in the orchestra a violin, a second violin, not very well. But then in college a remarkable woman, Margaret Loman, a concert pianist, heard me play something from memory that I played at some sort of a college function and she called me Richard like my mother did, rather than Dick, which all the other kids -- says, "Richard, you have a talent here. I want you to take some lessons". She said, "You've got to get acquainted with Brahms and Bach", and so I took lessons, and I don't know how I did it in that junior year, because in that year I went out for football. I had the lead in the junior play. I was on the debating team. I did reasonably -- quite well in my studies in that year. I worked at home in the grocery store, went to market every morning, and so forth and so on, and yet took lessons. Well, it doesn't show I'm so great, but it does show she was pretty inspirational, because I appreciated Brahms and Bach. In fact, my favorite number, and I have been trying to get Van Cliburn to put it on a record for me, was Brahms' "Rhapsody in G" which I can still play little bits of.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:49:36
[Frank Gannon]

We have a film of your mother talking about your early musical prowess. I don't know whether you've seen this before.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:49:45
[Richard Nixon]

No, I haven't. No, I didn't know that.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:50:14
[Richard Nixon]

I've never seen that before. It shows my mother must have had a good feeling about politics that she would allow them to film her talking on the phone.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:50:24
[Frank Gannon]

Did you ever consider becoming a serious musician?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:50:27
[Richard Nixon]

Yes. Oh, yes. Not -- not in the college years. But I think the time I considered it is after I finished at Lindsay, when I was twelve years old and I came back. And then I went to Fullerton High School, and then it really came down to a choice where I did play the -- at Fullerton, I did play the violin in the orchestra. It came down to a choice -- would I concentrate on music or should I move to debating and other areas. And I finally moved in the other direction and didn't pick it up again till I got to college. Sometimes I rather regret it -- you regret many things. When I was a kid, I didn't want to be a musician, and I didn't want to be a service station operator or a racecar driver or anything else. I wanted to be an engineer, a railroad engineer, and I remember Everett Barnum used to come on the train from Needles, California. He had the run from Needles to Los Angeles, and the train would go by, and you could hear the whistle at night, and, boy, I thought, wouldn't it be great to be a railroad engineer. Not only to run the engines, not so much that, but to see different places and all that sort of thing. But in terms of the music thing, I have always had a feeling that I'd like to be able to express myself in music, to be able to compose it. I've always felt -- I like organ music, particularly in the great cathedrals of Europe and in this country as well. And I've always felt what -- how great it would be to be able to play a great organ and to improvise and compose. And I've also had a sort of a secret yearning to really direct a great symphony orchestra. But all of that's by the boards now. I mean, it never came to pass. Incidentally, I should -- the -- well, that's enough.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:52:17
[Frank Gannon]

I would bet you that when these programs are aired, you will get offers from half a dozen cathedrals to give you the key and let you go in and improvise at the keyboards.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:52:27
[Richard Nixon]

No, I'm past that point now. I don't have the flexibility in my fingers that I used to have.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:52:33
[Frank Gannon]

You - in the '46 and '50 campaigns -

Day 1, Tape 1
00:52:36
[Richard Nixon]

Incidentally, I should say -- incidentally, that as I understand playing an organ is much more difficult that the piano. It's like the difference between flying an airplane and a helicopter. When you fly an airplane, of course, you use your hand. You fly a helicopter, you've got to use your feet and your hands, and the same is true with an organ. So, I have a hard enough time doing the piano. I don't think I could do the organ.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:52:57
[Frank Gannon]

If you could - if Zubin Mehta came in and offered you his baton and his orchestra, do you have a piece you would -- an orchestral piece that you would choose to conduct?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:53:14
[Richard Nixon]

Well, it would be symphonic, without question, not modern music, not Rhapsody in Blue or any of the -- although I like that. None of the musical comedies and so forth. Of course, Mehta probably wouldn't ask for those. I would think, and this is sort of in-between, that I would like to conduct, for example, a number that always seemed to give me a lift, and that was "Victory at Sea", the score from "Victory at Sea", which is a great score. And another one is Liszt's "Préludes" . I have an interesting, which -- it's interesting, but also a little, I think, rather exasperating anecdote about that. I recall, in my second inauguration, they asked me what I wanted them to play, and so I mentioned Liszt's "Préludes" . The orchestra leader refused. And I said, "Why do you refuse to play it?" They said because it was one of Hitler's favorites. And I thought, "My God". Of course, I knew Wagner was supposed to be too close to Hitler and so forth. I don't much care for Wagnerian music anyway, because I'm not that much of an opera buff, but Beethoven -- Hitler liked Beethoven, he liked Wagner, and so forth -- does that mean -- and he liked Liszt. Does that mean that a great orchestra playing for the inauguration of a president of the United States didn't want to play it? I thought it was a little bit much.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:54:45
[Frank Gannon]

In the ' 46 and ' 50 campaigns, you played the piano. You played fairly often, I think, as a -- sort of as a technique of campaigning. In those days people were used to gathering around the piano and singing. Did you -- did you want your daughters to learn?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:55:03
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yes.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:55:04
[Frank Gannon]

Did they take lessons?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:55:05
[Richard Nixon]

Well, we -- oh, yes. We went through that. The musical heritage, though, didn't go beyond me. Both Julie and Tricia like music. Pat naturally wanted to give them an opportunity to learn. We bought an accordion for one and gave piano lessons to the other, to Tricia particularly. I remember -- remember an incident on that. This is about, I would say, 1956, and at that time she would have been ten years old, and she was taking piano lessons for the first time, and I was trying to help her one night. And I was telling her, "You know, honey, the most important thing in learning to play the piano is to practice". I said, "It's tiring and boring, but if you practice, you can be as good as you want to be". She thought a moment and she looked at me and said, "You know, Daddy, you should have practiced more when you were a little boy. If you had, you might have become famous and have gone to Hollywood, and they would have buried you in a special place".

Day 1, Tape 1
00:56:19
[Frank Gannon]

Do you -- the -- the Nixon market was a successful operation added to the service station. One of the things that it specialized in were your mother's pies and cakes. Did you participate in the --

Day 1, Tape 1
00:56:39
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yes.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:56:40
[Frank Gannon]

-- work in the market?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:56:41
[Richard Nixon]

Well, let me say that not only my mother's pies and cakes, but to show you how -- what competence the old man had. When my mother had to go to Arizona with Harold, who had tuberculosis and spent three years -- two -- over two years there with him, my dad made the pies and cakes himself, in addition to everything else he was doing. They weren't as -- quite as good as my mother's, but they were good. The only problem that both of them had is that, when Christmas came around, they made some excellent mincemeat, but they wouldn't put any brandy in it. One time Don and I -- Don was working in the store at that time - we sneaked in a bottle and put some in, and they thought it was the best mincemeat they'd ever made, but they didn't know why. But, be that as it may, I remember my mother made those marvelous lemon pies and apple pies, not the kind where you use the apples that are already cooked, but the ones where you slice them in raw and then it bulges up the crust, and so forth. Her crusts were fantastic, and great mince pie, and the prices were wonderful, too.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:57:45
[Frank Gannon]

What did they cost?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:57:46
[Richard Nixon]

Lemon - lemon, twenty-five cents. Apple, thirty cents. Cherry, thirty cents. Mince, thirty-five cents. And, anyway, the -- she also -- she also was very good at cakes and her specialty, rather than devil's food, was angel's food, which I guess is also something, too. And I remember so well that she had sort of a fetish about it, however. She felt that it was important to get the fresh air into it. And so instead of beating -- as you know, with angel food cake you take the whites of eggs and then you beat them like that -- now they do it with a mixer -- these were the days before mixers, or it was then, at least. And I remember my mother in Yorba Linda and later on, in Whittier, particularly when she was baking them for the store, she'd stand out on the porch on those cold California mornings, because, as you know, it can be very cold in California in the morning. She's beating those egg whites for angel food cake. And, believe me, I think they were a little better with that fresh air in them.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:58:56
[Frank Gannon]

Were you a serious child?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:58:59
[Richard Nixon]

Most people think so, that is, those -- the psychohistorians say so. But as far as my family is concerned, they say that I -- I studied hard and I worked hard, but that we also had a lot of fun and we -- like the garlic story and a few others that you've heard about.

Day 1, Tape 1
00:59:23
[Frank Gannon]

Was your mother a disciplinarian as well?

Day 1, Tape 1
00:59:26
[Richard Nixon]

In a very quiet way, yes, but she would do it with a look. If you did something that was wrong, you knew it, and she'd just look at you or very quietly, very softly, she would say something. Incidentally, I have something about pies that will interest you. How -- I mentioned earlier my aunt Olive, who was so gentle and kind and thoughtful always of other people's feelings. I remember one family reunion aunt Olive had made an apple pie and we were eating it, and I said -- I was just maybe eight years old at the time. I said, "aunt Ollie, this is even better than mom" -- "than mother's" aunt Olive didn't say anything at the moment. My mother says, "That's right, Olive. It certainly is". Later on, aunt Olive took me aside, and she says, "Richard, just remember. Nobody makes better pies than your mother". And it was a lesson I never forgot. Here we -- I was here, of course, trying to praise her, but not sensitive to the fact that in praising her it might have been something my mother wouldn't appre -- although my mother, of course, was so big that she sort of laughed about it.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:00:44
[Frank Gannon]

Thinking about apple pies, I remember once how you mentioned how you were -- thinking back to your mother's apple pies -- how you were impressed with a film -- was it "Waterloo Bridge" ?

Day 1, Tape 1
01:00:53
[Richard Nixon]

Yes. As a matter of fact, I mentioned that to Jimmy Stewart, Jimmy Stewart in "Waterloo Bridge" . I mentioned it to him about eight years -- seven years ago, when I was at Chasen's Restaurant in Los Angeles, and he was there with his wife, Gloria. And I went over to the table before leaving and paid my respects, and I said," You know, you've made so many movies, but I remember Waterloo Bridge . And I remember it particularly. There was a moment when you were talking to this girl who was sort of a woman of fortune, and you were trying to tell her what you thought of her. And what you said was that you compared her and your feeling toward her with the way you felt about your mother and her apple pies. She said, "My Mother made great apple pie." And she said, "After she died, I've never liked apple pie since", because there was nothing to compare with it". It was something like that, but Jimmy remembered. He appreciated the fact that it had an impact.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:02:10
[Frank Gannon]

Do -- I read a story about your mother at the store or at the time of the store, that you had taken some grapes from a nearby arbor, and she --

Day 1, Tape 1
01:02:22
[Richard Nixon]

As a matter of fact, that occurred earlier. When we were in Yorba Linda, which was a very small town, and everybody knew everybody else, of course, and one of our closest neighbor was -- neighbors was Mrs. Trueblood, incidentally, a great Quaker name, as you know, and Mrs. Trueblood was a very kind lady and a very good friend of my mother's. And one day my brother and I -- I think it was Don and I -- we were over playing near the Trueblood's, and the concord grapes were just come in, and they were beautiful, and so we took some. We ate them. When we got home, why, of course, those -- concord grape was all over our face, and my mother said, "Where did you -- you get those? What happened?" We said we got them at Mrs. Trueblood's. She said, "Now you should not have done that", and she gave each of us five cents, and she said, "You take that over and give it to Mrs. Trueblood". Well, I remember we gave the five cents to Mrs. Trueblood, and Mrs. Trueblood didn't want to take it, and I could see -- I remember even to this day Mrs. Trueblood seemed to have tears in her eyes, but, of course, Mrs. Trueblood had to take it. But we never forgot that. We didn't get any more grapes, and we didn't take any more there or anyplace else.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:03:34
[Frank Gannon]

During the time of the store, your father, which is surprising in a man who was as -- as tough a dealer as he, was burned by some tire buyers.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:03:44
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yes. Once, but never again. You have to understand that we were operating in the store in the years just before the Depression and during the Depression, and it was on a very close margin, and because of the illness in our family, our budget was pretty tight, and so, therefore, we had to be concerned about any -- any losses that might occur. But one of the biggest profit items in the service station was tires. And, incidentally, when I give you these figures, it'd show you that tires was one of the few items in America that has not gone up in price, because on this occasion, a fellow came along one day. He was in a big car. It was a big Buick, as I recall, and he had three children and his wife with him, and he needed two tires. And so he picked up two of the best tires that we had. It costs sixty-seven dollars for two tires. And so the old man changed the tires, put them back on the wheels and so forth, and the fellow was very impressive - looking and gave him a check for it, for sixty-seven dollars, and my father was so appreciative of making this very big sale, where you'd make a profit of about ten bucks on sixty-seven -- that he gave each of those children, I remember, a candy bar. And so they drove off. Two days later the check bounced. And I must say that my mother and father, I heard them talking about it at the dinner table. They couldn't understand how that could have happened, but from that on -- then on in my father's place, unless he knew the people, it was cash and carry.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:05:34
[Frank Gannon]

Were you --

Day 1, Tape 1
01:05:36
[Richard Nixon]

Although we did have credit, let me say, and a lot of people never paid the bills, and we didn't press them too hard, either.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:05:43
[Frank Gannon]

This was a time when a lot of important historical things were happening, in the outside world at any rate. Do you have any memory of the First World War or its impact on the town?

Day 1, Tape 1
01:05:59
[Richard Nixon]

Well, the First World War, I have a vivid memory of when it ended, of Armistice Day. Now, you understand that I was only then five years old, but I can remember to this day. We lived in Yorba Linda then. We went over to Placentia. hey were going to have a parade. The American Legion had a parade, and I remember they had an effigy of the Kaiser hanging on a -- a -- one of the floats, and I thought it was the real Kaiser, that they had him hanging there.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:06:33
[Frank Gannon]

Do you remember getting the first radio?

Day 1, Tape 1
01:06:36
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, very well. As a matter of fact, it was called a GilFilan. I don't know that they even make it any more. It's a great big thing. It's like -- as a matter of fact, when I went to Russia and to China, I saw these huge radios, which of course before you get minituration -- miniaturization is the way it was, and it reminded me of that old GilFilan radio. And the reason my parents got it, however, was not for the music, but they got it for the religious programs. They loved listening to Aimee McPherson and Bob Shuler and the great evangelists on the radio. And so they got this. They made the expenditure for that. But I remember radios even before we got that fancy one. My brother Harold was very good on mechanical things, too, and we got a crystal set. And, you know, you take that, you -- you -- and you did various things. I don't know. He was better at it than I was, and we used to tune in on things on the crystal set, including a boxing match now and then. How things have changed. But let me say, not having radio and not having television was not all that bad, because we made up for that in conversation and in reading. And so, consequently, I've always said, and fortunately Pat totally agreed with me, and both Tricia and Julie did, limit people on TV, because you miss so much if you miss reading and conversation. People just don't do that any more. They don't know how to talk.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:08:07
[Frank Gannon]

What did you read as a child?

Day 1, Tape 1
01:08:10
[Richard Nixon]

Well, we had access to a Wonderworld set. It was a set of, I suppose, a children's ency -- encyclopedia, and I remember particularly that I was interested in the history. I was -- in the Greek mythology and that sort of thing. We also had a book -- I remember a book that we had, which I think my father gave to me, of the great heroes of early America. And I remember Mad Anthony Wayne and Nathanael Greene, who was the Quaker who fought in the Revolutionary War. Those stick in my -- but I read those stories over and over again. And then there were magazines, The "Ladies' Home Journal", which my mother took, "The Saturday Evening Post" and "The National Geographic", which we didn't take, but which my -- the Marshburns, my aunt -- uncle Oscar and aunt Olive took, and I used to go up there and borrow it. I've learned since, of course, never loan it because they seldom come back, but I loved to turn that -- through the pages of that magazine and think of the far-off places I wanted to go. Well, the other thing we read was the ""Bible"", and I don't say this simply because it's expected to be said, but the ""Bible"" is not just a great book. It's -- it's a great collection of books. I remember one who was not particularly religious of my college professors, Albert Upton. As a matter of fact, I think he was an agnostic, but he once said to me the greatest book ever written was "Ecclesiastes". And it is a great book, and you can read it today, and -- the profundity of it. And I don't think that we missed a thing by not having quite as much to read, but having higher quality. So, we -- I read the "Old Testament" and the "New Testament" , and then, of course, anything else that happened to come out. It wasn't too much, but what we had was pretty good.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:10:06
[Frank Gannon]

Counting as one of the major historical events of the time, from your point of view, must have been your first baseball game.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:10:13
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, I remember that very well. Shorty Hedges, a neighbor, and I and a classmate, when I was about twelve years old, we took the streetcar, the big red car, they called it -- Pacific Electric -- over to L.A., Los Angeles, to see a baseball game at Wrigley Field. That was when the Los Angeles Angels was a maynor -- minor league, a double-A but minor league. And they were playing the San Francisco Seals in a double header. I don't remember much about it, except that I remember that the Angels' catcher was named "Truck" Hannah. He was a great catcher, and he could hit, but he couldn't run. And so he never made the major leagues. And the pitcher that day, and this I remember very well because he won the game, was Charlie Root, who pitched for the Angels and later went up to the -- the Cubs. And he was the one that threw the [gopher ball] to Babe Ruth, and Babe Ruth pointed and then hit it over the fence. Charlie Root was the pitcher, and I followed that. I followed, incidentally, sports. We spoke of what I read. Well, I read the newspapers. I read newspapers from a very, very early age. We took the "Los Angeles Times" , and it was delivered in Yorba Linda and later in Whittier. And I used to read it from cover to cover, and I used to really read the sports pages, and I could tell you about virtually everything in sports from Big Bill Tilden in tennis to the Olympic stars to the basketball, et cetera, et cetera. But, getting on to this baseball game, while I remember the games, and I remember that the Angels, I think, split the two games, what I particularly remember is the hot dogs. And Shorty and I bought hot dogs and each of us -- you'd get them for ten cents each, and we each had a dollar to spend. We each had six, and the guy came around at the last, the place wasn't sold out, and he had two left. And he said, "Look, I'll give you these for a nickel apiece." Shorty said, "No way. I don't have room". And so though it was a bargain, that was one time we didn't take it.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:12:18
[Frank Gannon]

This -- this was the time, and you've subsequently written about the sadness of it, that your brother Arthur died. You had just come back from being with aunt Jane in Lindsay, I believe, and he developed a headache that --

Day 1, Tape 1
01:12:41
[Richard Nixon]

Well, from this picture, you can see he was a very, very handsome fellow, young fellow. He was five years younger than I, and he was, of course, the favorite of the family. We had a very close tie. As a matter of fact, I remember when he -- he came up with my mother and father and Don to pick me up at Lindsay. They drove up there, and when he got out of the car and saw me, he ran to me and he kissed me very -- rather quietly and not too much notice -- on the cheek. Later, my mother said that on the way up he had asked her, "Would it be all right if I kiss Richard on the cheek?" And she said, "Okay", which of course, is another indication of the way that we -- we are quite private. As a matter of fact, I've taken a lot of heat from many of the people, many of my female supporters and non-supporters and critics because I just don't believe in the public kissing. It's very difficult. I don't mind bussing somebody on the forehead or the cheek and so forth, but we just don't do it. I don't mind if others do it. It doesn't bother me a bit, but with Pat, as you know, and so forth, it's just a sense of privacy. It's something we didn't do -- we -- anyway, we came on down -- after we back -- we came on down from Lindsay, and after we got back, Arthur complained of a headache. Incidentally, in retrospect, we might have guessed that it might have been because of cigarettes, because he -- he had a mind of his own, and I remember about two years before that, when he was five years old, he got a package of cigarettes out of the store, and he took it out in back of the store, and he proceeded to smoke one of them. And a nosy neighbor reported to my mother, and I must say I didn't much care about that or her since. But, anyway, it wasn't cigarettes this time. It tur -- turned out to be tubercular meningitis. Nothing could be done about it, absolutely nothing. And so I recall so well, oh, the days before he died. And I recall particularly -- you hear of my father, this tough, rough, diamond in the rough. I'll never forget it. After the doctor, Doctor Wilson, from Whittier, had gone up and diagnosed the case, after they'd make a spinal tap and found that it was tubercular meningitis and said that there was no hope, he came down the stairs and my father said, "They say" -- he was crying uncontrollably. He says, "They say the little darling's going to die". Well, anyway, we -- then two days after that, a couple of days after the doctor did it -- gave that prognosis, we went up to see him and he was awake. He'd come out of a coma, and he asked his mother if he couldn't have some tomato gravy. He liked tomato gravy on toast. And so they hadn't let him eat much, and so I remember she brought it up to him, and he had that. And then shortly thereafter he just went to sleep, and so that was the end.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:16:16
[Frank Gannon]

Some years later, when you were in college, you wrote a -- an essay about your brother, about Arthur, that your mother kept, and it opened -- the essay opened with a reference to the picture and -- that was always kept in the -- in the sitting room. And I wonder if you could read some of it -- from some of it.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:16:41
[Richard Nixon]

All right. Let's see. I'll have to put my glasses on for that.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:16:47
[Frank Gannon]

This was written in -- about 1930 as a - -or just before, as a high school composition exercise?

Day 1, Tape 1
01:16:55
[Richard Nixon]

No. This was written in 1930 when I was a freshman in college, a freshman in college, written for Freshman English, I remember. Well, it isn't great literature, but perhaps it indicates how the -- that particular event affected all of us. I was describing him. "I remember how his eyes changed from their original baby blue to an almost black shade, and how his hair, blonde at first, became dark brown, and how his mouth, toothless for five months, was filled with tiny white teeth, which, by the way, were exceedingly sharp when applied on soft fingers or toes which happened to get within their reach, and how those little coherent -- incoherent sounds of his finally developed into words and then into sentences, how he learned to roll over and then to crawl and finally to walk. Although I do not remember many incidents connected with my brother's early childhood, there were some which made a clear imprint on my mind. There was one time when he was asked to be a ringbearer at a wedding. I remember how my mother had to work with him for hours to get him to do it, because he disliked walking with the little flower girl. Another time, when he was about five years old, he showed the world that he was a man by getting some cigarettes out of our store and secretly smoking them in back of the house. Unfortunately for him, one of our gossipy neighbors happened to see him, and she promptly informed my mother. I have disliked that neighbor from that time. And, again, I shall never forget how he disliked wearing sticky, woolly suits. As soon as he was able to read, he used to search the mail order catalogues for suits which weren't sticky. There's a grave now, out in the hills, but, like the picture, it contains only the bodily image of my brother. And so when I'm tired and worried and I'm almost ready to quit trying to live as I should, I look up, I see the picture of a little boy with sparkling eyes and curly hair. I remember the childlike prayer. I pray that it may prove true for me as it did for my brother Arthur". The prayer I was referring to was just before he died, or the day before he died, when the final coma, he had his -- my mother come to the bed, and he said, "I want to say the -- my prayers". And the prayer, of course, is the very well-known one which I'm sure everybody's familiar with. "Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take." And then that was the last words he ever spoke.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:19:59
[Frank Gannon]

You started school, or started high school, in 1926.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:20:10
[Richard Nixon]

Right.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:20:11
[Frank Gannon]

What kind of a -- what kind of a student were you?

Day 1, Tape 1
01:20:16
[Richard Nixon]

I was a pretty good student, not because I was so -- with any inherited genius. But I worked hard, and I was -- I was very good in Latin. I had four years of straight A's, perhaps a lot of help from my mother in that. I was very good in English, very good in history. They were easy for me. And I had, however, great difficulty with math and science, but I managed to do them well, because it's always been my theory in life that the real test of a person is not how you do the things you like well, but how you do the things you don't like well. Not how well you do the easy things, but how well you do the tough things. And so, whenever I had something in math or science that was real tough, to me it was a challenge, and I'd work harder on that than I would on -- like my English composition, which was like falling off a log for me.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:20:49
[Frank Gannon]

You once told a story about a -- a geometry problem that -- that if you got -- if you got the answer to the problem, you didn't -- it gave you an A for the course.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:21:01
[Richard Nixon]

Yes. The teacher was [unclear: Miss Urnsberger]. She was, as I recall -- and she was -- she was very good, German background, and -- and she gave us the challenge. This was a very difficult geometric problem, and she said if -- anyone that got the answer to that problem would get an A for the course. Why, I took it home and I worked all night. I remember it was a very, very cold night because I came downstairs from the upstairs bedroom where we were sleeping and came down to the kitchen and sat at the kitchen table. I lit the fire in the stove, which was a gas stove, opened it up, the oven, so as to heat the room. And just as the dawn came up I got the answer. And I got the A. I haven't the slightest idea, as I recall, what it was about, but I got an A for the course, but it was because of an all-night vigil.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:22:24
[Frank Gannon]

You were -- you were active in debate and dramatics in school, and I know in sports. In dramatics I think you made a very impressive dramatic debut.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:22:34
[Richard Nixon]

Well, it was -- it's -- in retrospect, my first dramatic appearance was -- should really have been my last, because it was an almost unbelievably horrendous experience. I mentioned the fact that I was fairly proficient in Latin, and at Whittier High School we alwa -- which had a very strong Latin department -- in fact, it was a requirement at Whittier -- no longer, but was then -- for graduation for those that wanted to go to college. But, in any event, in this particular year -- it was my senior year -- the Latin play -- not in Latin, but in English -- was the "Aeneid", Virgil's Aeneid , which of course we had studied. It's the fourth year Latin course in most high schools, was then at least. And I played the part of Aeneas and my girlfriend, Ola Florence Welch, played the part of Dido. Well, it was quite an experience in two different ways. First, at one point, a very dramatic moment, the script calls for Aeneas and Dido to embrace. In fact, it calls for Aeneas to kiss Dido. I wouldn't do that, but at least we agreed that we would embrace. And I'll never forget when I threw my arms around Dido, i.e. Ola Florence, the hoots and the catcalls and the whistles from all the kids out there. We both turned red and got through the play. But what was really -- made it worse was that I was in excruciating pain. I had a -- they rented costumes, and I had to have silver boots, and they came in from the costume people. I was only about five-nine at that time. I didn't get up to my five-eleven until I got to college, but, in any event, they must have thought -- they figured -- tried to guess what my shoe size was. They didn't realize my feet were already eleven-D, which they are today, which is pretty big even for one who's five-eleven. So they had a five-nine boot. Well, it took two Latin teachers and the school janitor to get them on me, and I walked around that stage, and every, every step was the most excruciating experience. And, let me say this, I've never worn boots since. I was just thinking I have per -- at least ten pairs of boots that have been given to me in my campaigns, campaigns in Texas in six -- '52, '56, 1960, again in 1968 and 1972, and I've given them all away. I can't stand boots because I remember the horror of having to wear boots in that play.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:25:34
[Frank Gannon]

You -- you were also very active and very successful in debate atthis time, and I think you've -- or I've heard you say that the teacher who taught you a natural sense of speaking, or natural style of speaking as opposed to the rather florid type that was popular at the time, accounted for a lot of your subsequent success in debate --

Day 1, Tape 1
01:25:58
[Richard Nixon]

Yes.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:25:59
[Frank Gannon]

-- and in politics.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:25:59
[Richard Nixon]

I remember his name very well. H. Lynn Sheller, he was called. Many didn't like him because he was a very tough grader, but I have found, incidentally, that my best teachers, in retrospect, were those who were toughest on me. I remember, for example, that my -- my teacher of history, Jenny Levin, was -- was awfully tough grader in U.S. history, so tough, as a matter of fact, the parents complained so much that they made her teach study hall, and -- which was a great loss. But, in any event, I can -- I can remember that H. Lynn Sheller used to -- was -- would have been great in today's television age, I think, because he would have told people what they need to hear, and that is, be yourself, be natural. Those were the days when there were oratorical contests, and I won quite a few of them, when you had automatic gestures, you know, and great flights of oratory, and so forth. But Sheller used to say over and over again, "Remember, speeches--speaking is conversation. If you have an audience, you may raise the level of your voice, but don't shout at people. Talk to them. Converse with them". And so I have used to the greatest extent possible the conversational tone ever since. And I think it's particularly suited for television.

Day 1, Tape 1
01:27:36
[Frank Gannon]

I think this is our --

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Day one, Tape two of six, LINE FEED #2, 2-9-83, ETI Reel #2
Feb. 9, 1983

Day 1, Tape 2
00:00:58
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Day 1, Tape 2
00:01:08
[Richard Nixon]

-- and he, telling of his cam -- of his election to the Senate, and it was very, very close. And I remember calling him that night. And he says, "Well, I'm gone". That's the way --" I'm gone" -- and then he finally won. And later he told a group of us at [unclear: Charter Marching] about the incident. He said that he -- that his manager told him, his manager in Louisville got a call from this guy out in the mountain country, and he said, " "Tell" -- he said, "How's it going down there?" And he says, "Well, it's mighty close". And this guy in the mountain country out in his district said, "Well, you tell the senator we're praying for him". And he -- he -- "You son-of-a-bitch, you get back to stealing and stop praying!"

Day 1, Tape 2
00:01:57
[Frank Gannon]

[Laughs] That's very good.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:01:59
[Richard Nixon]

That's a great story. I can tell that.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:02:00
[Frank Gannon]

Absolutely.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:02:01
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, I'm going to tell it. And I'll say, "You S" -- I'll say, "S.O.B". I think son-of-a-bitch can be said on this program, can't it?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:02:07
[Frank Gannon]

Yes.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:02:07
[Richard Nixon]

Is that done on television?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:02:08
[Frank Gannon]

No --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:02:10
[Richard Nixon]

Well, S.O.B.

[Frank Gannon]

-- but we can --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:02:11

[Richard Nixon]

"S.O.B".

Day 1, Tape 2
00:02:11
[Frank Gannon]

We'll make -- we'll place television history.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:02:13
[Offscreen voice]

You can do anything you want.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:02:14
[Richard Nixon]

What's the matter with that?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:02:15
[Offscreen voice]

You can say son-of-a-bitch.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:02:16
[Frank Gannon]

Yeah.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:02:17
[Richard Nixon]

I think -- no.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:02:18
[Offscreen voice]

[inaudible]

Day 1, Tape 2
00:02:19
[Richard Nixon]

I think that is done, and I think hell can be said also, like, Give 'em hell, and that sort of thing.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:02:23
[Offscreen voice]

[inaudible]

Day 1, Tape 2
00:02:27
[Richard Nixon]

But that's a great story. The way I had it originally, he said, "You son-of-a-bitch, stop praying and get back to stealing".

Day 1, Tape 2
00:02:38
[Offscreen voice]

[inaudible]

Day 1, Tape 2
00:02:41
[Richard Nixon]

Isn't that a great story, though?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:02:43
[Frank Gannon]

Yeah. I had not heard that before.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:02:45
[Richard Nixon]

That's one of the great stories.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:02:48
[Frank Gannon]

All the more reason to get these things down.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:02:50
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yeah, I've got a lot of those if I can remember if I just.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:02:59
[Offscreen voice]

[inaudible]

Day 1, Tape 2
00:03:06
[Frank Gannon]

I'm going to talk a little more about sports in high school and then about Harold's illnesses in Prescott, but not his death.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:03:13
[Richard Nixon]

You're not going to get to his death yet?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:03:14
[Frank Gannon]

No. We'll talk about the illnesses and going to Prescott and then talk about --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:03:17
[Richard Nixon]

And my mother taking care of him?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:03:19
[Frank Gannon]

Yes, and -- including the chauffeur, George the chauffeur.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:03:22
[Richard Nixon]

You want that?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:03:22
[Frank Gannon]

Oh, yes.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:03:23
[Richard Nixon]

Okay.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:03:25
[Frank Gannon]

That's good stuff. And then go to college and then talk about Whittier, about the college and about the courses and about sports, and then -- then come to Harold's death --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:03:34
[Richard Nixon]

Mm-hmm.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:03:35
[Frank Gannon]

-- at its time.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:03:36
[Richard Nixon]

Mm-hmm.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:03:47
[Frank Gannon]

And that you had to quit high school football because of -- that's what I'll come in on -- because of the -- having to go into x-ray --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:03:52
[Richard Nixon]

Fear of tuberculosis?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:03:53
[Frank Gannon]

And -- yeah.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:03:55
[Richard Nixon]

Well, actually I can say this, that they did find a scar on my lung --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:03:59
[Frank Gannon]

But it was from --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:03:59
[Richard Nixon]

--because I'd had pneumonia at three years of age.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:04:01
[Frank Gannon]

Pneumonia, yeah.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:04:03
[Offscreen voice]

Frank. [inaudible] Okay.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:04:30
[Offscreen voice]

Thirty seconds to studio. It'll be ten seconds before you get your cue.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:04:41
[Richard Nixon]

But Arthur was a handsome child, wasn't he?

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Day 1, Tape 2
00:05:23
[Frank Gannon]

In describing your dramatic --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:05:26
[Offscreen voice]

Excuse me. Sorry. I want you to anticipate the cue just a little bit. Let's take it from --

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[Picture with no sound.]

Day 1, Tape 2
00:06:01
[Frank Gannon]

In describing your dramatic debut, you mentioned your -- your girlfriend, Ola Florence, Ola Florence Welch. What--

Day 1, Tape 2
00:06:09
[Offscreen voice]

Excuse me. One second. [inaudible]

Day 1, Tape 2
00:06:15
[Offscreen voice]

We've got a problem here. One more time. When you feel the light change, Frank, you can start to talk. That'll anticipate itself.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:06:27
[Frank Gannon]

Okay.

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Day 1, Tape 2
00:06:49
[Frank Gannon]

When you mentioned your dramatic debut in the "Aeneid" in the size eight silver boots --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:06:58
[Richard Nixon]

Size nine.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:06:58
[Frank Gannon]

Size nine silver boots, you mentioned your girlfriend, Ola Florence Welch. What--what did it mean to have a girlfriend in Whittier, California, in 1927 or [unclear: 1928] What did boyfriends and girlfriends do?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:07:14
[Richard Nixon]

Well, they didn't do what they do today. Oh, for example, we'd go to the movies, miniature golf. There -- there were the very simple things. Sometimes you'd go to the beach or you'd go to the mountains, no drinking, and in our case no smoking. Needless to say, no pot, drugs of any sort. Dancing, we learned to do that, me reluctantly. She was a very good dancer. But we had a good time. We had a good time.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:07:52
[Frank Gannon]

Were they affectionate attachments or were they just friendships?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:07:56
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yes. They were quite affectionate, yes. Those -- despite the -- the -- the difference in years and customs and so forth, affection was just as great in those days as it is now.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:08:08
[Frank Gannon]

Was her family a Quaker family?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:08:09
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, no. Her family were Episcopalian, and her father was the chief of police, not the chief, he was acting chief of police, a captain of police, actually, and they had come from Tombstone, Arizona, where he had been chief of police. He was a very well-read man. He -- he was particularly interested in psychiatry and Freud and used to talk to the two of us about the subconscious and the unconscious, et cetera, et cetera. I never took psychology in college, but I learned to read about it because of the influence of the man we called Captain Welch.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:08:45
[Frank Gannon]

That was very advanced at the time, wasn't it, to be reading Freud then?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:08:48
[Richard Nixon]

Yes, it was not only advanced, it wasn't done very much in Whittier, and maybe that's one of the reasons they never made him chief of police.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:08:57
[Frank Gannon]

You -- at this time you were active in sports in high school. The -- the -- the high school had a big swimming pool, and, I think, tennis courts. You played water polo. You ran track, and you also played football, but you -- in the -- it was the 130-pound middleweight--

Day 1, Tape 2
00:09:18
[Richard Nixon]

Mm-hmm.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:09:18
[Frank Gannon]

-- squad, but you had to stop because of --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:09:21
[Richard Nixon]

Yes.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:09:21
[Frank Gannon]

-- when Harold contracted tuberculosis the health of the other brothers were -- was looked at.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:09:28
[Richard Nixon]

Well, as a matter of fact, just to put my sports achievements in the proper context, I went out for everything. I went out, in addition to football and basketball, I went out for track. I did make the water polo team. I learned to swim, fortunately, and that's something that has served me well through the years since then. But I was not that good at athletics. I wasn't big enough for football. But in -- when I went over to Whittier High School after two years at Fullerton, I was big enough -- at least I no longer could play for the 130-pound team. I weighed about 150, so I wanted to go out for the varsity, and I took a suit out and was ready to go out and was looking forward to it, and Doctor Coffin, who was the -- our doctor for Harold at that time --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:10:15
[Frank Gannon]

An unfortunate name.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:10:16
[Richard Nixon]

That's right. Doctor Coffin examined Donald and me. He found in Donald's case, unfortunately, incipient tuberculosis, and Donald had to go to Arizona for one year with Harold before he recovered from that. Fortunately, he had no consequences. In my case, to my consternation, not because I feared it, but he found that I had a scar on the lung, and therefore he advised against continuing football. Well, I turned in the suit. I remember it was a very difficult thing to do. So that was the end of my football career, but I took it up again when I went to Whittier College, when I went out for football for four years, made a letter only in my first year when we had only eleven eligible men and they had to play me.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:11:05
[Frank Gannon]

At this -- at this time in high school, you were active in debate.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:11:08
[Richard Nixon]

The scar, incidentally, was because I had had pneumonia when I was three years of age and almost died. And the scar is still on my lung, but it's no problem. Excuse me.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:11:18
[Frank Gannon]

The -- a couple of the debate topics. It interests me to see, not so much in high school, but in college I know the subjects that you debated and that you researched formulated opinions -- formulated opinions that you carried on through. I think in high school the subjects weren't as earth-shaking. One had to do with insects and one had to do with renting.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:11:42
[Richard Nixon]

In fact, let me tell you that was in grade school, not even high school. In grammar school, the boys debated the girls, and I remember it to this day. It was a real competition and I -- it was always difficult thereafter. That's one of the problems I had with Helen Gahagan Douglas. I just -- you just can't really be as effective in debate when you're debating a woman, let's face it. And so I'd had experience at an early point. The two debates I remember that we had, one was it's better to rent than to buy, and I had the affirmative of that, the boys did. And I felt very badly about it, because I -- I thought that owning a home was the best thing on earth, and I talked to the old man about it. And he gave me very good advice because, as I said, he was very competitive. And he wrote something out for me, and I used it, and the debate was very effective. He said it's -- he did -- he laid off the whole -- the issue that of course the other side would use, that you should own your home because what does it mean spiritually and all that sort of thing. And he just stayed right on the economics. He said when you own your home, you have to pay for repairs, you have to borrow money, and then you have to pay the interest on it. If you lose a job, then you lose the home, and therefore it is a very great risk. Much easier, he said, and better to rent. Then the landlord has to make the repairs. If you lose your job, you just move on and let the land -- leave the landlord holding the sack. Well, it was perhaps a little bit frivolous to attack it that way, but we won the debate on that particular issue. The other one was tough, too. It resolved that insects are more beneficial than harmful, and we had the positive of that, or the affirmative. Well, my God, when you think of things like mosquitoes and all the other terrible insects, flies, how could you possibly say that they were more beneficial than harmful? But I knew that my uncle Tim, of course, was an expert on this. And so I went over to see him --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:13:46
[Frank Gannon]

He was the entomologist.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:13:47
[Richard Nixon]

That's right. He was an entomologist. We -- he -- he was always out at the family reunions with -- wearing his glasses and a hat and going around catching bugs or butterflies. He had the greatest butterfly collection in all of California, incidentally, a famous one. Anyway, I said, "uncle Tim", I says, "what about this?" He says, "Oh, you've got the best side of it." And so he told me that, sure, there were some bad insects, but, he said, on the other hand, in order for plants and trees to grow, there must be pollenization. There cannot be pollenization without insects. And plants and trees exude oxygen. Without oxygen, we would all suffocate. Ergo, if you do not have insects, you do not have plants and trees, and you don't have oxygen, we'll all die. Well, I'm oversimplifying what a great entomologist told me, but we won on that issue, too. So I learned very early -- go to the experts.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:14:45
[Frank Gannon]

Do you think that the changing times -- that it is possible today for women in politics to -- for -- for -- for a male, for a man politician, to debate a woman on purely -- on the -- the -- the substance of the issue? Has that --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:15:01
[Richard Nixon]

It's difficult.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:15:01
[Frank Gannon]

Has that changed?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:15:02
[Richard Nixon]

It's quite difficult, actually. Oh, I know that in these days women insist on ERA [Equal Rights Amendment]. They -- they want not only the rights but the responsibilities of men. They want to be drafted into the arms forces if men are drafted into the armed forces, and carry a gun if men do, and so forth and so on, but that ethic which we grew up with, I did at least, I think it carries over a great deal more than we think. And, after all, women are different. Oh, sure, they compete equally now. When I went to law school, there were only three women in my graduating class out of a graduating class of thirty. Now a third of all the law graduates are women. Television, for example, women are -- have come into their own and so forth. And in politics they haven't yet reached the numbers and the proportions that they do in the law, but they will eventually. The difficulty is that when a man does meet with a woman, he's at a disadvantage. Let me give you one example to prove it. In my meetings with Golda Meir, she would come in to see me, and I remember so well that she -- the first time we met, we posed for the photographers and so forth, and she was all smiling and graceful and so forth, and as soon as they left the room, she crossed her legs, lit a cigarette, and said, "Now, how about those planes that you've promised and that we haven't gotten?" It was all business. The thing I liked about Golda was she was very tough and she was very feminine when you got to know her. But she acted like a man, and she wanted to be treated like one. She didn't act like a man and want to be treated like a woman. Totally different was Mrs. Gandhi, also very able. I'd known her father, and she was her father's daughter, but when Mrs. --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:16:55
[Frank Gannon]

Her father was Nehru.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:16:56
[Richard Nixon]

Nehru. But when Mrs. Gandhi came in, she was very smooth and very silken, et cetera, et cetera. She was just as tough as Golda Meir, but while she acted like a man, she wanted to be treated like a -- by a -- like a woman, and it was very -- put -- whoever was dealing with her at a disadvantage. So, in other words, let me just say this. I -- I think it's very important that women have every opportunity to go to the top in any field, and particularly in politics, but I would strongly urge that those who really want to succeed should give no quarter and ask for no quarter because they happen to be women. I think men, however, are always going to treat them as women, and that's the way it should be.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:17:41
[Frank Gannon]

Do woman make as good politicians as men?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:17:44
[Richard Nixon]

They can be very effective, very effective. Margaret Thatcher, for example, Claire Booth Luce -- I'm thinking of some that I've known -- Mrs. Gandhi, certainly Golda Meir. They can hold their own with any man that I know, no question about that.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:18:11
[Frank Gannon]

Why are there so few comparatively? Why is it, though, that you can number on a couple of hands the women who have risen to the top in politics?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:18:08
[Richard Nixon]

Because the revolution has occurred so recently. I know, for example, that Paul Johnson, in the book "The Offshore Islanders", makes the point that the revolution in terms of bringing women into politics has not gone as -- as fast as it should. This is -- incidentally, that book was completed, the book, the great book, before Margaret Thatcher was elected as Prime Minister, or became Prime Minister after winning the election. Her party won the election. And he makes a point that I would also make. I've made it with regard to all minorities. I make it with regard to blacks, I make it with regard to women, anybody else that isn't represented properly. Everyone in this society is a great natural resource. Every group is, and it's very important that every individual, whatever his background, sex, race, et cetera, have the opportunity to go to the top. Otherwise, a society is not as great as it can be, if there's any one group that is discriminated against. And so it is with women. Let me say that you look at some of the women on television, not just acting, but some of the women in politics, some of the women in science, and the rest. What a loss it would be if it were like it was back in some period, in the Victorian Age, when women didn't have these opportunities. And let me say, incidentally, you could go back a little further than that. Anybody who wants to read a little about history, back in the ages of the eighteenth century and so forth and the early nineteenth century, there was a period when women played a very, very important role, with their salons and so forth and so on. So, as I it, women now are coming into their own, and if they play it right and if the rest of the country has the good sense to give them the opportunity, we're going to be a stronger, more effective democratic country than we would be otherwise.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:20:10
[Frank Gannon]

Didn't President Pompidou joke with you about Golda Meir, your dealings with her?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:20:16
[Richard Nixon]

Yes. Yes. I had a very interesting conversation with him about that. He -- he used to describe her as un femme formi -- formidable, a very formidable woman. But she was, of course, more than that. But I recall that at a meeting we had in the Azores, Bill Rogers, the Secretary of State, was trying to make, you know, casual conversation during dinner, after we'd had some pretty tough negotiations about the dollar and its relationship to the franc and all that sort of thing. And Rogers made the point -- this is back in 1971. He said, "You know, Mr. President", he said, "it's interesting to note that throughout the world today things seem to be pretty placid except, of course, what's going on in Viet Nam, except in two places -- in Viet Nam and" -- sorry-- "except in two places". "Throughout the world today things are going pretty well except in two places. One, the Mideast, and the other, of course, in South Asia, and there it happens that women are in charge". And Pompidou raised his eyes, and Rogers went on to say," For example, down in South Asia you had the difficulties in India and Pakistan, and you have Mrs. Gandhi as Prime Minister. And there is the Mideast, you have the problems of Israel and its Arab neighbors, and there you have Golda Meir, another woman, as Prime Minister". Translation made. Pompidou raised his eye in that typical French way, cynical look. "Are you sure?"

Day 1, Tape 2
00:21:57
[Frank Gannon]

You -- in high school you were named the manager of the student body, and I think you've said at one point that that experience proved to you that you would never want to become a salesman of any kind.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:22:15
[Richard Nixon]

Absolutely. As a matter of fact, the reason I made manager of the student body is that I lost my first election. I had been elected president of my class in nine -- when I finished grammar school, and I think I was president of another class along the way, but when I ran for student body president against my good friend Roy Newsom, who later became president of Whittier College, we lost to an independent candidate, Bob Logue, who turned out to be a fine student body president. And so the faculty named me manager of the student body. One of the -- one of the functions of the manager is to go out and sell ads for the college annual. I was not good at it at all. I -- I was never able to go up to somebody and ask them for a contribution or to sell an ad or something like that. I was a -- so I got others to do it, and I was a pretty good manager, and we balanced our budget and so forth. And, incidentally, that's carried through throughout my life. In all of my political campaigning, I've never gone door-to-door. I cannot do it. There's a myth that's grown up about my first campaign and even the campaign for the Senate. They point out that I worked hard, which I did, and that and I, that we used to go door-to-door and ask people to vote for us. Never. I could do it in small groups or even large groups, but going individually in and invading the privacy of a home and saying, "Will you vote for me, and here's a piece of literature", if they came to my place, I'd kick them out. I would understand it if they did that to me.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:23:41
[Frank Gannon]

What is it that impels someone who at this early stage learned the lesson that he didn't want to be a salesman -- isn't a politician a salesman? And what -- what is it then that made you go into politics, which involved dealing with people and indeed sort of selling -- selling yourself or selling the things you believe in? What -- ?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:24:01
[Richard Nixon]

It's very difficult to psychoanalyze oneself. The -- certainly in terms of the usual tests of a politician, being gregarious, et cetera, I would not meet that, although I do -- I do quite well. I can walk up and down a street and pop into the -- the various places of business when it's -- it's -- when I don't feel I'm intruding, when they don't mind. But, on, the other hand, it's really -- it's really not possible for me to give a good answer to that. I think that in terms of my own political career, it's -- it hasn't been a case of my thinking of my selling myself, but it's been a case of my having certain ideas that I felt very strongly about and that I wanted to advocate and have -- be in position to implement. And I was driven by that and not by the idea of, "Look, I'm a great salesman, and if only people get a chance to shake my hand and look in my eye, they're going to vote for me". I never thought that.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:25:07
[Frank Gannon]

At one point, much later on, in ' 68, you told a writer, in analyzing yourself, that you were an introvert in an extrovert's game.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:25:17
[Richard Nixon]

I think that's quite true. I mean, that is the -- that is the -- certainly -- let me put it this way. Everybody believes that politics is an extrovert's game, but, on the other hand, many times the extroverts don't win, necessarily. In other words, particularly in this day of television, I think maybe some people who are not gregarious and the rest may be able to come over quite well on the tube. I'm not sure. I would hope that that's the case, because let me say I know two others that were introverts in the ex--extrovert's game. Bob Taft was one. Tom Dewey was one. They were both essentially shy men who found it very difficult, Taft even more than Dewey, very difficult to go out and, frankly, ask people to vote for them. They could do it in a big crowd, but they couldn't do it individually as well. And now they were both great political leaders, one as a governor and the other as a senator. And either one would have made a great president under certain circumstances.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:26:28
[Frank Gannon]

Weren't also even Kennedy and -- John Kennedy and Eisenhower --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:26:33
[Richard Nixon]

That's right.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:26:34
[Frank Gannon]

-- were private people?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:26:35
[Richard Nixon]

Very much so. I think that -- I think that John Kennedy, despite all of the talk, which I understand, about his charisma and the rest -- that John Kennedy was a very private person. When I first met him as a congressman, he was essentially quite shy, quite withdrawn. He's studious, intellectual, et cetera. Very different -- I'll tell you the one in the family who is not shy, who's just the opposite of him, and you wouldn't think they were brothers except they have the same name and do resemble each other, and that's Teddy. Now, Teddy is a typical Irish extrovert politician, but Jack was more withdrawn and more private insofar as his whole attitude, certainly. Eisenhower the same. Eisenhower had a -- had a curious feeling about people being too familiar with him. He didn't want people to grab him. Perhaps it was the dignity of the office or something, but Eisenhower could get very, very cool if somebody, for example, told an off-color story or became familiar, told a joke or something that he didn't think was proper. With his intimates he could be very friendly and outgoing, but when it was strangers, he didn't want people to be -- to take any familiarities with him. The same was true of Kennedy. Johnson, no. Johnson was -- was a total extrovert. He just loved it.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:28:02
[Frank Gannon]

You -- you mentioned once about Eisenhower, in these -- along these lines, that when you first went to see him in ' 52, after you'd been nominated, to meet him at the Blackstone --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:28:13
[Richard Nixon]

Yeah.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:28:13
[Frank Gannon]

Hotel, I guess, you came in and you had -- you didn't know what to call him, that you had called Hoover "Chief".

Day 1, Tape 2
00:28:20
[Richard Nixon]

Yes. Yes. I remember that very well, and I remember that I, when I went in to see him, and he -- I said -- well. Let me see. When I went in to see him, he shook my hand and - -and said "I"-- he would like for me to accept the nomination as vice president, and I said "I would be very happy to do so, very honored to do so, Chief". And I could sense immediately a little coolness developing. He didn't like that. From then on it was "General". And I learned, incidentally, that while of course when he was president we called him Mr. President, He always really preferred to be called General. That was his favorite. And after he left the presidency, we never called him, "Mr. President". It was always "General". But he didn't like the familiar - -the "Chief," that belonged to Herbert Hoover. It was not something Eisenhower liked.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:29:20
[Frank Gannon]

We -- we've been talking about your years in high school, and I think it was during that time that Harold's -- that Harold became ill, and it was diagnosed as tuberculosis, which started a long --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:29:34
[Richard Nixon]

Well, as a matter of fact, Harold's tuberculosis started before that. It started when we were in Yorba Linda, and, incidentally, it may have come for a reason, in retrospect, that had to do with my father's attitude toward raw milk. My father had a thing about raw milk. He thought pasteurized milk -- he says, "What they do, they take milk, they heat it up, it's all dirty and filthy, and then they sell it to you because it's been heated". And so he always insisted on raw milk. It was supposed to be better. So we always had a cow, and we had raw milk. I think it's possible the cow could have been tubercular. In any event, my brother Harold contracted tuberculosis when he was in the seventh grade in Yorba Linda. When we moved over to Whittier, in East Whittier, he went to that school there, he had to drop out a year, and he was behind in his class. And from then on, it was very difficult for him to adjust to high school. He was very bright. He had excellent marks before he had to drop out and got behind the others in his class. And so then when he was a junior in high school, I remember, he began running, my folks thought, with a sort of a fast crowd. He was a very handsome fellow, and the girls just swooned over him. He had so many girlfriends, believe me, it was something to see.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:31:02
[Frank Gannon]

Wasn't he -- he was the only blonde in the family.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:31:04
[Richard Nixon]

He was the blonde, the first born in all of our -- it's interesting. There were six sisters. All of them had children. All the first born, all of them, incidentally, except for Ollie, were brown-haired and brown-eyed, but Ollie pointed out to me that every first-born -- and that was true of Hannah, it was true of Martha, it was true of Edith, it was true of -- also of Jane and Elizabeth -- the first born had blue eyes and the others had brown eyes. I don't know what that means, but, anyway, Harold had blue eyes, as did -- and my father had blue eyes, too. My mother's were brown eyes. But, in any event, in his junior year, they decided that he was running with a fast crowd, a little smoking and that sort of thing. And so they had him go east to school, to Mount Herman School for Boys, which a real estate agent, Harold Gardner, had recommended strongly. Well, it was a fine school. He went back there, and he got along, I guess, reasonably well, but within a half-year he was home, because he had lost a lot of weight, and I remember we went over to the Pasadena Railroad Station, and I remember his coming off the train. He was painfully thin, and he'd grown a mustache. He cut a fine figure, but I -- I knew something was wrong. And then hecontracted tuberculosis again, had another hemorrhage. And then for five years it just got worse and worse and worse. Everything was tried - pneumothorax, rest, bed rest, et cetera, but he just withered away, and then that was something that we had to live with for a while, and that he had to live with, which was worse.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:32:39
[Frank Gannon]

Didn't your mother and father start a series of taking him to different places to -- your father built a cabin in the Antelope Valley because the weather there was supposed to be drier and better?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:32:48
[Richard Nixon]

Yes. The Antelope Valley, we had a cabin there. The most expensive place we went was to the Hillcrest Sanitarium, which was over in the Beverly Hills area. It was very, very expensive, and my father -- we had an acre where the service station and store, which he paid five thousand dollars for when he had built it -- he built the service station and store on that acre. And I remember he cut it in half and sold the lower half of it toHarry Schuyler, a neighbor, for eight hundred dollars in order to defray some of the expenses for the care at Hillcrest Sanitarium. Or, incidentally, one of the things my brother did, he -- one of the nurses fell for him, and they almost came to the point of getting married, whatever that means. Anyway, finally, it was Arizona. Prescott, Arizona, a mile high, and so my mother took Harold over there, and she was there or almost three years with him.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:33:53
[Frank Gannon]

And didn't -- she had other patients as well.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:33:56
[Richard Nixon]

Well, this story is one that I'm afraid most people will find hard to believe in this day and age. Yes. In order to keep him there, that meant that it would be very costly, because the -- the medical bills were pretty big, too. And so she took three other patients. There was Larry and Leslie and a man we called "the Major." He was a Canadian major who had been gassed at Flanders in World War I. They were all bed patients, except the Major now and then could be ambulatory. And for that period of time, my mother, alone, with no help whatever, she gave them alcohol rubs. She took them trays. She took care of, of course, the laundry and all that sort of thing, and it was really a remarkable achievement, and of course, in addition to taking care of Harold, who was one of the sickest of the lot. And so under those circumstances, it -- it was -- it was remarkable that she was able to do it. But there was another one. I should say there was one other that, now that you remind me, and he was not -- he didn't live with her, but there was a fellow who was the most interesting one of all -- I thought he was the most interesting. He was a -- a gambler, actually, I learned, from New York. He contracted tuberculosis, and he had a driver, a chauffeur, no less, and he found about -- when my mother was there that she was a great cook, and so he came in and took his meals there and left very handsome tips when he did. And he used to regale us with stories about New York City, and from that time I wanted to go to New York. It was -- it was a cold, relentless, and rebitting place, but it had an enormous pull to go there, and it took years before I got there, but, anyway. This fellow was -- had a couple of interesting experiences with him. [unclear: Marshall Clough], whose father has tuberculosis, he had been the Mia -- he had been the Miami Ford dealer, as a matter of fact -- no, Miami Chevrolet dealer, and then had come to Arizona. But [unclear: Marshall Clough], his son, and I were great friends, and we used to ramble around in the hills back there in Prescott. And one time we came up -- we came upon what was apparently a whole cache that had been left by a bootlegger, because, you understand, this was before Prohibition had been repealed. And so we found these twelve bottles, and we didn't know what to do with them, and we weren't sure what it was, so we took it to our friend from New York, who was there for lunch. And we said, "We don't know what this is." And we said, "Could you tell us?" And he says, "Oh, yes." He says, "Let me ask George."George was his chauffeur. "He'll drink anything. He'll even drink ink." That's the last we saw of the twelve bottles. Well, the sad part of the story is that that was 1928, and that was the year that Al Smith ran for the presidency, and this gambler bet everything on Al Smith. And he wrote to us in California, to me in California later, right after Smith lost. And he said, "Well, Smith lost. I lost the car, and I also lost George."

Day 1, Tape 2
00:37:29
[Frank Gannon]

Didn't -- you would go and visit on - -during the summers and at -- on certain weekends. It must have been a very long --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:37:37
[Richard Nixon]

Yes.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:37:37
[Frank Gannon]

-- and torturous drive.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:37:39
[Richard Nixon]

Yes. Well, as a matter -- we didn't go on weekends. No. It was a fourteen-hour drive. That was before the superhighways were in, and it was, except for an very, very short stretch until you got down to Indio, it was all dirt road. And we drove -- we drove over -- I'd spend the summers there, and we drove over at Christmastime, and sometimes Easter vacation. And I remember it was quite expensive, we thought, because at that time we had to keep up the both places, and my father did all the cooking, incidentally. I remember that every Sunday he used to make a marvelous pot roast. he'd take a pot roast, and he'd put onions and carrots and potatoes around it, and that was our big Sunday meal. And -- a pretty good cook. But, anyway, in order to save money, you see, we had a service station at that time, he got a great big twenty-five-gallon, or, I guess, thirty-gallon can, and put gasoline in it and carried the gasoline with him across, because in Arizona the gasoline was about seven or eight cents higher than it was in California. And California at that time was fifteen cents a gallon. Arizona was twenty-eight cents a gallon. Can you imagine that? I remember the irritation, though. He had to stop at a service station on occasion to get air in his tires, and the guy that owned the station was so furious at him. So he proceeded to buy a couple of candy bars or something just to put him right.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:39:07
[Frank Gannon]

In Prescott, when you would go there for the summers, you worked.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:39:11
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yes.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:39:11
[Frank Gannon]

You plucked chickens at one point --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:39:13
[Richard Nixon]

Yes, I --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:39:13
[Frank Gannon]

and you cleaned a swimming pool, and --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:39:15
[Richard Nixon]

I plucked chickens, and one thing that I couldn't do, that I found very difficult, I couldn't kill them. So I -- the way it did -- this -- this fellow that we did it for at the market, he would wring their necks, and I couldn't do that. And the other one -- another way that we could kill them was to use a cleaver, and I'll never forget when I had the res -- that assignment to do it. You know, here's this--here's this chicken, and I've got to hit it with the cleaver. I closed my eyes, and I brought the cleaver down, and I opened them, and I hit the chicken right in the head instead of in the neck, and I had to do it again. I just -- from that time on, I said no more chicken plucking unless somebody else kills them. Oh, I also cleaned swimming pools, and -- but the most fun -- they had what we called the Frontier Day Celebration in Prescott. They still have it. It's a rodeo, and then they have what they called a -- Slippery Gulch. At Slippery Gulch they had gambling. It wasn't legal, I guess, but some way -- and Arizona was sort of a wide-open place. And I ran -- I was a barker for a wheel of fortune where we gave away hams and bacon and other prizes. And I could yell it out, "Come on", do this or that, and people would buy chits at ten cents each, and then they could win a ham or bacon and so forth. And I remember my grandmother, she was in her eighties at that time, coming over on one occasion. And she, of course, didn't believe in gambling. And so I said, "Look, Grandmother, you've got to do it just one time."And, believe it or not, she won a ham, and, boy, did we enjoy that ham, even though it was perhaps gotten in ways that she wouldn't appreciate.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:41:00
[Frank Gannon]

Didn't you say that at one point your mother, who also disapproved of gambling, in Whittier was tempted by the food at a movie raffle and send you off to see the same movie a couple of times?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:41:12
[Richard Nixon]

Actually, the way it was is that the -- at the movie there was a raffle where you won a money prize, and the money prize was very significant, and it would keep piling up. It would start at one hundred dollars, then three hundred dollars or four hundred dollars. Well, it was down in La Habra, and my mother went to see the movie. We didn't go to many. It was a clean one, and then the -- and then we would -- we went about a half-a-dozen times, but we never won. But I remember we saw the same movie two or three times. Incidentally, the first movie I remember seeing was Inside the Cup, whatever that was. But the one I remember most vividly, of course, was "The Ten Commandments". I'll never forget going to the Carthay Circle Theatre and seeing that, and I'll never forget. I can remember it to this day, the -- the impact on -- on the audience of a movie. Another that I saw which made a very great impression on me was "All Quiet on the Western Front". And on that one, that was at the Carthay Circle Theatre in Los Angeles-- on that one I remember when one of the scenes, very moving, you know, with Lew Ayres and the rest, and lots of killing and so forth, that women -- a couple of women got up with -- crying and left the theatre, and I thought that they were probably those that had lost sons in World War I.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:42:52
[Frank Gannon]

The -- as you say, your mother was gone with Harold in Prescott for three years or more.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:42:58
[Richard Nixon]

Three years.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:43:01
[Frank Gannon]

Some commentators or observers have written that you must have -- some psychologists have written that you must have felt bitter or resentful or very disappointed that -- that she left you for such a long time --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:43:15
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, that's --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:43:17
[Frank Gannon]

-- at such a crucial time in your development. Did you --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:43:19
[Richard Nixon]

That's fatuous nonsense. You know, these psychohistorians are psychos. That's all I can say about them. Why, that's so ridiculous. We -- they don't know. I guess it's because perhaps they must have had unhappy childhoods, because basically our family was so close. We were rooting for Harold, and we would have done anything, any of us, for him, as he would for us if he'd been able. And I just - -we all thought -- Don and I and the old man, we thought my mother was doing the right thing, and we were just sorry it didn't work out.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:43:55
[Frank Gannon]

Do you think your personality or your temperament is different because your mother was gone for three of these formative years, and you were in a -- in an all-male household? Does that make any difference in the long run?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:44:09
[Richard Nixon]

No. You have to remember, too, though, that in this period of time, although my mother was there, my grandmother was still living up just a few blocks away from us, or a few -- a couple of miles, I should say. My aunt Ollie was there. We saw aunt Edith on occasion. The family was always rallying around. No. We didn't -- we didn't lack for feminine company, if that's what people are raising. And, in fact, too, my mother was an extraordinarily good letter writer. She must have written us at least once a week, and they were beautiful letters, and we in turn wrote to her. And Harold, of course, would write. You know, a curious thing, speaking of letter-writing, he had a -- like my grandmother, he had a gift for poetry. He wrote to my mother in poetry a great number of times, and she kept those letters, most of them, I guess, or virtually all of them. And I remember that she always felt that they were very important.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:45:16
[Frank Gannon]

Didn't she carry them -- after he died, didn't she carry them with her?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:45:19
[Richard Nixon]

Yes. Well, I -- yes, now that you mention it, she did. She had them in her purse, and what happened was -- this is really tragic -- at the time Tricia was born at Murphy Memorial Hospital, my mother was up there to see Pat, and, of course, to see the baby. And mother had parked her car in the parking lot, and even there in Whittier there are thieves, and a thief broke in, and she had left her purse in the car -- took the purse. The letters from Harold, the last one she had received, about a half-a-dozen in his handwriting were in the purse. She never got the purse back. That was no great loss -- wasn't much in it, but the letters were, of course, priceless.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:46:06
[Frank Gannon]

And she carried them for sixteen years.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:46:08
[Richard Nixon]

And she'd had them for sixteen years, because he had died in 1933, and this was 1946. That's right.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:46:17
[Frank Gannon]

Did you consider going -- when it came time to go to college, did you consider going east to college?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:46:23
[Richard Nixon]

Yes. In fact, I received an award from the Harvard Club of California, which will probably irritate many of my friends who did go to Harvard, but I received it as the outstanding male graduate of the class of 1930. And the award, incidentally, was quite interesting. It wasn't a scholarship. It gave you the opportunity to apply for one, but they gave me a biography of Dean Briggs. Dean Briggs was the dean of Harvard, and he was the one that founded -- he was the first dean of Radcliffe. And I read that biography from cover to cover, incidentally, but I didn't end up at Harvard. And then also our old friend the insurance man had -- what I referred to earlier - -had gone to Yale, and he wanted me to apply for the Yale scholarship that was available in southern California. Well, the difficulty with doing either -- that I knew we might get a scholarship, but I knew I couldn't afford to go. So I decided to go to Whittier and to stay at home, and they needed me, they needed me in the store. This was before Harold had died and so forth. There was no way that -- I'm sorry -- they needed me at that point, so I decided to stay there. That was before -- let me go back. After all, Harold, of course, was still sick. This was a time when the medical expenses were enormous-- 1930, '31, '32, '33, and so I decided to stay home, and I have no regrets.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:48:03
[Frank Gannon]

How would you be a different man today if you had gone to Harvard?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:48:10
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, let's see. I would have probably ended up in a New York law firm early on. I think I would have been competitive at Harvard. I was competitive at Duke. Of course, it wasn't as -- as big a school as Harvard, but it was highly selective. There were twenty-five Phi Beta Kappas in my first year class at Duke. All had scholarships, as I did, and I think, probably, had I gone there, I -- I-- I would have -- I guess what we're talking about, though, is -- if you're talking about the Harvard undergraduate school --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:48:50
[Frank Gannon]

Yes.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:48:55
[Richard Nixon]

I would have adjusted to it pretty well. I think I would have gotten by reasonably well, but may have -- would probably have stayed in the east. Would certainly not have gone into politics. So I think all the Harvard people probably would -- many of my friends from Harvard, because I have some who are supporters, but those who are not supporters say they wish I'd gone to Harvard, because then they wouldn't have had me in politics.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:49:23
[Frank Gannon]

You -- one of the reasons, as you say, that you had to stay at home was to work in the store, and I know you had taken over the vegetable department at that point. What did that involve in terms of your school day and your work day?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:49:38
[Richard Nixon]

Well, it just added to it. I got up at about three-thirty or four o'clock in the morning. We had a truck, not a very big one, a panel truck, and I would go over to the market, the vegetable market, in Los Angeles. We'd pick up the fresh things there. In season there would be apples and grapes and corn and cucumbers and what have you. And you'd have to bargain with the people. I liked those people, too. I remember, incidentally, those mornings were so cold, and often they'd have a great big tin, you know, an open -- a -- a barrel, and they'd -- they'd have fires burning in it, you'd see them, you know, the -- from the wood at night. We'd all stand around there and talk about everything from the price of fruit to what was going on in other parts of the world.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:50:34
[Frank Gannon]

And then you'd come back and prepare the --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:50:35
[Richard Nixon]

I'd come back --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:50:35
[Frank Gannon]

-- prepare the --

Day 1, Tape 2
00:50:36
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yes, I'd come back, and then display the stuff, and I always appreciated since then, every time I go into a super -- supermarket these days, I look at those fantastic displays, and I have great admiration for those that did it. Later on, incidentally, I should point out that those who did take over the market after I left were --it was a Korean family, the Paks - and they did a fantastic job. I -- I--our--I was very fortunate, really, in Yorba Linda and also in East Whittier. All of us were fortunate in the family to have known and gone to school with such a wide variety of people. I remember from Yorba Linda, I can remember very vividly, a girl in our class -- she was Japanese -- her name was Tomika Dubasha, and she was so smart. Her parents ran a truck farm. I remember, too, a Mexican family, the Lauros. And there was Tony, a very handsome boy. And then two twins, Jesus and Alexandro, and we used to play a great deal together. I remember the Japanese, of course, as I've mentioned, and also I particularly recall the Koreans. And then, of course, at Whittier College, Whittier being the kind of institution it was, we had -- two of my closest friends were Nate George, a great sprinter, and Bill Brock, a great fullback on our foo -- on our football team, who both of them were blacks. So I think the very fact that we grew up in that kind of a community where there was just no feeling of racism -- as a matter of fact, you appreciated the diversity. It was a very good background for all of us.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:52:24
[Frank Gannon]

You had a brief stint working at the butcher counter, I believe.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:52:29
[Richard Nixon]

I wasn't good at that. I've already indicated that I wasn't very good, for example, when it came to killing chickens. I just couldn't do it. And, frankly, I wasn't good -- you have to use a meat cleaver on pork chops, and that's just not my bag. Now my brother, Don, was very good at it. He eventually became not only the butcher but took over the market after my father retired.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:52:50
[Frank Gannon]

You told me once that you stopped working in the butcher department after you cut your finger and bled into the hamburger.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:52:56
[Richard Nixon]

That certainly happened. And I made some very good hamburger. We -- this was before, of course, there were machines. There are machines for everything now. And you ground the hamburger this way by hand, and my -- my old man was very proud of our hamburger. We didn't put any suet into it. It was all just the best trimmings from the meat and so forth, and people would come from miles around to get our hamburger because we sold it also at a very good price -- fifteen cents a pound.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:53:24
[Frank Gannon]

What were the four b's?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:53:26
[Richard Nixon]

Well, the four b's--that had to do with a little society which I suppose some would call a fraternity. Whittier College did not have fraternities. They didn't believe in elitism at all, but they did have societies, because people do get together. And when I went to Whittier in my freshman year, the men's society on campus was called the Franklin Society. And those were sort of the -- frankly, the better-off students, the ones that had a little more than the rest, and so forth and so on. And an indication of how well off they were is that for the student yearbook they had their pictures taken in tuxedoes. Dean Triggs, who was a sophomore when I was a freshman, had spent his first year at Colorado College. He had been a member of a fraternity there, Beta Theta Phi, a very good one. And when he came in, and he saw the Franklins there -- and Dean was on the football team as I was and so forth -- he said, "Let's start another society". So he did, and those who joined the society, all the charter members, were football players, or in athletics one way or another. And I wrote the constitution for it, and I wrote the -- I wrote the song for it. Dean, however, gave us the ideas about its initiation, which was a horrible thing, I thought. He also gave us the slogan of the society, Écrasons l'infâme, which, as you recall, Voltaire used to say that, Voltaire, "Stamp out evil". Whatever that could mean at that period in our lives. And then these -- the -- it was -- the four b's stood for beans, brains, brawn and bowels. Now the bowels, of course, were guts for the football players; the brains, we were all students; the brawn, we were going to be strong; the beans was that in those Depression years, every week we used to get together for a feed. We didn't have meat, so we had beans. Now and then we'd throw a little hamburger in it. So we had bean feeds every week, and did we eat beans.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:55:35
[Frank Gannon]

What was it, you said the initiation was gruesome. What was it?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:55:38
[Richard Nixon]

Well, the symbol of the society, or at least the mascot was supposed to be a boar, and so we would take the new members into the hills and have them dig up a dead boar and then eat the boar meat. Well, of course, we -- it was not a boar, it was a dog that we used. And, obviously, we wouldn't have them eat dog meat. But we'd get beef and we'd put it in acifidity, and then they'd have to eat that beef in acifidity, which is horrible. Horrible smelling and so forth. And they'd have to eat that to prove their manhood. So I, by being a charter member, avoided that, because, believe me, initiations are no fun. I did go through one initiation, though. In my junior year I joined the Glee Club. I don't know why. I was a -- I was a fair bass, but I wasn't that good, so they made me master of ceremonies, which wasn't too bad. I had a lot of fun there. Got go on the Glee Club trips, which was great fun. But I remember that when I was initiated into the Glee Club, they had another, I thought, rather crude kind of custom, and that was you'd have to first take off all your clothes. And they had a huge cake of ice there. And you'd sit on the ice for a while, and then they'd take a big paddle. You'd get up, and slap you over the rump, and then they'd say, "Sit on the ice to cool off."And you'd get up and they'd slap you over the rump to warm up. Well, by the time you've gone through that a while, you're pretty tired. And I got so tired I got pneumonia. And I was out, knocked out for at least a week. My fa -- mother was out of her mind, my father thought we ought to sue them, and so forth. I said, "Forget it. Say nothing". So I went back and we had a great time thereafter. But I was glad I didn't have to be initiated into the Orthogonians. That's the advantage of being a charter member of anything.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:57:39
[Frank Gannon]

You said at one point that the thing you didn't like about the fraternity was the -- the

Day 1, Tape 2
00:57:45
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yeah.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:57:45
[Frank Gannon]

-- "knock" sessions.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:57:47
[Richard Nixon]

Well, you see, not having been a member of any other fraternity, I don't know how it was at Beta Theta Phi, but in fra -- Dean Triggs said that the system would be that we'd all sit around in a group, in a square, we called it, and then

Day 1, Tape 2
00:58:03
[Frank Gannon]

[inaudible]

Day 1, Tape 2
00:58:04
[Richard Nixon]

-- we would have the Orthogonian Men's Square, and we'd all sit around and we'd have a "knock and boost" session, and you'd go right around the table, and there'd be about twenty-five of us, and each fellow'd get up and say, "I have a boost for this guy for -- and I have a knock for him, 'cause I didn't like what he did in - -in the classroom the other day," or "He's been makin' eyes at my girl," or what have you. I thought it was -- it just really turned me off. I couldn't do it. I've never knocked anybody, incidentally, at that one. I could give them a boost, but what I didn't like was the -- the fact that it was such an invasion of privacy. I -- I know -- I know these days that that is the proper therapy for alcoholism, for psychiatric problems, et cetera, et cetera. To have this laying on a couch or discussing all these things, and so forth and so on. No way for me. I could never do it.

Day 1, Tape 2
00:59:02
[Frank Gannon]

Which of the professors do you remember? I know that -- that Whittier, because it was a Quaker school, had a very tolerant and very sophisticated faculty at that time, more so than a lot of other small, similarly small schools. Which of the -- which professors, if any, stand out in your mind as having influenced you?

Day 1, Tape 2
00:59:25
[Richard Nixon]

Well, it was really an exceptional group of professors. All the ones that I recall had doctorates. There were doctorates from the University of Wisconsin, from Harvard, from Columbia, from the University of Pennsylvania. Quite remarkable. Another thing that was remarkable about them that I should mention is that faculty in those Depression years, they were paid about three hundred dollars a month, thirty-six hundred dollars -- that was a full professor's salary. And because times were so difficult, we didn't know much about the Depression in those days, but I learned this years later, that whole faculty voluntarily took a 10 percent cut in their salaries in order to keep the college going. And they never told us about it. Well, anyway, Paul Smith, my professor of history -- remarkable man. University of Wisconsin. What he particularly, I think, inspired in all of us was a passion for books. I remember he used to get a book, a fine book, Esmé Wingfield -Stratford's, "History of British Civilization", he assigned to the course. He'd open it up and read a passage on architecture and something, and his mouth would water. We used to say, "Don't sit in the front of Paul Smith's classes because maybe it'll get on you", you know. His mouth would water, and he'd say, "Isn't that wonderful? Isn't that wonderful?" It made you want to read the book. Another one was Albert Upton. Albert Upton was, I've said, could have been an agnostic, I'm not sure, but he always believed in broadening the education. And he was the one who, when he -- one summer, said to me, "Look, you've got to broaden your education. You ought to read Tolstoy."And that summer I read everything that Tolstoy has written. Virtually everything. "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina" and "Possession" . And some of the philosophical treaties. Treatises. I became, frankly, a Tolstoyan, which was very easy to do because nobody can read Tolstoy without being deeply moved.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:01:25
[Frank Gannon]

What is a Tolstoyan?

Day 1, Tape 2
01:01:27
[Richard Nixon]

A Tolstoyan in my case meant a -- a belief in the individual and his importance, a belief in freedom, but particularly a passion for peace. Peace and good will for all people. That's what I saw as a Tolstoyan at that point.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:01:47
[Frank Gannon]

Didn't Upton at a later point have some fun with some reporters that came to interview him --

Day 1, Tape 2
01:01:54
[Richard Nixon]

Yeah.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:01:55
[Frank Gannon]

-- deferring to a picture of -- a portrait of yours?

Day 1, Tape 2
01:01:57
[Richard Nixon]

Yes, he was a great wag that way. He used to -- he told me about it. He said that -- they came -- they had a portrait of me hanging in the office of the president, and he went in, and he told the reporters, "Every time we go in we bow at the picture".

Day 1, Tape 2
01:02:15
[Frank Gannon]

The--

Day 1, Tape 2
01:02:15
[Offscreen voice]

Excuse me, gentlemen. We're going to keep rolling tape. I just want Ray to come on the set for a second for a quick touch-up. Go to the debate subjects. [inaudible]

Day 1, Tape 2
01:02:22
[Frank Gannon]

Going to go to the debate subjects, and then the trips, the speakeasy, and the pancake diet.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:02:32
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, what about the--what about the religious thing? Don't you want to get that in?

Day 1, Tape 2
01:02:37
[Frank Gannon]

We're coming to that.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:02:38
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, you're going -- that's coming later.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:02:39
[Frank Gannon]

I believe we -- we'll do sports, Harold, and the -- "what can I believe".

Day 1, Tape 2
01:02:44
[Richard Nixon]

Mm-hmm. All right.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:02:48
[Frank Gannon]

[On telephone.] Hello?

Day 1, Tape 2
01:02:52
[Frank Gannon]

Yeah. Yep.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:02:55
[Offscreen voice]

[inaudible]

Day 1, Tape 2
01:02:57
[Richard Nixon]

Okay.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:02:58
[Frank Gannon]

The one that's up, Harold. Yeah. No. No. Not quite. Yep. Right. Was this -- was this a ninety? Hmm. Hmm. Okay. Thank you. [Hangs up.]

Day 1, Tape 2
01:03:26
[Offscreen voice]

[inaudible] There you go.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:03:48
[Richard Nixon]

Very pleasant studio.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:03:50
[Frank Gannon]

Yes, it's nice. Spacious. The set worked out well, as well.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:03:56
[Richard Nixon]

Yeah, I don't watch that so much, but it looks nice.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:04:07
[Offscreen voice]

Okay, stand by. [inaudible]

Day 1, Tape 2
01:04:19
[Richard Nixon]

Chief Newman.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:04:21 [Frank Gannon]

Yes.

[Action note: Screen goes black.]

Day 1, Tape 2
01:04:22
[Richard Nixon]

I want to say a word about him.

[Action note: Picture returns without sound.]

Day 1, Tape 2
01:04:38
[Frank Gannon]

Do you want to --

Day 1, Tape 2
01:04:39
[Richard Nixon]

I'll just -- just start it.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:04:41
[Frank Gannon]

Work it in. The -- do you remember any of the debate topics that --

Day 1, Tape 2
01:04:47
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, I can remember, I think, all of them.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:04:47
[Frank Gannon]

-- that you debated during those years?

Day 1, Tape 2
01:04:50
[Richard Nixon]

I can remember all of them because they were great challenges at the time. One year it was free trade versus protectionism. Another year it was the inter-Allied war debts - -whether they should be cancelled or not. And another year, I don't remember the exact title, but it was to the effect that -- resolved: that the United States should have centralized control of the economy. In those debates we always had to argue both sides. We had to be prepared to argue both sides. But in the process of my studying for it, in the research, I became a committed free trader. I remained so ever since. I became certainly an internationalist. I -- I was thoroughly convinced that the inter-Allied war debt should be cancelled. Not simply because the Allies had taken -- and I made this argument very strongly -- because they had taken far greater losses than we had, but because I thought in terms of our own economic progress, it was essential to get their economies back on a solid footing. As a result of that, when people see my support of foreign aid and international cooperation, a lot of it may go right back to that. Although there are other arguments that could be made then. The other one, the centralized control, is the only time that I can remember that -- that Hitler came into our consciousness. Because I remember I made the point that centralized control of an economy could lead to centralized control politically of a country. And then I shorthanded it to say, if you have dictatorship for an economy, it will lead to political dic -- dictatorship as well. Or putting it another way, economic dictatorship can lead to political dictatorship, and that's what's happened in Germany. And we don't want it to happen here. But I had been, of course, throughout my political life, opposed to bigger and bigger government in Washington. And opposed to anything that might pave the way for political dictatorship.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:07:14
[Frank Gannon]

You got to travel a lot with the debate team.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:07:17
[Richard Nixon]

We had some great trips. Yes, we went up to Oregon and Washington. I remember the time that we went to Washington, the Columbia River was frozen over. It was an exciting time. And then of course I recall a trip, the other trip we took, which took us clear out to Brigham Young University in Utah. Incidentally, we had -- we were very fortunate in those times, we stayed at the great hotels, at the Hotel Utah, at the other -- the -- the great hotels also up in Seattle, Washington. They'd always give us a rate of one dollar person. I'll never forget that. Incidentally, which reminds me, the first time I ever stayed in a hotel, which does show the closeness of this whole Milhous tribe or family. After Arthur died, all of us were terribly shaken. I was emotionally very upset. And my, he was my grandfather's youngest brother who lived up the road from us, and whose estate I later handled as a lawyer -- but my uncle Charlie was a little better off than some, and I remember he had a great big seven-passenger car. And he took my mother and father and Don and me in his big car down to San Diego, and -- for a weekend, just to get us away and give us a little lift. And we stayed at the U.S. Grant Hotel. And years later, one of the most important speeches I made in my campaign for the Senate was made in that same old U.S. Grant Hotel. But be that as it may with debate, on these debate trips, the most vivid memory I have of the one in 1933 was that as we were traveling from Utah to our last stop, which was to be at Arizona State at Tempe uncle Charlie, we got snowed in at Cameron, Arizona, on the rim of the Grand Canyon, and for four days we couldn't move. We didn't have any money, so we ate one meal a day -- pancakes, which we got for fifty cents. So we ate that at about ten in the morning, and that was it. And then finally when the -- when the weather broke, we went down -- we had to go to make the date, and we were to get there on time. And we found -- and we -- that -- we were told, and we had been prepared for this, that they wanted the debate very formal. They had it in black tie. And so I recall that we had to change into our black tie in the car on the way down there, and we got there just in time to go on stage. And they had a -- a big crowd, over one thousand people for the debate. And we won two to one.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:10:10
[Frank Gannon]

Didn't the debate trips give you your first taste of the speakeasy life?

Day 1, Tape 2
01:10:16
[Richard Nixon]

Well, I'd never been in a speakeasy before, or since, as a matter of fact, that I recall. But Joe Sweeney, a very -- extrovert, Irish iconoclast, when we got to San Francisco, we were staying at the Whitcomb Hotel, and he said -- he -- we, "Let's see if we can go out tonight". Understand this was in the -- the time before Prohibition was repealed. And I remember we went into a drugstore, and Sweeney showed him a card that Sweeney had got from the bellhop. San Francisco was a wide-open town, as we learned later. And this fellow pushed the button, and here was this -- this whole wall, with all medicines and things on, swung open, and we were back in a dimly lighted room and with a bar and very attractive, sort of sultry cocktail waitresses there. I didn't know what in the world to order. I'd never had a hard drink before. And Sweeney said, "Get a Tom Collins". Well, I had a Tom Collins, and I must say I was more impressed, however, by just the atmosphere of the place and -- and these attractive cocktail waitresses going around than I was by the booze.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:11:43
[Frank Gannon]

You've said that, next to your father, the man who had the greatest influence on your life was Chief Newman, your football coach. What -- what was that influence?

Day 1, Tape 2
01:11:56
[Richard Nixon]

Well, when I say the Chief, I shouldn't leave out others. Paul Smith had a great influence, of course. And my professors in law school did, too. Herbert Harris, with whom we studied Shakespeare, was a great teacher, and Dean Coffin, and others. But the Chief influenced me, not intellectually, but in terms of character. The Chief was an American Indian. He would have been certainly a-a-a consensus All-American if he had played at a different time, but he did play in the Rose Bowl when S.C., Southern Cal, beat Penn State fourteen to three back in 1923. He was proud, full-blooded Indian, never making any apologies for, never asking any quarter for the fact that he was. And -- and the Chief was always trying to inspire us, inspire us to be self-sufficient, to be competitive, and above everything else, never to give up. You know, in those days, they used to say, it was getting rather current, and it -- like it is today in some of the so-called "better schools" -- it isn't whether you win or lose, but how you play the game that counts. And the Chief said, "That's all fatuous nonsense". He says, "Of course how you play the game counts. And you must always play fair. But it also -- it also counts as to whether you win or lose. You play to win. And if you don't win, you kick yourself in the butt and be sure you don't make the same mistakes again". He drilled that into us. And I must say I was affected, and I -- and I would say hundreds of others who came under the Chief, just by the character of the man, the strength of the man. I was never any good at it, but I learned a lot sitting by him on the bench.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:13:55
[Frank Gannon]

Here's a photograph of you at that time. Does that look like a real terror?

Day 1, Tape 2
01:14:00
[Richard Nixon]

Well, it doesn't look like a very imposing figure, and I wasn't. That's for sure. But that man down on the corner sitting there, however, was an All-Conference tackle. That was Gibbs. 205 pounds. He was a real good man.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:14:14
[Frank Gannon]

Weren't you sort of either -- didn't your career alternate between bench warming and cannon fodder?

Day 1, Tape 2
01:14:21
[Richard Nixon]

We did both. The bench warming -- as a matter of fact, I did serve a useful purpose, the Chief said I did, and of course he was a thoughtful man. After my junior year, I had not made the team, and I knew that there was no way I was going to make it in my senior year. And I had a lot of things coming up, and I went to see the Chief, and I said, "Chief, I don't think I'll come out this year."And he says, "Dick, you've got to come out". He said, "You know we need ya for the -- play the other teams".

Day 1, Tape 2
01:14:50
[Frank Gannon]

Plays?

Day 1, Tape 2
01:14:51
[Richard Nixon]

Plays. So, and also, he said, we just need more on the squad. And then the other thing he said, he said, "Also, I need you on the bench". I was kind of a cheerleader, you know. I was always -- and Chief was a great believer in -- in that. The other thing is that -- he is -- you go ahead.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:15:10
[Frank Gannon]

I had read that some of the -- the other players used to vie to sit next to you at the steak dinners before each game that the team had. Was that because you were so popular?

Day 1, Tape 2
01:15:22
[Richard Nixon]

Well, I think probably I didn't eat the steak. Was that it?

Day 1, Tape 2
01:15:24
[Frank Gannon]

That's -- that's how they remember it.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:15:26
[Richard Nixon]

That's right.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:15:27
[Frank Gannon]

That you were always so psyched up for the games, even though you were going to be on the bench, that you --

Day 1, Tape 2
01:15:27
[Richard Nixon]

That's right.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:15:28
[Frank Gannon]

-- you wouldn't be able to eat your food. And so ever sat next to you would get two steaks.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:15:34
[Richard Nixon]

Yes, I remember, incidentally, a little -- I -- I do remember something about a steak dinner. I mentioned Bill Brock, who was our great fullback. We went down to play Arizona. I did not make the traveling squad even for that trip, but I drove separately to Arizona. And to -- to show you how things have changed, Arizona at that time had segregation. And the Chief took me aside quietly before the team dinner, which was at a hotel. He said, "Dick, I'm going to give you five bucks. Take Bill out to dinner", he says, "because, but tell him that -- don't let him think there's any discrimination". And so I took him to the best Mexican restaurant we could buy, and we had a good dinner because they wouldn't let our black fellow eat with the rest of the players.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:15:27
[Frank Gannon]

How did he --?

Day 1, Tape 2
01:15:30
[Richard Nixon]

Years later, years later I asked Bill about it, and Bill said, "You know, you really pulled it off. I didn't know that that's what had happened. I thought that's what you really wanted to do". So, but that shows you Chief's sensitivity. Because they wouldn't let Chief in, probably, down there. Maybe in Arizona they'd let an Indian in, but they weren't letting blacks in at that point. And you had something else on Chief, you were saying earlier. He was, well, I guess we've got --

Day 1, Tape 2
01:16:58
[Frank Gannon]

It was at this time that, when you were in college, that your brother Harold died, that he got much sicker and then --

Day 1, Tape 2
01:17:07
[Richard Nixon]

Yes.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:17:07
[Frank Gannon]

-- and then died.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:17:09
[Richard Nixon]

Yeah, what happened was that he came home from Prescott, finally, and it was all downhill from then on. He had pneumothorax. Pneumothorax is where you collapse the lung, one lung. But eventually what happened was they collapsed the one lung, and the disease came to the other lung, and then it was all gone. And they had tried everything and so forth. And he had to know that the end was near. I remember the last trip he took. He -- he -- he wanted to get out of the room, which was dank, their home, and so forth, and smelly with liniment and so forth, alcohol, which they used for the rubs. And he said, he got my old man to get a, to rent a real truck with a chas -- a real chassis, it was, and a superstructure was put on that made it kind of like a trailer. Sort of a -- a house trailer, so to speak. And so they planned it very well, and -- and -- they--they were planning to take this and spend two or three weeks on the road, going through the mountains over to Arizona and so forth that he had remembered so well. And after three days they were back. He couldn't, he couldn't take it any longer. But I remember his talking to me about it, and he said, "You know, Dick", he said, "it was really worth doing". He said, "To see all of the blossoms that were out and to -- to see the snow on the mountains". This was toward the end of the winter, in March and so forth. Says, "I'm awfully glad we did, even though we could only go for three days". And then, a couple of days later, it was Ma -- March 6, which is the day before my mother's birthday, and he had read an ad for an electric cake mixer, which she didn't have, of course. And so he said, "We ought to get something for her". So we went up -- I drove the car -- up to the Whittier hardware store, and he could hardly walk at that point. He shouldn't even have been out of bed. And we went into the store together, we picked out the cake mixer. Cost us thirty bucks. And wrapped it, birthday wrapping. We took it home and sort of hid it in the closet so she could have it the next day and we could give it to her on her birthday. The next day, I was in the bathroom shaving. The bathroom was right off the bedroom, the downstairs bedroom where he was. And he said, I could hear him, he said, "Dick", he said, "could you hurry up?" He said, "I don't feel very well". And I said, "Sure". So I finished, and I got out of the room, and went over to college. About -- after I'd been there two hours, I was studying in the library, and the librarian, a student librarian, came over and said, "Dick, your folks want you to come home". Well, I knew, of course, what had happened, or assumed I did. I came home and the hearse was in front of the car from White Emerson, the same one that had been there when Arthur had died. My mother later told me what had happened. After I had gone to school, he called her in, and he, who was not a very religious, he didn't appear to be, he said, "Well", he said, "that's the last time I will see you. Next time I will see you in heaven". And then he went to sleep. So we had, I must say, some rather poignant memories of those times.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:21:05
[Frank Gannon]

And then -- then you gave her the -- didn't you give her the mixer that -- that night as a --?

Day 1, Tape 2
01:21:10
[Richard Nixon]

We gave her the mixer, and she took it. But of course after that -- the effect on her of losing these children -- let me -- let me point out something. The effect of losing Arthur was, with her affection, was very, very profound. And the -- the effect on -- losing Harold was profound because when each one of those -- Leslie died first, Larry died second, the Major died third, and then Harold. And each one was as if one of her own had died.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:21:45
[Frank Gannon]

Those were the people that she'd--

Day 1, Tape 2
01:21:46
[Richard Nixon]

Those were the ones she'd taken care of -- for --

Day 1, Tape 2
01:21:46
[Frank Gannon]

-- taken care of at Prescott.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:21:48
[Richard Nixon]

-- at Prescott. And when Harold died, it was sort of -- sort of the end of everything. And I remember from that time on, March 7, which we'd always remember her birthday, she would never let us celebrate it. That time on, she always went out to the Rose Hill Cemetery, and she put flowers on the graves.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:22:09
[Frank Gannon]

Do you remember when this photograph was taken?

Day 1, Tape 2
01:22:14
[Richard Nixon]

I would guess that I must have been seventeen, twenty. You see, he looks pretty good there. That must have been a case, a time before he had one of the relapses. I can't remember the exact date.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:22:28
[Frank Gannon]

How did you feel when he died?

Day 1, Tape 2
01:22:31
[Richard Nixon]

Well, it -- it -- the experience was traumatic for all of us. You see, we had lived for ten years, in his case, up and down with tuberculosis. And we were always hoping against hope that, you know, some cure could be found. Let me say if I look at modern medicine, to me, one of the most exciting things that's happened is the cure for tuberculosis. Because my father's mother died with tuberculosis, Harold died with tuberculosis, Arthur had tubercular meningitis. And then, of course, we've had other experiences as well.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:23:14
[Frank Gannon]

When you went to college, your mother warned you about losing your faith. Did you?

Day 1, Tape 2
01:23:21
[Richard Nixon]

I would say in terms that she would describe it, yes. In terms that both she and my father were Quakers, but fundamentalist Quakers. Some of the Quakers are not too fundamentalist. They're tolerant of almost anything. But they believed in the literal interpretation of the "Bible". Every word of it is true, including the whale story, et cetera. And, consequently, she was even concerned, for example, about my reading Tolstoy . She didn't think that sounded that good. Of course --

Day 1, Tape 2
01:23:57
[Frank Gannon]

To be a Tolstoyan, not a Quaker?

Day 1, Tape 2
01:24:00
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yes, I think, yeah, not her kind of Quaker, although she was really tolerant of others, tolerant, but -- but as I say, the Tolstoyans and the Quakers, I think, would -- would be very simpatico.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:24:15
[Frank Gannon]

At this time in -- in college, one of the courses you took was, I think, called, "The Philosophy of Christian Reconstruction," which was popularly known as, "What Can I Believe?"

Day 1, Tape 2
01:24:23
[Richard Nixon]

Yeah, Dr. Herschel Coffin's course. That's right.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:24:25
[Frank Gannon]

And the students had to write at the beginning, the middle and the end, at least, three relatively lengthy essays on what they believed. And I guess the point was to see how the beliefs changed or progressed in the course of the -- of the course. Your mother kept, I guess, one of the -- one of your essays, and I think you have seen this. I wonder if you could read a bit of that -- from the -- I think the last, the -- the -- the sum -- summation, or the summary essay you wrote on "What Can I Believe?"

Day 1, Tape 2
01:25:02
[Richard Nixon]

Well, this is entitled, "The Symbolic Importance of the Resurrection Story". And I wrote that "[t]he important fact is that Jesus lived and taught a life so perfect that He continued to live and grow after his death in the hearts of men. It may be true that the resurrection story is a myth. But symbolically it teaches the great lesson -- that men who achieve the highest values in their lives may gain immortality. Orthodox teachers have always insisted that the physical resurrection of Jesus is the most important cornerstone in the Christian religion. I believe that the modern world will find a real resurrection in the life and teachings of Jesus". Well, as you can tell from hearing that, that that would be inconsistent with what those who believe in the literal interpretation of the ""Bible"" would say, inconsistent with what my good friend Billy Graham and some of those who are called born-again fundamentalist Christians, would say. Inconsistent in a literal way, but not in a broader sense, because, to be quite candid with you, I would say that I am not one that says that everything that Darwin wrote is correct. I am not one that says it is impossible to have had the theory of creation being a fact. It could have happened that way. My view is that it probably didn't happen that way, but I am certainly not going to fault those who believe otherwise. So, and as I see, one can be a good Christian without necessarily believing in the physical resurrection.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:26:49
[Frank Gannon]

Do you believe that there is a God who watches over you --

Day 1, Tape 2
01:26:52
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yes.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:26:53
[Frank Gannon]

-- who watches the things that you do?

Day 1, Tape 2
01:26:54
[Richard Nixon]

Absolutely, absolutely. Oh, yes.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:26:59
[Frank Gannon]

At this time, when you were in college, your uncle Lyle came to visit, and I--I know you tell the story of--

Day 1, Tape 2
01:27:05
[Richard Nixon]

Yes.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:27:05
[Frank Gannon]

-- of his wanting to see the sea.

Day 1, Tape 2
01:27:07
[Richard Nixon]

Well, I've got to tell you who uncle Lyle was. You know, when my father's mother died, he was shunted from place to place. And the only happy time I think he had in Ohio was with his uncle Lyle, who was his father's youngest brother. uncle Lyle was very nice to him. And so he, my father, paved the way for uncle Lyle to come to California and spend a few days with us. He'd never been out of Ohio before that. And he had never seen the ocean. And I remember we took him down to the beach, at Seale Beach, and he very much wanted to go in, 'cause he'd never even -- not even-- not only had he not been in, but he'd never even seen it before. Well, we went to a place where you could rent bathing suits. And I remember we got him a bathing suit. And the only kind they had was one of those old-fashioned ones that came clear down below his knees, you know. I mean, like you see in the Mack Sennett movies. Well, we went out. There was quite a few people on the beach, and I remember that Don and I were with him. We, frankly, were embarrassed, you know, to see uncle Lyle. But I felt ashamed immediately thereafterwards, because to see him in the water, jumping and hopping around, we shouldn't have been embarrassed or ashamed.

[Action note: Test pattern appears.]

Day one, Tape three of six, LINE FEED #3, 2-9-83, ETI Reel #3
Feb. 9, 1983

Day 1, Tape 3
00:00:58
[Richard Nixon]

The scholarships were only contin --

[Action note: Screen goes black.]

Day 1, Tape 3
00:01:03
[Richard Nixon]

[unclear: Garbled ] -- about twenty of them were wearing them. Only the first day, however, because, I'm telling you, that faculty was an excellent faculty. They came from Harvard and Stanford and Columbia and Cal and so forth and so on. And by the time they got through brutalizing that first year class, they had them scared to death. And they didn't wear their keys the next day. I remember one in particular -- Brian Bolich was the professor of property, he was a Rhodes Scholar and had studied in London, and he -- he came in -- this is right in the middle of the recession -- Depression, we could call it that then, in 1934--and he said, "Well, young men", and -- he said -- he said, "Well, ladies and gentlemen", he says, "I have a little advice for you before we start this course. Marry for money and practice law for love". Well, that got us off with --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:02:02
[Frank Gannon]

That's advice you didn't take.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:02:03
[Richard Nixon]

That's advice we didn't take. But it got us -- it made us realize that it was going to be tough once we finished law school, to get out and get a good job.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:02:15
[Frank Gannon]

Didn't one of your other professors give you advice about your writing style that --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:02:22
[Richard Nixon]

Yes.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:02:23
[Frank Gannon]

-- helped you much -- or that stuck with you much later on?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:02:25
[Richard Nixon]

Yeah. Well, one of my professors was David Cavers. David Cavers taught conflicts. He was also the editor-in-chief, or the faculty advisor for Law and Contemporary Problems, which was our law review. And one summer I did an article for Law and Contemporary Problems under his guidance. I remember what an impressive fellow he was. He had been first in his class at Harvard Law School, which we knew was -- meant that he was one of the top echelon. And I'd go in to see him as we'd look -- as he was critiquing my drafts. He would sit there. He would smoke cigarettes, and great big smoke rings would come out. And I was fascinated by that. At the same time, he'd be grading papers, he'd be reading my copy here and advising me. He could do three things at the same time, and each equally well. And I said, "Well, that's a genius". And I realized that I certainly wasn't in that class.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:03:20
[Frank Gannon]

Didn't he -- he took some of your writing and talked to you about the -- the -- the length --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:03:23
[Richard Nixon]

Well, when he saw it, you know, when it took me -- he was very -- actually, complimentary. I worked awfully hard, but it was slow. And he said, "It should flow more freely". And he -- he said, "You've got constipation in writing. You've got to let it flow out more easily". But writing has always been difficult for me. I've never been able to let it just rip out, as some people seem to be able to do it. Cavers did something else that was very nice that I remember. In our first year, I recall that I didn't -- couldn't go home for Christmas, of course. And he and his wife invited two of us for Christmas dinner at their house, and I remember it was so nice. They had chestnut dressing. And another dish that they had that I had never had before, and never had it as good since, she took these little tiny onions and served them in a cream sauce. And for them to take two law school students far away from home and do that, I thought was beyond the call of duty.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:04:29
[Frank Gannon]

Didn't one of your -- one of the upperclassmen give you some --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:04:32
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yes.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:04:32
[Frank Gannon]

-- advice about your --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:04:34
[Richard Nixon]

Well, I was scared --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:04:34
[Frank Gannon]

-- whether you'd succeed or not?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:04:34
[Richard Nixon]

--that first year, because, as I said, we -- they -- they pulled no punches, and -- the faculty. The faculty was very tough on us, and they deliberately wanted to scare us. They thought by scaring us we'd work harder. And they were right. They ei -- you either worked harder or you quit. But one evening, late, in the library -- I mean, one evening, I guess it was around eleven-thirty, I was working in the library, studying. And Bill Adelson, a big hulking fellow, a lawy -- who later became a lawyer in Maryland, came by, and he says, "Nixon", he said, "what's the matter? You look a little worried".And I said, "Gee, Bill, I'm scared". I said, I -- "all these guys, and this course is so hard", and so forth and so on. "I don't know if I'm ever going to keep this scholarship". This was just before mid-year exams. He looked at me with his cynical look -- says, "Don't worry, Nixon. You're gonna do all right. You know what it takes to learn the law?" I said, "No". "An iron butt. And you got one".

Day 1, Tape 3
00:05:39
[Frank Gannon]

Can you describe what life was like in Whippoorwill Manor?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:05:47
[Richard Nixon]

Well, in Whippoorwill Manor, four of us lived. And we lived there for five dollars a month. Not each --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:05:55
[Frank Gannon]

Well, it was essentially --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:05:56
[Richard Nixon]

Not each --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:05:56
[Frank Gannon]

--just a --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:05:57
[Richard Nixon]

Not each.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:05:57
[Frank Gannon]

-- a shack, almost, wasn't it?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:05:58
[Richard Nixon]

Not each. It's five dollars for the four of us a month. What it was was a house, a lady lived there with her daughter, and we lived in one room. The reason that she wanted us there was it was in the middle of the Duke forest, and she was glad to have people there for security purposes. And so they had this one room, and there were two iron beds, double beds, and two of us, Perdue and I, slept in one bed, and Brownfield and Albrink slept in the other bed. There was a big pot-bellied iron stove in the middle. In the middle of the winter each -- we'd stuff paper into it the night before we went to bed. We crawled in at midnight, never before then. And then first one up in the morning would light the -- the fire so that it heated up the room, took the chill off. Then we would get into our clothes and walk the mile and a half that it took back -- to get back to the campus. We shaved over at the -- in the men's room at the campus and took our showers later in the day when we went out to play a little handball or something like that. But it was worth it to do it for five dollars a month.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:07:08
[Frank Gannon]

Didn't you live on Milky Ways at this time?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:07:12
[Richard Nixon]

The devastation of my teeth and the -- and the prosperity of my dentists over the year -- yes. For three years -- this -- you'll find it hard to believe -- I had a Milky Way for breakfast. Period. And it did do damage to the teeth, but it certainly was good for the pocketbook, 'cause it only cost five cents.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:07:32
[Frank Gannon]

There's a story I've heard about the inability of your group at the time to resist anything free, and that Albrink may have -- Albrink may have taken it to the limit when there was a free test offered at the hospital and he signed all of you up for it.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:07:47
[Richard Nixon]

Ha! I had forgotten about that, but we -- you know, you hear about the -- the Depression was such a sad time. But I look back on that Depression in Whittier, I look back on law school and the rest, it wasn't a sad time. We had a good time. We had to work pretty hard. People weren't beating on our doors -- there weren't -- I don't remember people coming around, except for those that were trying to get agents for the FBI, who were looking for jobs and so forth. That's one of the reasons I could relate so well to Eisenhower. When Eisenhower, when he came home to Abilene and made his announcement for running for president, and he described his early life in Denison and then later Abilene, Kansas, and he said, "We were poor then, but the glory of it was we never knew it". And I would say that in our case we never felt put upon because we didn't have that much, that we had to work, that we had to live on Milky Ways or twenty-five-cent lunches and that sort of thing, or live at Whippoorwill Manor without inside plumbing. It's just a different attitude. I'm not sure that that ethic is, however, not un--gone.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:09:07
[Frank Gannon]

What were your options as you finished law school? What did you -what did you want to be when you grew up?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:09:14
[Richard Nixon]

Well, I think -- I think then that I had the idea that I wanted to be a lawyer, but also probably to go into politics. Because I discussed it with Dean Horack, who was my faculty advisor. You see, I worked in the library there, I did research work for Dean Horack. One summer I mimeographed a whole case book by hand for Douglas Maggs on constitutional law. And during the course of that I got to know these professors pretty well, and I'd ask them for their advice. And Dean Horack said, "Don't go to New York. If you're interested in politics, go home. Practice law at home. You may not get as much money, but that's the only way if you want to do anything in the political area". So I eventually went home. But we went before that -- I -- I made a try at some other things. Went up to New York and we -- I was interviewed up there, along with the others, at various firms. The only one that showed any interest in me was a very good one, Donovan, Leisure, Newton and Lombard. I met all the senior partners there, including "Wild Bill" Donovan, whom I later met when he was ambassador to Thailand after I was vice-president in 1953 and then again, before he died, when I saw him at Walter Reed in 1958. But they wrote me about a month after I was there, asking if I was still interested and I replied at that point that I had made a decision in another direction. Another one was the FBI. They were recruiting. And I met with the recruiter, as did several of us. And didn't hear anything from them. Years later, I was talking to Edgar Hoover at a dinner at Alice Longworth's house, and I sort of gigged him a little. I said, "You know, I applied for the FBI and couldn't get in". Well, Hoover, of course, is very political, and -- but I think this is not apocryphal. I think this is actually what happened. He called me a couple of days later. By that time, I was vice president. And he said, you know, "I've checked the records", and he said, "I found that -- that in the year 1936, as a matter of fact, you were approved for special agent, but we were unable to offer you a position because the Congress had not increased our appropriation". Which is probably the only time Congress didn't approve one of his increases in appropriation. So I ended up going back home.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:11:38
[Frank Gannon]

And you joined a law firm. First you had to pass the California bar, which --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:11:41
[Richard Nixon]

A tough, tough challenge. Because the California bar -- I had not studied California law at Duke. I didn't know anything about the California code, evidence, corporations, things like that. I took a cram course, which was a four -- we -- a four-month cram course, and I only had six weeks to do it. So I went up to my grandmother's house, and I locked myself in there with no interruptions. I studied hard and took the bar.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:12:11
[Frank Gannon]

You said at one point that you went there because she made -- it was quiet. You could sit in the upstairs room and she would bring you creamed chipped beef.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:12:19
[Richard Nixon]

She was a fine cook, as were all of my aunts, and my mother as well. But she she chipped beef in a different way. I've never had it since. You now, these days you get che -- chipped beef in a restaurant, they just take big slices of beef and chipped beef and then cream it off, and it's some pretty gooey stuff. But she would do it so meticulously. She'd chop it up very, very fine, and then she'd stir the flour in and then the cream and so forth, and serve it on toast. And it was a real delicacy.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:12:49
[Frank Gannon]

You've told the story about getting word about --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:12:54
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yeah.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:12:54
[Frank Gannon]

-- the results of the exam, the size of the envelope indicating whether you'd passed or failed.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:13:00
[Richard Nixon]

Well, we -- once you took the bar exam, it's pretty scary taking it, and it's even scarier waiting to see whether you've passed. See, the bar exam was three days of written examination. Seven hours a day. And everything that you have learned in three years of law school is all on the line for those three days. And so I thought back, "My God, I wonder if they can read my writing". I -- I've never been a very legible writer. And I wondered if I knew enough, and so forth and so on. So I waited and waited and waited. And I'd been told that when you receive notice of the bar that it would be received by mail. And if it were a large envelope, give up. Because a large envelope would simply have application blanks for you to apply to take it again. If you had passed, it would be a small envelope. Well, we watched and watched and watched for it. And my mother opened -- went to the mailbox. It was Rural Route 1, Box 75A on [unclear: Lufinwell] Road. And she came in, and tears were coming down her cheek because I had told her about the large and small envelope, and she handed me a brown manila envelope. It wasn't very big, but it wasn't small. So I took it, and I went into the bathroom to open it. I opened it up, and I had passed. And I came out, and everybody cheered and so forth. And if we'd been a drinking family, we'd have had a drink. But, as it was, we celebrated in milk.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:14:36
[Frank Gannon]

Wasn't it -- it was after you were back in Whittier that you became involved in amateur dramatics and had the lead in, what was it, "The Night of January 16" ?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:14:46
[Richard Nixon]

"The Night of January 16" and "Dark Tower" and --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:14:50
[Frank Gannon]

And it was at the rehearsal for "Dark Tower" that an important event occurred.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:14:56
[Richard Nixon]

Yes, that was the occasion when I first met Pat. And she was a beautiful girl. And striking and vibrant, and -- and there was no question about her being the dominant force as far as that play was concerned, and as far as my life was concerned. So I asked her for a date after I had taken her home from the rehearsal. And she said, "Well, I'm very busy". And then I said to her, "Well, I think you should go. I think we should go out because, you know, I'm going to marry you someday". Well, it was very uncharacteristic for me to say something so impulsive, because I usually put things down on a yellow pad, pros and cons and so forth and so on. And here's the biggest decision of my life, certainly up to that time. But, also, like most successful politicians, I -- I have intuition. And when you have intuition you just do it. I always believe in making the big play, and so I made the big play, and this time it worked.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:16:05
[Frank Gannon]

Was it love at first sight, then?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:16:07
[Richard Nixon]

For me, yes. For her, I think it took a little more time.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:16:13
[Frank Gannon]

You were -- you courted through --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:16:16
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yes.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:16:16
[Frank Gannon]

For several months.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:16:18
[Richard Nixon]

Yes. We liked the same things, we liked the beach, we liked the mountains, we liked good movies. We liked good music. We went to Hollywood Bowl on every occasion we possibly could.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:16:33
[Frank Gannon]

You've said something I can sympathize with, that when you would go to the beach, which you both liked, you had to sit covered up because -- because you would burn badly.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:16:41
[Richard Nixon]

I burn very badly. As a matter of fact, she used to laugh that we always took an umbrella with us, and we'd take the umbrella out. And even with the umbrella, I would have to keep on a T-shirt. I could not leave my back exposed, or I'd have the most terrible sunburn. And so -- and she didn't have that problem at all.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:17:01
[Frank Gannon]

How did you propose?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:17:04
[Richard Nixon]

Well, I was proposing from the moment I met her. That wasn't necessary. It was just a question of when she would -- when she would accept, and it finally happened out, I think, at Dana Point, as a matter of fact, looking out over --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:17:20
[Frank Gannon]

Is that -- that story is true, then --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:17:27
[Richard Nixon]

That's right.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:17:27
[Frank Gannon]

-- that in the gazebo at Dana Point --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:17:23
[Richard Nixon]

At Dana Point, as a matter of fact, she finally said yes, and that was it.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:17:31
[Frank Gannon]

What do you think made her say yes at that point?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:17:35
[Richard Nixon]

I wouldn't try to judge. I think there were a number of considerations, perhaps, but she's -- we got along very well. It was -- there was a lot of mutual respect. And also a lot of very deep affection. But she was, of course -- an interesting thing about her, incidentally, she was a very remarkable person, too. The women in my life have all been remarkable. My great-grandmother, my grandmother, my mother, Pat, and my daughters. And -- and in her case, she never told me, we never talked about what we had done, where we had been, what we had been through. It was always about the future. Never about the past. I didn't know till years later, for example, that she had worked as a movie extra in Hollywood. And I -- I didn't know, for example, until shortly after we were married that her'd spent a couple of years in New York working as an x-ray technician in order to work her way -- help work her way through school. I didn't know that she'd been a teller in a bank. She never had told me about some of her family problems, the tragedy of her mother, who died of cancer when she was about nine years of age. Her father, who died when she was sixteen. She never told me, for example, that she worked at Bullock's Wilshire as a salesgirl. And that she could have done all this and still graduated from USC with honors. And, incidentally, she also worked there for [unclear: Doctor Roth], professor of sociology, as a research assistant. To do all that, to take care of her brothers, as she cooked for them and so forth after her father died, and nursed him when he was sick, and then to come out as she did, this is quite a story in itself.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:19:42
[Frank Gannon]

What did you talk about?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:19:44
[Richard Nixon]

Well, we -- I think we talked more about the future. We -- we talked about places we wanted to go. She wanted to travel, I wanted to travel. She had an adventurous spirit. I did, too. We talked about the -- we, of course, were both very fond of movies. This was before the days of television and so forth. And there were very good movies to see and good ones to talk about. We did not talk politics. Not at that stage.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:20:15
[Frank Gannon]

Isn't it true that until you went to get the wedding license, the marriage license, that you didn't know what her real name was?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:20:24
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, that's true. Her name actually was Thelma Ryan. She didn't like that name, and so she took the name very early on of Pat Ryan, because that's what her father called her. Her father was Irish. Her mother was born in Germany. I remember when I saw Adenauer. He was very impressed by Pat. And he said to me, "Tell me her background". And I said, "Well, she's half Irish and half German". And he snapped his finger and said, "That's the best combination of all--German strength and Irish beauty. And she's got both". And he's -- she -- her mother -- let's see. Where were we there?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:21:13
[Frank Gannon]

We were talking about the name.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:21:15
[Richard Nixon]

Yeah, yeah, well, her father -- she was born on the sixteenth, but very late at night, and her father, then, when she was born, said, "She'll be Saint Patrick's babe in the morning". And so from then on, he called her Pat. So she took the name Pat. And, as a result, she has -- when our daughters were born, she said, "We'll not" --both Tricia and Julie -- "don't give them a second name. They may not like the names we give them. Let them have their choice".

Day 1, Tape 3
00:21:43
[Frank Gannon]

This is a -- this is your wedding picture taken at the --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:21:47
[Richard Nixon]

Riverside Inn.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:21:48
[Frank Gannon]

Yes.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:21:49
[Richard Nixon]

Double-breasted suit.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:21:52
[Frank Gannon]

You remember the day?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:21:53
[Richard Nixon]

Yes, and I remember the -- the -- the trip. We went to Mexico. We took that whole honeymoon trip. We spent two weeks in Mexico. We had a great time. We did it on a hundred and fifty dollars. Portal to portal.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:22:06
[Frank Gannon]

Hadn't your friends prepared a --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:22:07
[Richard Nixon]

Our friends took care of us.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:22:07
[Frank Gannon]

--a special surprise for you?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:22:09
[Richard Nixon]

Yes, as a matter of fact, they gave us a lot of canned goods to take along, because they knew we were going to stay in auto courts and have to take -- and the difficulty was that they took all the wrappers off the cans, so when we got down and we'd open the cans, we didn't know whether we were going to have peas, beans, spam, sausage, what have you. But that made it a lot of fun, too.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:22:30
[Frank Gannon]

After a while as a -- of being a lawyer in Whittier, you got a -- through an old law school professor, through Cavers, you got an offer to go to Washington as a -- essentially as a bureaucrat in the --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:22:44
[Offscreen voice]

Excuse me, Frank.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:22:44
[Frank Gannon]

Yeah.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:22:46
[Offscreen voice]

[inaudible] We just hit the end of the second reel. Maybe we should make a -- maybe we should wrap here and pick up in the morning. What do you think? You want to put up another reel?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:23:00
[Richard Nixon]

Well --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:23:00
[Offscreen voice]

Oh, I'm sorry, Mr. President.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:23:03
[Richard Nixon]

What do you think? I think we could do a little bit more.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:23:05
[Frank Gannon]

Maybe not a whole reel, but --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:23:07
[Richard Nixon]

Let's do a half a reel, about a -- 'cause how much -- let's get through --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:23:11
[Frank Gannon]

Get through '46.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:23:12
[Richard Nixon]

-- get through '46.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:23:13
[Frank Gannon]

Yeah, let me --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:23:16
[Richard Nixon]

I mean -- through the election. I think we should. We -- we're rolling on that, and then we can get to the other, and we can be on schedule.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:23:19
[Frank Gannon]

Yes.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:23:19
[Richard Nixon]

It's coming along fine.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:23:21
[Frank Gannon]

Yeah.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:23:22
[Richard Nixon]

Good.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:23:26
[Offscreen voice]

Okay, that's two minutes.

[Action note: Test pattern appears.]

[Action note: Picture returns without sound.]

[Action note: Screen goes black.]

Day 1, Tape 3
00:25:18
[Offscreen voice]

Right. [inaudible] We'll be starting with camera one. Thank you.

[Action note: Picture returns with no sound.]

Day 1, Tape 3
00:26:11
[Frank Gannon]

Do you think you had a career as a bureaucrat, a government bureaucrat?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:26:17
[Richard Nixon]

No, I could never have stayed in government. Not that I didn't learn something at O.P.A. [Office of Price Administration]. But it seemed to me that, as I was in government and saw what they did, that it was very important not to have government run things. I don't mean that there weren't so many dedicated people there, and particularly during the wartime period. But, on the other hand, it was very discourag -- discouraging to me when my superior, David Lloyd, told me on one occasion that I could get a promotion from a [unclear: P-3], which got thirty-two hundred dollars a year, to a [unclear: P-4], where you make thirty-eight hundred dollars a year, if I'd build a little staff. Well, I said no, I didn't need a little staff. I had -- could do what I was doing without it. This was -- learning to write letters about tire rationing and that sort of thing. That turned me off. But also another thing that turned me off was what I considered to be unnecessarily arrogance, frankly, of little people in big jobs. I mean, the way they seemed to really delight in turning down some poor guy at a service station and so forth when he'd write in about his tires that he needed for his ration and so forth and so on. I could see then, and, incidentally, it's something that happens through government today, too, that you put little people in big jobs, and they want to push other people around. Now I was -- I -- I thought O.P.A. [Office of Price Administration] was necessary. However, it gave me a very good feeling about why government should be limited to what is necessary and what it really can do and not be expanded.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:27:58
[Frank Gannon]

How did your family feel when you decided to enlist in the service, in the Navy?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:28:02
[Offscreen voice]

Hold on just one second. Frank, I'm sorry. Keep the tape rolling. Raise that hand for one second.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:28:23
[Frank Gannon]

Recognize that young man?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:28:24
[Richard Nixon]

[Mild laughing sound.]

Day 1, Tape 3
00:28:45
[Richard Nixon]

[In response to lengthy attention from hairdresser.] What's the matter, a hair get out of place, or -- 'kay.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:28:55
[Offscreen voice]

How is that, Roger?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:29:12
[Richard Nixon]

All right.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:29:18
[Offscreen voice]

Okay, stand by. We're still rolling. Five.

[Action note: Screen goes black.]

[Action note: Picture returns with no sound.]

[Action note: Screen goes black.]

[Action note: Picture returns with no sound.]

Day 1, Tape 3
00:29:42
[Frank Gannon]

How did your family feel when you decided to enlist in the Navy in -- for the Second World War?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:29:51
[Richard Nixon]

Well, I'm sure that both my mother and my grandmother -- grandmother disapproved, but they never told me that. That wouldn't be the Quaker way. They -- while they believed deeply in pure pacifism, they understood that others might not believe that way. And they accepted and respected that kind of belief.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:30:14
[Frank Gannon]

We have a photograph here of the young lieutenant. Do you -- you did your training at --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:30:22
[Richard Nixon]

Quonset Point, Rhode Island. And learned to stand straight, and to keep my shoes clean, and I was pretty good in all the courses, actually. In fact, I did well enough that they was -- asked if I wanted to stay for air combat intelligence, which I didn't want to do, so I asked for ships and stations. And was assigned to Ottumwa, Iowa, in the middle of Iowa, where there was no ship, and no station yet. Right in the middle of a cornfield. In fact, the only time I've ever had a gun in my hand, you know, when I was growing up, I never went fishing, except once, and then quit. I -- we didn't hunt, and the only time I ever had a gun in my hand was at Quonset. And remember, as officers, we're all given .45s. That was part of our equipment. But we had to go out on the range and learn how to shoot them. And I took ten shots at the target. I didn't hit it once. And so I carried the -- the -- the .45 with me. I didn't ever use it abroad. I had it with me, if necessary. And I don't have a gun in the house up to this point. I wouldn't know how to use it.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:31:29
[Frank Gannon]

It's a good thing you weren't called on to --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:31:30
[Richard Nixon]

That's right.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:31:32
[Frank Gannon]

And then you did -- from Ottumwa, Iowa, you did get overseas.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:31:36
[Richard Nixon]

Well, from -- from Ottumwa, Iowa, a notice again came on the board there indicating that officers who were twenty-nine years of age or younger -- and I had just turned twenty-nine -- could apply for sea duty. So I applied for sea duty. I'll never forget -- I felt very badly about the way this was handled. Two or three of us did that because we were anxious to -- to get out to sea, to, you know, do something more close to the war effort. And [unclear: Dorris Guerley] - that name shouldn't fool you -- it's " D-O-R-R-A"--"D-O-R-R-I-S," it wasn't a W.A.V.E. -- a very vigorous man -- was my commanding officer. And I remember he was very hurt when my application came across his desk. He said, "Why didn't you tell me about this?" And I says, "Well, Commander, I was -- should have, but, you know, I didn't want you to feel that you were being put upon or anything like that. I didn't want to ask for -- you for a favor."So he went out of the room, and he came back with a Coca-Cola, and he had one in his hand. "Here", he said. "Drink this. You're not going to get those out there in the Pacific."

Day 1, Tape 3
00:32:50
[Frank Gannon]

How did you -- how did you say goodbye to your family?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:32:54
[Richard Nixon]

Well, it was a rather painful occasion. I recall that we were all at the Union Station in Los Angeles. And my grandmother was there, my mother and my father and the brothers. It was not tearful. Just sort of sad. Because, you know, in that war you never knew what was going to happen. I guess they all felt, well, this may be the last time you see somebody.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:33:22
[Frank Gannon]

Did you think you'd come back?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:33:24
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yes. Yes, I had no -- never had any fear of that. Let me -- let me say one thing, too. I don't want to give the impression that, as far as I was concerned, that when I applied for officers' training, when I was in O.P.A. [Office of Price Administration] , or when I applied for sea duty, when I was in Ottumwa, or when I applied for going up the line, when they put me in Nouméa, New Caledonia, that I was a real brave fellow and wanted to get up there where the action was. It -- it was just simply a -- an innate feeling, inner feeling that it was vitally important to be where the action was. Not to show your courage, but that that was your responsibility. You had to be there. I felt that if I didn't get where the action was, I would not have done my duty. Now, let me say, there are thousands, yes, millions, who never got up the line. And they certainly did their duty. But I felt I, at least, had to try, or otherwise I would regret it.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:34:30
[Offscreen voice]

Let me interrupt one second. Keep rolling. [inaudible]

Day 1, Tape 3
00:34:33
[Richard Nixon]

Get back to the picture.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:34:34
[Frank Gannon]

Yes, we want to -- these pictures shouldn't be rolling.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:34:37
[Richard Nixon]

Yeah, I want to see that other picture.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:34:38
[Frank Gannon]

These pictures shouldn't be rolling.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:34:39
[Richard Nixon]

Who was that? Was that picture with the nurse?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:34:40
[Offscreen voice]

Excuse me, sir.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:34:41
[Frank Gannon]

I think so.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:34:42
[Richard Nixon]

I can't believe it.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:34:43
[Offscreen voice]

Don't turn.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:34:45
[Richard Nixon]

I think I recognize that one.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:34:47
[Frank Gannon]

We should go to the top, with just the president and a -- next to the palm tree.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:34:51
[Richard Nixon]

Now this one here is --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:34:52
[Frank Gannon]

Hold it. Wait a minute. No.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:34:52
[Richard Nixon]

-- nurse?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:34:54
[Frank Gannon]

We're going to bring the -- we'll bring the -- we'll start with this one and then bring them back up.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:34:58
[Richard Nixon]

Good God, where'd you get those pictures?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:34:59
[Offscreen voice]

Okay, we're coming out on two.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:35:00
[Richard Nixon]

Where the hell did they get those pictures?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:35:02
[Frank Gannon]

From your -- in your --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:35:03
[Richard Nixon]

Did I bring them home?

[Action note: Screen goes black.]

Day 1, Tape 3
00:35:03
[Richard Nixon]

See, where --

[Action note: Picture returns.]

Day 1, Tape 3
00:35:05
[Richard Nixon]

-- who would have had them?

[Action note: Screen goes black.]

Day 1, Tape 3
00:35:06
[Richard Nixon]

Did I have them?

[Action note: Picture returns.]

Day 1, Tape 3
00:35:08
[Frank Gannon]

Some of them were -- I don't know.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:35:10
[Richard Nixon]

Yeah, but who --

[Action note: Screen goes black.]

Day 1, Tape 3
00:35:11
[Frank Gannon]

Some of them were snapshots.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:35:12
[Richard Nixon]

Yeah, but I mean, who would have brought them?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:35:13
[Frank Gannon]

I don't know.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:35:15
[Richard Nixon]

Who would have brought them? It had to be me, and I don't even remember them. Somebody else must have--

[Action note: Sound ends.]

Day 1, Tape 3
00:35:27
[Richard Nixon]

I remember her. I got something with her and Lindbergh. See if Lindbergh isn't in that next picture. That's what I was going to say.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:35:36
[Frank Gannon]

Oh, okay.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:35:38
[Frank Gannon]

You shipped out on the S. S. Monroe to --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:35:43
[Richard Nixon]

Yes.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:35:44
[Frank Gannon]

Where did it --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:35:45
[Richard Nixon]

Well, the --the --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:35:45
[Frank Gannon]

-- go to?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:35:46
[Richard Nixon]

It was one of the "president" liners. It was a luxury liner fitted out for two hundred and fifty luxury passengers, and we had three thousand on it. We lived -- the officers were in bunks, three high on the walls and so forth and so on. Took seventeen days to get to Nouméa, New Caledonia. And I remember the most unpleasant experience on that was not the fact that we had to wear life belts at times and so forth and so on, but was the fact that I was, of course, allergic to seasickness. And they used to bet -- we only had two meals a day. And my friends who were sitting at our table used to take bets among each other as to how long I'd stay at the table. I seldom got through a full meal. But I didn't lose much weight on the way.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:36:37
[Frank Gannon]

We have some pictures here -- from I guess they're from different points of your time in the Pacific. Do they -- do you recollect any of the places or people?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:36:48
[Richard Nixon]

That could be Guadalcanal, I think. I think I'm standing alone there, and that's the way we did -- of course, it was in the tropics and you didn't wear a coat. I remember that, I think.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:37:01
[Frank Gannon]

The next picture, I think, is Green Island.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:37:07
[Richard Nixon]

Now where am I? The second man?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:37:09
[Frank Gannon]

Third. We're going to zero in on you in the --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:37:11
[Richard Nixon]

That's right.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:37:11
[Frank Gannon]

-- during the [unclear: Solar Tope].

Day 1, Tape 3
00:37:16
[Richard Nixon]

Yeah, I remember that one very well. Yes, and that's [unclear: Augie Kontz], the commanding officer is next to me and [unclear: Harry von Loo], who was a great United Airlines pilot, who's further over, if you can move it back again. Looks to me in that picture that I had that five o'clock shadow problem then as well as later. And that, incidentally, is a nurse there. Let me tell you an interesting thing in that respect. I recall -- now what in the world is this?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:37:46
[Frank Gannon]

This looks like -- this is S.C.A.T. headquarters.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:37:48
[Richard Nixon]

Yes.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:37:50
[Frank Gannon]

Let's hold that, and --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:37:51
[Richard Nixon]

But where?

[Frank Gannon]

-- and --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:37:52
[Richard Nixon]

But I recall, for example, when I see that nurse, I was reading Lindbergh's diaries, wartime diaries which are fascinating, and he kept a marvelous diary, and he recounts in there his going to Green Island. And he recounts there the great excitement when a nurse came in on one of the S.C.A.T. planes, and that all of the men, thousands -- New Zealanders -- really -- it was the First -- Third New -- New Zealand Division was there. And I remember as well. In fact, Lindbergh came in on the same plane with the nurse. And nobody was paying any attention to him -- I did. But everybody was hooting and hollering and cat-calling and so forth, 'cause, my goodness -- whistling. Here was this nurse. I tell you, she could have been a chimpanzee. As I remember, she wasn't that pretty anyway, but she was a female, and they hadn't seen one for a long time. That night, incidentally, the commanding officer invited me to have dinner with him and three or four other -- half a dozen others -- with Lindbergh. And, believe it or not, I turned it down because I was the host for the poker game that night. And I just -- I think back to turning down a chance to sit down with Lindbergh to have a poker game. I think it's -- I just cannot imagine it happened. And years later I was glad that he could be a guest at the White House when I was president. He was a fine man.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:37:20
[Frank Gannon]

How did a Quaker boy from Whittier become a poker shark?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:37:24
[Richard Nixon]

I learned it on-the-job training, so to speak. And that's usually very expensive. But I seem to have a pretty good sense for poker, and I had pretty good instruction from my roommate, Jimmy Stewart, who was from New York and very suave and sophisticated, knew Sherman Billingsley and all of the beautiful people and all that sort of thing. And so I learned pretty well.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:37:46
[Frank Gannon]

What was your technique?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:39:48
[Richard Nixon]

Well, the technique was -- in my case was to play it very close to the vest. I didn't -- I knew when to get out of a pot. I didn't stick around when I didn't have the cards. I didn't bluff very often. I just bluffed enough so that, when I really had the cards, people stayed in. Whenever I bluffed, in other words, I let it be known that I had bluffed and lost so that I could stay in. And, of course, my most vivid experience -- and this is something that I -- I imagine very few people, certainly any of our listeners have -- have probably never had this experience -- I'll never forget. In a stud poker game one night, I drew a hand -- I understand it's -- would be at the odds of six hundred and fifty thousand to one that this could happen. I drew the ace of diamonds down, and then, in order, exact order, came the king of diamonds, the queen of diamonds, the jack of diamonds, the ten of diamonds. A royal flush. Four of them showing. Well, I played it pretty well. There were pairs -- a couple of the other fellows had pairs, and instead of raising, I just sort of checked, you know, or stayed in or called and so forth and so on, till finally there was a pretty fair pot. But at the end -- this was one of those times, you know, when the -- after -- at the end I, of course, placed a big bet, and most everybody checked out. They thought maybe I had it. But this is one of the times you don't have to show it when you're not called. But I had to show it. And I turned over the ace and everybody just -- nobody'd ever seen it before. And they'll never see it again.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:41:29
[Frank Gannon]

In your memoirs you wrote -- you quoted Gladstone, I think, saying that, "A great prime minister must be a great butcher". Do you subscribe to the theory that a great president must be a great poker player?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:41:41
[Richard Nixon]

It helps. The Russians, of course, are chess players. I never understood chess. It's much more complicated, much more complex. But many of the things you do in poker are very useful in politics. And very useful in foreign affairs. I -- I -- one of the problems, you see, in foreign affairs particularly, in dealing with great leaders abroad, particularly those that are adversaries, is -- is the -- the almost insatiable tendency of American politicians to want to put everything out on the table. Their inability to know when to bluff, when to call, and above everything else, how to be unpredictable. Unpredictability is the greatest asset or weapon that a leader can have -- of a major country. And unless he is unpredictable, he's going to find that he loses a great deal of his power.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:42:47
[Frank Gannon]

Do you recognize this young man?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:42:49
[Richard Nixon]

I don't remember that picture, but I'm going to see these later.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:42:56
[Frank Gannon]

You're going to get another look at him.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:42:58
[Richard Nixon]

I know who it is. I can't remember that -- where that was. I don't know who would've taken the pictures.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:43:05
[Frank Gannon]

What was -- there's another --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:43:08
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, there's our group. That's the Green Island group. Oh, I see on the left there, Hollis Dole. You see, on my right, Hollis Dole. Hollis Dole was an officer. I was the commanding officer of the, I would say the officer in charge of that detachment, and it was a wonderful group, let me say. They were - here's Red Hussey down there and Massingill, who was a bartender from Texas, et cetera. But I -- and there's the doc back there. The doctor was with us -- he was -- always used to say at the end of a day, "Well, another day, and another fourteen dollars."That's what doctors with flight pay got in those days. But let's come back here to this situation with regard to Hollis Dole. Hollis Dole was my roommate at Vella Lavella. And Vella Lavella, incidentally, was a P.T. boat harbor as well as being a S.C.A.T. base.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:44:06
[Frank Gannon]

Did you ever meet John Kennedy?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:44:07
[Richard Nixon]

And -- and that place, Vella Lavella, years later when I met John -- when John Kennedy and I had debated for the first time at McKeesport -- McKeesport, Pennsylvania, about the Taft-Hartley bill, we rode back on the train together and talked all night. And we talked about what we had done in the Pacific or where we had been. I asked him if he'd ever been in Vella Lavella. He said, "Absolutely". He'd been in there many times. And I said, it's very possible we met there, because I went aboard a PT boat and met all the officers, but they were just lieutenants, and I was just a lieutenant. They didn't remember me and I didn't remember them, but we laughed about the fact that we might have met. But in any event, at Vella Lavella we had some problems, particularly insofar as some insects -- I guess you wouldn't call them that -- centipedes were concerned. There were centipedes there. They were also all over the island, particularly in Vella Lavella. I remember this particular thing. Hollis Dole's my roommate. One night, some way, a centipede had gotten underneath the mosquito netting and I felt something on my hand. It woke me up. And I flipped my hand like that, and the centipede dropped on Hollis Dole and bit him right here in -- here, and he was bleeding. The blood was coming down, just streaming down. This centipede was this long. They're huge out there. And Dole said, "Oh, my God". Dole knew something about centipedes. He says, "I'm gonna be out for at least three days". Because those centipede bites can sometimes even be fatal. They are always very painful. So Dole went into the hospital for three days and then came out. And years later he came into government, and I saw him in the Oval Office at the White House. He was in the Department of the Interior. So we met again. Then Massingill is sitting down there in the middle. Tex Massingill, probably the second man over on the left in the first line. And I remember Massingill was our crew chief, for loading and unloading planes. And one day we had a huge number of planes in. We brought in supplies, we took out litters and sitters, you know, wounded and so forth and so on. And we -- this crew could -- was very overburdened, and the night before, Massingill had been bit by a centipede. And he came in, huge swelling here. And I said, "But, uh, Tex", I said, "you can't possibly work today, can you? You got bit by a centipede". He said, "Yeah". He said, "Don't worry about it, Lieutenant. They grow twice that big down in Texas". And went through the rest of the day. Well, we had some good times there. Let me say none of those in that first two rows -- the officers are standing in back -- graduated from college. They were high school graduates. Because I had to censor their mail, I knew about -- that they all had girlfriends or mothers or someone, although I was very careful not to try to censor it too carefully. But they were the most extraordinary ordinary men I've ever known. Devoted, dedicated, and all wanted to go home, but only after they'd done their job.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:47:32
[Frank Gannon]

It sounds like the platoons that you see in the movies, the war movies.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:47:37
[Richard Nixon]

Well, it was a war movie.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:47:40
[Frank Gannon]

What was Ni -- what was Nixon's hamburger stand?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:47:47
[Richard Nixon]

Well, I think that's been exaggerated a bit in the -- what happened was I found out that you could get some hamburger meat on occasion for flight crews. And also I found that you could liberate some from time to time. The Seabees sometimes did that, and I ate in their mess. And so I knew how to make hamburger from my old days. And the flight crews would come in, and I -- I set it up so -- and I fried the hamburgers there and gave them hamburgers when they came in. And on occasion we'd give them a bottle of Australian beer. Now, understand, this is the end of the flight, not before. And that was excellent beer. That wasn't very often, however. So, consequently, I was about the most popular officer in the South Pacific because of that hamburger stand.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:47:35
[Frank Gannon]

How --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:47:35
[Richard Nixon]

They were pretty good.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:48:36
[Frank Gannon]

How were things liberated?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:48:39
[Richard Nixon]

Well, the Seabees -- people wonder why I was so much for the hard hats. I talk about remarkable men, and they were remarkable. I remember one time on Green Island we were -- they were making an airstrip there, and it -- there was an air raid signal. But some of them were false. And these big Seabee guys, they'd be in the big bulldozers, they'd ignore the signals, and they'd keep working there, even in the middle of the night with their lights on in order to get the airstrip finished. Boy, they were something else. Most of them were from the east. This was the Twenty-Second Seabee Battalion. And I got to know them very well, and I ate with them because I was the head of a small detachment -- Army, Navy, Air Force were all members of it. I, being a naval officer, was the officer in charge, being a lieutenant and the ranking officer. And so I was able to select which mess we would use. Well, I turned down the Marine mess because the Marines can fight, but they couldn't cook. They were terrible cooks. I turned down the Army mess because they were almost as bad cooks as the N-- as the Marines. The only other mess was the Seabee mess, and it was the best. It wasn't because their cook was so good, but the Seabees, you know, they had access to a lot of things. They could put in a -- they could put in some flooring in your tent. They -- they could make various utensils and so forth. And so they would trade for meat and other vittles for their mess. And what they didn't trade, they stole. And they were very good.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:50:19
[Frank Gannon]

Did you --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:50:20
[Richard Nixon]

They liberated, I mean.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:50:21
[Frank Gannon]

Right. You did finally get up the line and see some action.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:50:27
[Richard Nixon]

Well, these were really what you call action areas, but let's be quite candid abi -- about it. I think the most lively place I was in was Bougainville. There were about thirteen or fourteen days when we had air raids every night. One night it was pretty close. The Japanese plane used to come over. The way you could tell it was a Japanese plane is the motors were not synchronized. They go, "Dee-dee-dee-dee." Even without the air raid, you knew it was a Japanese plane coming over. And they were really harassing us because our Air Force had knocked down most of their power. One night was no air raid, and we heard this plane. It had come in very low. And we heard the bombs dropping as they came down the runway. "Rrrrrrrrr."They were dropping. And we dived out of our cabin into the foxhole. As soon as we got out, we saw that our whole tent had been sprayed with bullets. It was a close one.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:51:28
[Frank Gannon]

Why was SCAT called Murder, Incorporated?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:51:31
[Richard Nixon]

Because we lost a lot of planes. It wasn't our fault, though. You see, we didn't have the navigation devices and all that sort of thing. These were DC-3s operating over enemy waters and enemy territories. But also operating against very, very tough weather conditions on occasion. And it wasn't that bad. I was never afraid to ride it. But we --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:51:54
[Frank Gannon]

What did you do?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:51:55
[Richard Nixon]

I was what we call an operations officer. I deter -- I determined how big the load should be, how many passengers we could take, made up the manifest, the flight times, checked the planes in and out and that sort of thing. Sort of routine.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:52:09
[Frank Gannon]

How did you keep in touch with home? Did you get letters or write letters back?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:52:12
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yes. Every day. I wrote letters every day of the fourteen months I was there, numbered them all, and Pat wrote to me every day, numbered them all. I must say the -- the most important thing of all was getting the mail. I remember, incidentally -- that reminds me of the only ti -- the other person I saw -- I saw two celebrities in the South Pacific. One day in Nouméa, I was riding on a road from Nouméa up to a base further north, and sirens were heard, and we pulled off to the side. I was in a jeep, and riding in -- in a weapons carrier, sitting very straight, was Eleanor Roosevelt. And I thought that was really great. Here she was, out here where the action was. And then up on Bougainville one day, How -- Harold Stassen came through. And, of course, I was interested in him because, although I was not in politics yet, I wa -- had interest in it. I knew he'd been the youngest governor, the boy wonder, in Minnesota. He was attached to Halsey's staff, and I remember meeting him. I shook his hand. And he said, "I'm just up here checking to see how the mail is. Is the mail coming in all right?" And I said, "Yes, sir, Governor. The mail's coming in fine."That was the first time I met him, and from that time on, I was a Stassen man, until after 1948, when he didn't make the nomination for president.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:53:32
[Frank Gannon]

It didn't take much to convince you.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:53:34
[Richard Nixon]

Very little Oh, contacts are very simple. As a matter of fact, you talk about Jerry Voorhis, as we will a little later. The first time I met Jerry Voorhis, he wouldn't remember, I'm sure. But I remembered it very well. It was in 1935. Between my first and second years at Duke, I went home, and Jack Betit , who had won the constitutional oratorical championship at Whittier High School two years before I had, had gone on to Pomona College, where he became national champion of -- of the constitutional oratorical group. And Jack Betit invited me and a -- about twelve or fifteen other young people of voting age to his barn. Now, really, it was a barn converted into sort of a playroom. And sitting there in the middle was a young person who was running for Congress. He was smoking a pipe. He was a professor, or lecturer, at Pomona College. It was Jerry Voorhis. I remember how impressed I was. He was highly idealistic. I don't remember what he talked about, but I can say this. He impressed me. He impressed everybody else there, and if I had voted in 1936, which I did not, I would have voted for him.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:53:54
[Offscreen voice]

Gentlemen, just continue to look at each other and talk. I'm going to make a light change and pull out here.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:53:02
[Frank Gannon]

Well, we've come to the [inaudible].

Day 1, Tape 3
00:53:06
[Richard Nixon]

We've still got some more, isn't there?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:55:08
[Frank Gannon]

I think we're getting more into the -- we're getting --we-- we're -- we're out of, or getting out of, the flow of anecdotes and getting much more into specific chunks --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:55:19
[Richard Nixon]

From now.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:55:19
[Frank Gannon]

Yes --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:55:20
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yes.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:55:20
[Frank Gannon]

-- getting much more into specific chunks of --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:55:21
[Richard Nixon]

Yeah. Which should go faster.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:55:23
[Frank Gannon]

-- history. Yes.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:55:26
[Richard Nixon]

The anecdotes may prove to be the most interesting thing they got, though.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:55:29
[Frank Gannon]

Yeah, and --

Day 1, Tape 3
00:55:29
[Richard Nixon]

What do you think?

Day 1, Tape 3
00:55:30
[Frank Gannon]

I think so, and we've got them, so that whatever -- whatever -- however it's edited, they're there.

Day 1, Tape 3
00:55:39
[Richard Nixon]

Now, let's see, you've got the -- now we've got to get home.

[Action note: Screen goes black.]

Day one, Tape four of six, LINE FEED #4, 2-9-83, ETI Reel #4
Feb. 9, 1983

Day 1, Tape 4
00:00:52

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Day 1, Tape 4
00:02:44
[Frank Gannon]

I believe you started life endowed with something very useful for any politician, a very strong voice.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:02:53
[Richard Nixon]

Well, in fact, my aunt Ollie reminded me of the fact, after I was elected to Congress, that my loud voice was something I had had from the beginning. She said -- she vividly recalled when she used to visit us in Yorba Linda when I was a baby that my father would be out on a tractor in our lemon grove, and I would be crying, and I would cry so loud that he'd come in off the tractor raging at my mother and saying, "Hannah, if you can't keep that boy quiet, I'll have to get off this tractor and do it for you".

Day 1, Tape 4
00:03:26
[Frank Gannon]

You had talked about reading the Los Angeles Times cover to cover, and particularly the sports pages. Were there any particular sports you followed, or did you have any particular heroes in those days?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:03:40
[Richard Nixon]

Well, I followed practically all sports, baseball and football and so forth and so on. Now, boxing is something I don't care for today. I've never seen a professional boxing match, but I was fascinated by the accounts of theDempsey - Carpentier fight, where Carpentier, the Frenchman, was considered to be a war hero, and Dempsey, I think unfairly, as I learned later, was considered to be a slacker. Dempsey, of course, knocked out Carpentier, who basically wasn't heavy enough to fight Dempsey, in the fourth round, although Carpentier staggered Dempsey in the third round, according, at least, to the report I read. I think the most exciting one that I read about, though, was the Dempsey - Firpo fight. I mean, they built that up. The hype was fantastic. Firpo, "the Wild Bull of the Pampas", fighting Dempsey, and that was the fight where Firpo, after being knocked down a couple of times, knocked Dempsey down and even out of the ring. And after having been knocked out of the ring -- I'm sorry. Let's start that one over again. Was the -- the fight that I remember even more vividly was the Dempsey - Firpo fight, because they built up Firpo with a terrific hype, the fact that he was the Wild Bull of the Pampas from Argentina. Incidentally, I met him many years later, in 1958, in Argentina. And that Dempsey, of course, would be the giant killer. Well, it turned out that way, but it was a dramatic fight because Dempsey knocked Firpo down about eight times, and Firpo knocked Dempsey down certainly at least two or three times, and in the second round, Dempsey, of course, knocked him out, but it was one of the most dramatic fights of all. I don't know why, after having followed those fights, I didn't become a boxing fan, but some way it just never appealed to me.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:05:34
[Frank Gannon]

Do you think in terms of -- how do you feel about the current controversy in -- after the death of the young Korean fighter in the Mancini fight, do you think boxing should be -- Well

Day 1, Tape 4
00:05:45
[Frank Gannon]

-- stopped?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:05:46
[Richard Nixon]

Boxing turns me off, frankly. I would say that the only thing about boxing is that Howard Cosell is a great announcer for boxing. I -- I frankly don't think that baseball and football are his bag. He wouldn't agree with that, but he is superb when it comes to boxing.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:06:07
[Frank Gannon]

Why is that? What makes a good boxing announcer?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:06:10
[Richard Nixon]

It's a -- it's a combative feeling. It's the feeling that you're there, but some way it just seems to me that, particularly today, the way the boxer -- boxers beat each other senseless, the way they're managed -- well, I'll tell you one thing that made -- turned me off on boxing particularly. I knew Joe Louis. He supported me in 1960, and this man, who perhaps was the greatest, maybe even greater than Dempsey or Muhammad Ali, this man was so mismanaged by his managers, ripped off, that he died owing several million dollars to the Department of -- Internal Revenue Service. And when I thought of that, what he had done for his race, what he had done for boxing and so forth, I thought, something wrong with this thing. It is not a sport. So, my feeling today is you're not going to outlaw boxing. You're not going to get away with it any more than you can outlaw the drinking, but, as far as I'm concerned, I outlaw it in my own mind. I don't ever intend to follow it, and I don't ever watch it on TV.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:07:16
[Offscreen voice]

Can we stop one second? I need to fix the mike cable. [unclear: ] -- the audio system in -- [unclear: ].

Day 1, Tape 4
00:07:25
[Frank Gannon]

We'll go to apple pie.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:07:27
[Richard Nixon]

Uh-huh.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:07:29
[Offscreen voice]

[inaudible] While we're on hold here for a second, Frank, when do -- how soon before you need the nurse picture?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:07:31
[Frank Gannon]

Oh

Day 1, Tape 4
00:07:40
[Offscreen voice]

Is that the first picture we're going to see?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:07:41
[Frank Gannon]

It's the first picture, not for several minutes, I'd say.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:07:45
[Offscreen voice]

Okay, fine. We'll -- [inaudible]

Day 1, Tape 4
00:07:47
[Frank Gannon]

Mm-hmm.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:07:47
[Offscreen voice]

Okay. You can even say to me, "Let's go to the [inaudible] picture" -- [inaudible]. Okay?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:07:54
[Frank Gannon]

Mm-hmm.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:07:54
[Offscreen voice]

Stand by, everybody. Five seconds back to studio.

[inaudible] Hold it. Five to studio. Here we go.

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Day 1, Tape 4
00:08:22
[Frank Gannon]

In talking about apple pies, you once said that your mother's apple pie reminded you of a movie, of W -- "Waterloo Bridge".

Day 1, Tape 4
00:08:35
[Richard Nixon]

Yes. I remember the movie because it was a very moving movie. Jimmy Stewart was in it, and I recall that he was trying to court a rather flashy showgirl type in New York and in London and -- let's start again. I recall the movie because Jimmy Stewart was in it, and he was courting a rather flashy showgirl type, and in trying to get it across, he came -- he was, of course, sort of a country boy in the service and so forth, he told her that he felt about her the way he felt about his mother's apple pie. And then he said, "My mother made wonderful apple pie, and when she died, I have never had apple pie again. And that's the way I feel about you".

Day 1, Tape 4
00:09:34
[Frank Gannon]

You mentioned that Albert Upton, a professor at Whittier, was a -- was a very iconoclastic man --

Day 1, Tape 4
00:09:43
[Richard Nixon]

Yes.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:09:44
[Frank Gannon]

-- who created a --

Day 1, Tape 4
00:09:46
[Richard Nixon]

Well, at Whittier, he certainly, of course, wouldn't have been an atheist, but I would say he was skeptical. He was the one who had me read Tolstoy, of course, and approved of the fact that I, of course, read Rousseau and a lot of other people in my French classes. On the other hand, Upton had -- who was a professor of English, and a very good one -- he had a very, very high regard for the "Bible", not just for religion, but more as literature. He said it was some of the great literature of all time. And he said probably the greatest book ever written was the book of "Ecclesiastes". And so, when I was in the Pacific, we didn't have much to read, but the "Bible" that my grandmother had given me when I had graduated from college I read virtually every day, to my great profit.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:10:39
[Frank Gannon]

Even as a college student, you had the competitive instinct and spirit that has characterized you throughout your career. As president of the pep club, I read that you set a -- a highly competitive goal for yourself.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:10:55
[Richard Nixon]

I certainly did. You see, Whittier, of course, was a Quaker school, and it was not, of course, just a coincidence that our homecoming day was on Armistice Day every year. And one year we'd play Occidental, one great rival, and another day -- year we'd play Pomona. This was the year that we were playing Pomona, and I was chairman of the pep committee. And we always had a bonfire, and the chairman of the pep committee had the responsibility of building the bonfire, and it was traditional to put on the top of the bonfire a privy. Those were the days when you had outside privies. Well, up to that time, they had had one-hole privies and two-hole privies, but never a three-holer. And so, with a couple of my colleagues in the class on the pep committee, we scoured the country, we found a marvelous three-hole privy, and we liberated it and took it and put it on top of the bonfire. It was the greatest bonfire we've ever had at Whittier.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:11:52
[Frank Gannon]

Did you win the game?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:11:53
[Richard Nixon]

We did that year. Yes, we did.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:11:57
[Frank Gannon]

You also, in college, you played basketball -- -- didn't you, as a --

Day 1, Tape 4
00:12:03
[Richard Nixon]

Well, I think that's an exaggeration. I think I pointed out that I was really not very good at any of the sports. On the other hand, when I did play basketball in my freshman year, in a game against La Verne College, I was trying to guard a very good forward from La Verne, and I guarded him fairly closely -- it was fairly -- and he came down into the front of my mouth with his elbow like that, and broke a tooth. Well, as a result of that, I had a terrible problem, because I had to get the tooth, of course, fixed.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:12:39
[Frank Gannon]

A visible tooth?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:12:40

[Richard Nixon]

It's -- it's -- no, the tooth right in the front like this. And so, consequently, my tooth experiences since there have been very inter -- interesting. One, for example, involved Pat. I remember when I met her that the tooth had been, of course, replaced and attached to another one with a gold band, and she didn't think that was attractive. She always had a thing about teeth. She believed in having teeth looking very good, and she insisted after we were married that we put some of our hard-earned money into getting a porcelain cap, one that didn't show the gold. And then, years later, in 1972, on Inauguration -- no, on election night it was -- I was sitting there listening to the returns and having a bite to eat, and the cap broke, and Doctor Chase had to come in and down in the basement of the White House, he hurriedly put in a repair job, and millions of people that heard me accept the fact that we had won and make the victory speech didn't know that I'd had two hours in a dentist's chair before going on.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:13:49
[Frank Gannon]

Was there a danger that it might -- even then that it might fall off?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:13:49
[Richard Nixon]

I was always worried about that, but [unclear: Doctor Chase] is one of the great dentists. Incidentally, he is a great story himself. he was from Russia, an immigrant from Russia. He had come over very, very young to the United States and worked his way up. He was Jewish, and when I went to Russia in 1972, that was the time that we were arguing with Brezhnev about Jewish emigration and the rest, I took him along as a member of our delegation. He proceeded to get himself invited, and I, of course, backed him up through the various clinics for dentistry in the United States. He told me afterwards, He said, "Well, these people may be very good at missiles, but they're not very good at dentistry. They're fifty years behind us with their iron teeth and everything."

Day 1, Tape 4
00:14:38
[Frank Gannon]

Do you think that having brought a prominent Doctor as part of your party, and with discussions about Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union on the agenda, did Brezhnev understand that?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:14:52
[Richard Nixon]

I think the --

Day 1, Tape 4
00:14:53
[Frank Gannon]

The -- the message you were sending?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:14:54
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, I think the message got over, because I also brought with me on that trip Admiral Rickover, who of course is a Polish Jew, and he insisted, incidentally, on seeing the Polish nuclear submarine, and made himself quite obnoxious quite deliberately, and, I think, quite properly. But what it did, I think it convinced Brezhnev that to me it just wasn't a question of arguing because of the political situation in the United States. That wasn't it. But I introduced these people as men I admired, men who were my friends, men who meant a great deal to our country, and I said, under the circumstances, that it would be very helpful to our mutual relations in other areas, arms control, trade, et cetera, if he could relent his policy with regard to Jewish emigration. And he did, because in 1972 we had the highest number of Jews being let out of the Soviet Union up to that time, thirty-seven thousand, as compared with only six hundred the year I came into office in 1969.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:15:54
[Frank Gannon]

And I think '72 was also the last high point. It's gone down since then.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:15:58
[Richard Nixon]

It's gone down since then because --

Day 1, Tape 4
00:16:00
[Frank Gannon]

What should we be doing differently to --

Day 1, Tape 4
00:16:02
[Richard Nixon]

Well, what should we be doing is to recognize that all of our dealings with the Soviet Union should be put in one package. It should be not simply arms control emphasized at the exclusion of other things. You link them all, but it's very important not to link them publicly in a way that makes the Soviet Union back down in the public eye. It was a great mistake, for example, through the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which was passed after we got thirty-seven thousand out in 1972, which conditioned publicly any further relations with the Soviet Union or other countries, for that matter, on their emigration policies. As a result, the Soviets said, "You're not going to do that to us", and they cut back. Do it privately, but let it -- make it very clear that if they don't come across on that, it may inhibit progress in other areas that they're interested in. It works.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:16:59
[Frank Gannon]

What do you think goes through Andropov's mind, or what is -- what is his reasoning, when he sits in the Kremlin and considers the problem of Jewish dissidents in the Soviet Union today?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:17:12
[Richard Nixon]

I think he will be very pragmatic about it, pragmatic because -- well, we have to understand first that there is a lot of anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union, even though some of the earliest leaders of the Marxist society were Jewish, and some of the earliest participants in the Soviet hierarchy were Jewish. But Stalin was certainly anti-Semitic. I remember, for example, Brezhnev telling me on one occasion -- I thought it was rather interesting -- in Summit Four in 1974, as we were riding from Yalta and the Crimea back to the airport, and we were talking about the problem of Jewish emigration, and Brezhnev was complaining about the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, and Brezhnev turned to me and grabbed my arm -- Brezhnev was very physical -- Brezhnev was always grabbing people, like Lyndon Johnson did--sort of reminded me of Lyndon. And Brezhnev grabbed my arm, and Brezhnev said, "Let me tell you, Mr. President, as far as the Jews are concerned, let them all go out, and let God go with them." I think he was more interested, incidentally, in getting God out of the Soviet Union than the Jews. Coming back to Andropov, I think Andropov, as far as Jewish emigration is concerned, will be reasonable on it, but he's going to use that somewhat as a card for things that he wants. And let me say that that's the way international politics is played. It -- it shouldn't be that way. After all, as a matter of right and a matter of decency, he should let out the Jews, the Pentecostals, and others, but these people don't play that way. They do nothing unless they're going to get something in return.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:18:50
[Frank Gannon]

Are the -- are the dissidents, and particularly the Jewish dish -- dissidents -- are they doing the right things? Are they agitating in the right way?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:18:59
[Richard Nixon]

I think calling attention to the discrimination against them is correct, yes. I think -- I think as far as legislation is concerned, where a president, for example, says, "I am -- " "I cannot --" "I insist that you engage in a policy which will allow more emigration" -- as far as that is concerned, where it's done as a government, that's one thing. Where it's done as individuals, that's something else again. The Soviet Union differentiates between a government acting and individuals. And where individuals, certainly people interested in Jewish emigration could continue to speak out, but the government should play it in a quiet, effective way.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:19:41
[Frank Gannon]

Do you think Raoul Wallenberg is still alive?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:19:45
[Richard Nixon]

I have wondered about that. I think it's very possible, but --

Day 1, Tape 4
00:19:51
[Frank Gannon]

Do you think we'll ever know?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:19:45
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, no, no.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:19:55
[Frank Gannon]

To go back somewhat in time, when you were in college and in law school, did you listen to the fireside chats, did you listen to Franklin Roosevelt on the radio?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:20:13
[Richard Nixon]

I don't recall listening in college. I do recall listening in law school, and, incidentally, one thing that I have noted in recent years, when I was president, people said, "You ought to have fireside chats." And I said, "How often?" They said, "Well, he used to have them once a week." Then I recalled, and I tried to think, I don't think they were that often. And so I checked recently. Roosevelt's fireside ch -- chats averaged three a year. One year he made five, another year only three. Three to four, but they were great events. Becoming too familiar would have been a mistake, something I always recognized, and something that he certainly recognized. They were very effective, as I recall. I don't remember particularly what he said, but I do remember they gave you a kind of a lift. He had a buoyant characteristic in his voice, a sense of optimism which was very important, something which President Reagan has, too. It's that buoyancy, that optimism which people needed to feel in the depths of the Depression.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:21:15
[Frank Gannon]

How much -- how much --

Day 1, Tape 4
00:21:18
[Richard Nixon]

As a matter of fact, though, you would think that a group of law students at Duke University -- if it were like today, you'd think we'd be talking politics all the time, but that wasn't the case. We were working so hard to get good grades so that we would get good jobs when we came out that we didn't spend much time talking politics that I can recall. As a matter of fact, the broadcast that I remember far more than the fireside chats was the time that the Duke of Windsor, Edward, gave his famous speech where he said that he was going to abdicate. And I remember, we all sat, and we heard it on the radio, several of us, and Douglas Maggs, the professor of torts, who was tough and seemed to be one who had no sentiment at all, afterwards he just said, "Wasn't that a magnificent thing? Wasn't that a magnificent thing?" Incidentally, many years later, the Duke of Windsor and -- came to the White House as our guest for a dinner that we gave in 1971. I was glad we were able to do it.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:21:21
[Frank Gannon]

Would you have given up the throne of England for the woman you loved?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:22:26
[Richard Nixon]

Possibly, yes, but I think under the circumstances it would have depended upon what the throne could do. I think -- I think the Duke of Windsor gave it up for reasons that many could understand. I mean, what is the king of England? Well, the king of England is a very important job. You have -- you have mock position, I should say. The subjects bow and scrape, and you have an unlimited budget, and you're respected all over the world. But no power. As far as I was concerned, I've always said that what separates the men from the boys in politics is that -- is that the -- the boys want office, they want to be president in order to be somebody. The men are people that want office in order to do something. The king of England didn't have much to do. No, when I reflect on your question, my guess is that I would have probably taken the woman I loved rather than staying on in what I consider to be a particu -- just a ceremonial job.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:23:33
[Frank Gannon]

Does -- does President Reagan instill in you the same optimism from his fireside chats about the state of the economy that Franklin Roosevelt did back then?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:23:44
[Richard Nixon]

Well, I'm in a very different position now. Then, I didn't know anything about government. Then, I didn't know what would work or what wouldn't, and then, I was -- we were all reaching out to anything, you know, that would give us hope for reducing unemployment. Incidentally, let us understand that the New Deal didn't end the Depression. There were still nine million people unemployed at that time that -- in 1939, before we became involved in war production, and the war, of course, is what ended the Depression. But, on the other hand, I would say that at that point he at least gave hope. As far as President Reagan is concerned, yes, I think he does for most average people. As far as people that are politically sophisticated, they're going to make up their own minds as to whether the interest rates are too high or too low, whether the Fed has the right policy or the wrong, whether you ought to cut the budget or increase it, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. But I admire President Reagan for his ability to communicate that sense of optimism, which he really feels. He's a fine actor, but I don't think he's acting when he says that he believes we've turned the corner.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:24:50
[Frank Gannon]

Are you optimistic?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:24:52
[Richard Nixon]

Uh -- in the long run, yes. ' 84, yes. ' 83 will be a solid year but not a great year, in my opinion, for the economy.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:25:00
[Frank Gannon]

We know where you and some of your Duke colleagues were now, by the -- by the radio in 1936. Where were you on s -- at the time of some other great events? Where were you when -- where were you when you heard about the outbreak of the Second World War?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:25:20
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, I remember that very vividly. That morning Pat and I were going to the movies in Los Angeles, and we stopped by to see her sister, Neva Renter, and Mark. And Mark, who was sort of a radio bug, was listening to the radio, and he said, "I just heard this report on the radio that the Japs have bombed Pearl Harbor." And there had been so many war scares and that sort of thing that we paid very little attention to it. It hadn't been corroborated as far as we knew. We went on to the movies. We were in the movies, and I can't remember the movie, but I remember some fellow came out and interrupted the movie, and he said, "All servicemen should report to their units." Well, we stayed in the movie. I was not in the service at that point. When we left, I remember a newsboy came up. There was an eight-column head in the special edition of the Los Angeles Times, and I said, "What is this?" And he said, "We're at war, man. We're at war."

Day 1, Tape 4
00:26:20
[Frank Gannon]

Where -- where were you on V-J Day --

Day 1, Tape 4
00:26:25
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, New York City.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:26:25
[Frank Gannon]

-- at the end of the war?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:26:27
[Richard Nixon]

New York City. And I remember that, not just because it ended the war and we could look forward to peacetime pursuits, but because of a personal disaster that occurred. Pat and I decided to go down to Times Square, and there were huge swarming crowds and all that. And when we finished and started to go home to our apartment on West Ninety-Third Street, I reached into my back pocket, and my billfold had been taken. I -- a pickpocket had rubbed against me, and apparently they got a lot of them. And, incidentally, that was the second time, and it sh -- you should never have a second time on things of that sort. If it happens once, you don't let it happen again. But at Duke University several years before that, at least ten years before, I'd attended the North Carolina-Duke football game. Carolina was the favorite. Duke won twenty-five to nothing, incidentally. I remember the game like it was yesterday. I remember [unclear: Julie Ward], not a great halfback but a pretty good one, who on Duke's first touchdown ran over the left side and the reverse for forty yards to the first touchdown. But the thing about the game that I particularly remember was that the - -it was very cold, a little misty snow and rain falling and a lot of -- it was a very boisterous crowd, because they were drinking in those -- in that period, the -- Duke being a dry state, they were drinking Carolina corn whiskey, and it is really dynamite. It is about as dynamite, as -- as much as the Mai Tai that I had many years later in China. And so people were rubbing against each other and banging and the rest, and, sure enough, as I went back to my room at Whippoorwill Manil -- Manor, somebody had picked my pocket. And I didn't dream I'd let it happen again, but it did V-J Day, but that's the only two times. Since then, I just don't carry money.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:28:25
[Frank Gannon]

How did you handle in the vice-presidential and presidential, the public years, the -- the heavy ceremonial drinking requirements, particularly in China where the -- the custom at the banquets is to go around the tables and -- and drink a toast of Mai Tai to every person?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:28:40
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yes. Well, I did exactly what my host did.
Day 1, Tape 4
00:28:46
[Frank Gannon]

Zhou Enlai?
Day 1, Tape 4
00:28:47
[Richard Nixon]

Zhou En-lai. We took a glass of that Mai Tai --they call it a cup -- and you take it around and tip fifteen times and just sip it, practically just smell it. When we finished, each of us had just a half a glass left. I did the same thing with Khrushchev when I saw him for a six-hour luncheon in Moscow, in the dacha in 1959. Generally speaking, I would advise people in this area to follow, at least, my example insofar as campaigning's concerned. During campaigns, I ruled out any drinking whatever for anybody except if it was a weekend or something. And that included our press people and the rest. The only exception I made was for the press secretary. Most of the reporters drank, and I feel he'd have to drink or they'd thought he was a jerk. But, in any event, I have found that, in order to be very sharp, you should not drink at all, and, of course, in a campaign the schedule starts very early in the morning and goes all day, and a drink will give you a lift at the end of the day, and you think you're much better, but then the next day you have a hangover. You can't afford hangovers in a campaign. That's the general rule I would follow. And as far as diplomatic things are concerned, for example, the state dinners that we had, the various trips that we had abroad, whenever I had any discussions scheduled I drank only to the extent that protocol required it. If it was champagne, sip it. I didn't like champagne anyway, so that made that easy.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:30:22
[Frank Gannon]

Why not?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:30:24
[Richard Nixon]

Well, we had a very, very tough experience with champagne in 1953. Tough, I say, because we were gone on a trip for seventy days around the world, and for seventy days, except for one day off in Melbourne -- I remember it was a very rainy, cold day, so we didn't enjoy that too much -- we had lunch and dinner with champagne. We liked it before the trip. Neither of us has liked it since, and although I serve it, of course, to people who come when they expect it, I have never had a glass of champagne since that time.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:31:01
[Frank Gannon]

For -- going back to -- to important days for people of my generation, sort of a most common denominator that everybody remembers where they were, was the death of President Kennedy. For people of your generation, I think the similar event was the death of FDR. Do you remember where you were?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:31:21
[Richard Nixon]

Well, of course, I remember the Kennedy death, too, but the FDR death I remember very vividly. We were in Philadelphia. I was settling contracts then at the end of the war with the [Bud Manufacturing Company], whose office is in Philadelphia. And Pat and I were kind of splurging that night. We went to Bookbinder's, that marvelous restaurant which is still there, and I've been back since, several times -- they're good friends. And we were sitting, having some -- some of their famous lobster, and a very distinguished black waiter, our waiter, came up to us, and he was crying, practically sobbing, and he said to me, "Have you heard the news? President Roosevelt has just died." That's how we heard it.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:32:10
[Frank Gannon]

Where did you -- where did you hear about the German invasion of Russia?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:32:18
[Richard Nixon]

Another big event. I remember that particularly well because it was the day after our first wedding anniversary. We had saved our money and took a cruise on the last banana boat cruise, the Ulua, that United Fruit had, which took us down to Central America. We were in Panama, we were in Cuba, et cetera. And on the twenty-second of June, we were sitting in the dining room having something to eat, and our waiter, a very distinguished, intelligent black man was there, and we asked him, because it came over the radio, the ship's radio, that Hitler's troops had invaded Russia. And so I asked him, I said, "How do you think it's going to come out?" "Oh", he said, "Hitler's made a great mistake. The Russians will win. You remember what happened to Napoleon. The same thing will happen to Hitler." He was a smart man, very perceptive.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:33:21
[Offscreen voice]

Excuse me one second. Thirty second stop. Keep the tape rolling.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:33:37
[Frank Gannon]

I'm going to -- I'll ask you if -- whether Franklin Roosevelt was a master of the media or whether he had a friendly --

Day 1, Tape 4
00:33:45
[Richard Nixon]

Hm?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:33:45
[Frank Gannon]

-- press. Whether Franklin Roosevelt was a master of the media or whether he had friendly press, and you might mention the -- that you didn't know until Yalta that he was crippled

Day 1, Tape 4
00:33:58
[Richard Nixon]

Yeah.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:33:55
[Frank Gannon]

And then --

Day 1, Tape 4
00:33:59
[Richard Nixon]

Yeah.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:34:00
[Offscreen voice]

[inaudible]

Day 1, Tape 4
00:34:02
[Frank Gannon]

Oh, good. This is the tragedy of history.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:34:04
[Richard Nixon]

That's right.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:34:05
[Offscreen voice]

[inaudible]

Day 1, Tape 4
00:34:03
[Frank Gannon]

[On telephone.] Hello. Yeah. Well, that's coming. Oh, yeah. Oh, no, no, no. No. But -- uh -- About three. Three episodes. Three, yes. Yeah. Five minutes, maybe. Okay. Okay. [Hangs up.] Five. That's the -- that's the -- that's the nurse picture.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:34:48
[Richard Nixon]

I want to get a copy of that picture.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:34:49
[Frank Gannon]

Oh, sure.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:34:50
[Richard Nixon]

Later, to study it.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:34:51
[Frank Gannon]

Sure.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:34:51
[Richard Nixon]

I don't know where that came from. It was not in my papers. You got it from San Clemente?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:34:56
[Frank Gannon]

Uh-huh.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:34:59
[Richard Nixon]

That's the girl, though. I remember her very well. She was from Texas.

[Action note: Screen goes black.]

[Action note: Picture returns without sound.]

[Action note: Screen goes black.]

[Action note: Picture returns without sound.]

Day 1, Tape 4
00:35:15
[Frank Gannon]

Was President Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, a master of the media, or -- or did he have a friendly press, or was it a combination of the both, the two?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:35:27
[Richard Nixon]

Well, I have studied that considerably, particularly in recent years. There's no question that Franklin Roosevelt was one of the media favorites. They liked him. They liked him even better than they liked Herbert Hoover, who was, incidentally, a master of the media until he became president, when he didn't do as well. He did a fantastic job in building up a very good media image when he was engaged in running the programs for Belgian war relief or Russian war relief, and also Secretary of Commerce. But Franklin Roosevelt just had something that the media liked, and, I think, frankly, the fact he was liberal. Let's face it, the great majority of people in the media, just honestly, are just honest, sincere liberals. And they like a liberal. So -- and also Franklin Roosevelt was considered to be an activist. He was newsworthy. So, consequently, I do think he had -- he had a very favorable ground to plow when he went out in his little press conferences and the rest. They liked him to begin with, and they wanted him to appear in the most favorable light. I think perhaps an indication of that is that I didn't become conscious of the fact that he was crippled until after World War II. I heard his voice on the radio. I never recall seeing a picture in the paper of him in a wheelchair or with the crutches and the rest, and I must say that on that score, I think the media was very responsible. It was the right thing to do. They wanted him to be considered just what he was. And, incidentally, it's to Herbert Hoover and his supporters' great credit that they never made anything out of the fact that here was a man who was crippled.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:37:18
[Frank Gannon]

When you were in college, I think, your uncle Lyle came to visit from Ohio, your father's brother.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:37:30
[Richard Nixon]

Yes. Uncle Lyle was my [grand]father's youngest brother, and my father felt very close to him and almost indebted to him because after my mother -- after his mother died when he was about eight years old, he was shunted around from family to family, and he said, "uncle Lyle treated me the best", when he stayed with him on his farm. He came to California, and my father, as a matter of fact, sent him the ticket so that he could come on the train. And when he got there, he was so excited to see the mountains, because he had never seen mountains before, not big ones, in Ohio, and also to see the ocean. And so we drove him down to the ocean, to Seal Beach one day, and he was very anxious to put his toes in the water, so to speak. You know, he wasn't -- didn't know anything about swimming, but he wanted to get in the ocean. So we went to one of those places where you rent suits, as I recall, bathing suits. The only thing they had for him -- he wasn't a very big man -- was one of those real old-fashioned ones, you know, where the trunks come clear down to the knee, and he put those on, and -- and it was really a very sort of a queer-looking getup that he had. And I remember that my brother and I, Don, we were really a little ashamed when he put these on and went out and got into the ocean and jumped up and down in the waves and so forth. But, in retrospect, I regret that we felt that way and -- because it meant so much to him that we should have not worried about what all those strangers -- and there were many of them on the beach at that time. They were looking at him and kind of laughing and so forth. We should have thought of him and not of what other people thought.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:39:17
[Frank Gannon]

In -- in law school, you -- you -- you couldn't have lived on Milky Ways. Man cannot live on Milky Ways alone. Where did you -- did you cook at Whippoorwill Manor --

Day 1, Tape 4
00:39:27
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, no.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:39:27
[Frank Gannon]

--or did you eat --

Day 1, Tape 4
00:39:28
[Richard Nixon]

No. No. No. No cooking. What we did was to eat in the union. They had an excellent student union, and you could buy a meal ticket, where the meals, lunch and dinner -- we always had lunch and dinner -- were thirty cents each. Well, that seemed to be pretty good, but that didn't satisfy Lyman Brownfield, who was one of my roommates at Whippoorwill Manor. He had a great big old Packard -- I think it was a Packard -- seven-passenger, that he had bought at some auction or something, and he drove it around down there. And he found what is called a boarding house down in Durham where you could get meals for twenty-five cents each. And so there were six of us joined him, making a total of seven, and we got in that big old Packard, which he christened Corpus Juris, and we get in Corpus Juris, and every noon we'd go down to the boarding house. We only paid twenty-five cents each, and he got his meal free. I don't think he could have made out on it, because the gas must have cost him that much, even though gas was only sixteen cents a gallon then. But we had great fun in Corpus Juris, far more than we did reading it.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:40:38
[Frank Gannon]

Did your -- one of your roommates, Albrink, who -- I don't know --

Day 1, Tape 4
00:40:44
[Richard Nixon]

Freddy Albrink, yeah.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:40:45
[Frank Gannon]

-- either as a practical joke or because he simply, at that time, couldn't resist something that was free, went to the clinic and -- and signed you all up for something free there.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:41:00
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yeah. Well, Freddy Albrink, incidentally, who was a very good lawyer and retired as an admiral in the Navy in the Judge Advocate General's office, also one who had a marvelous understanding of architecture. He used to give us lectures about the architecture of the beautiful Gothic Duke chapel and compare it with what -- I had -- none of us had yet seen in Europe. But Freddy had a little wit, too, and he said he's just learned -- he came in very excited. He said, "You know, you can get free Wassermann tests over at the hospital." Well, we were thinking about doing it. Anything free in those days was something we could think of, until we found out that the Wassermann test was a test for pregnancy, and so we decided that Albrink had had his say and we did him in another time.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:41:53
[Frank Gannon]

Have you ever played a practical joke on anyone?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:41:56
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, we have, yes. Yes. Oh, I remember, for example, the -- the Gridiron speech that I made in 1953. This was, in effect, similar to a practical joke. That was after I had made what was called the Checkers speech in the fund controversy. And so, the Gridiron had a very rough skit on me about Checkers, and I knew that it was going to be rough. And I had learned it in advance, thanks to them. Fletcher Knebel came on set. He was dressed as a dog, and he cried, and so forth and so on. And so what I did was to get the real Checkers, our Checkers, and I arranged to have that dog brought to the -- backstage in the Statler where the Gridiron was held, and when I made my speech, I started out in a way that really scared my supporters to death. I remember Jack Knight, who was a great supporter of mine at that point, was just sitting there saying, "He mustn't do it. He mustn't do it", because I started out and I said, in a very serious way, "I know that everybody is supposed to take whatever barbs are thrown at the Gridiron dinner in good fash -- in good form", and so forth and so on, "and not respond. But this is one time you've gone too far. Fun is fun, particularly when that is directed against a lady. And now I want you to see the real Checkers." And then Knebel came out holding Checkers. Checkers, of course, was a female. Well, it brought the house down, and my supporters thought, "Well, he's not as serious as we thought."

Day 1, Tape 4
00:43:58
[Frank Gannon]

Are you as serious as they thought?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:44:01
[Richard Nixon]

Well, when -- whenever -- when anything -- I would say that when you have something serious, I don't beli -- believe it does any good to smile about it. I think that it's very important not to get yourself so involved that you think you've got the weight of the world on your shoulders. I think you've got to kid yourself, and I often do that. Most of my humor is situational. It has to do with kidding myself. But I would say that I am -- I am serious, very serious, when it comes to important matters. But also we have our fun.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:44:36
[Frank Gannon]

You don't use political humor much in your speaking.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:44:39
[Richard Nixon]

Never have told a story in a speech.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:44:42
[Frank Gannon]

Is that for a reason?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:44:43
[Richard Nixon]

Well, Lynn Sheller, many years ago in high school, he said -- he said, "That reminds me of a story" -- you don't do that. And I start a speech often -- you've got to shake hands with the audience, and so you start with a situational remark about something funny that has happened to you as you came in, or something that happened at a stop before that. But as far as saying -- starting with a story, like some of the great orators, like Everett Dirksen, he was a marvelous storyteller -- no way. And I know that is something you don't -- that's something that you get a different viewpoint in the political science classes. They've got books, joke books. You're supposed to tell canned jokes. You're supposed to tell canned anecdotes, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. But I was very fortunate, may I say, in a way. At Whittier, I -- we had some very good professors. We had good courses in history and English and philosophy and literature, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, but we had no political science courses. I have no regrets, and I don't advise young people going into politics to take political science. Study the classics when your mind is young, when you're going to pick up things, when it can expand and so forth, when you're developing the habits of a lifetime. Study that rather than getting into how do you work a precinct or how you poll and all that sort of thing. That can all come later.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:46:10
[Frank Gannon]

When you went to Duke, it was your first time in the East. Coming from the very tolerant, intellectually and - -and racially, community of Whittier, it must have been quite a culture shock to suddenly go into the -- the South of the thirties. What -- what was your experience, or what were your observations of that?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:46:32
[Richard Nixon]

Well, it was a culture shock at the beginning, but we had some pretty good go's with our Southern friends. About -- over half -- about half the class was from the North or West, and half the class was from the South, and they were all smart, primarily because there were so many scholarships in the class. But I remember very early on, Bill Perdue, who was first in our class and brilliant and a great student of history, set the climate for the rest of us for the three years. We were discussing the Civil War, or, as they call it, the War between the States, in the South, and we were remarking about who were the great generals, and I just assumed from my history, of course, although it was fairly objective, that Ulysses S. Grant, who later became president, was the greatest general of the Civil War. And Perdue then proceeded to read it to us about Robert E. Lee being not only the greatest general, but one of the greatest of all Americans. Stonewall JacksonAlbert Johnston, and the rest. By the time he got through, we began to appreciate and respect the great southerners.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:47:46
[Frank Gannon]

Didn't Churchill later, when you were vice president -- didn't he say --

Day 1, Tape 4
00:47:49
[Richard Nixon]

In fact, yes.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:47:49
[Frank Gannon]

-- share that view of Lee?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:47:52
[Richard Nixon]

Yeah. I remember Churchill in 1954. Churchill, at a stag dinner at the British Embassy, was talking afterwards, and everyone was listening, because he was -- even -- he'd had a stroke by that time, he was still a commanding presence, and marvelous command of language and so forth, and conveyed a -- a -- a sense of history that no one else could, and he talked about Robert E. Lee. And he said, "You know, Lee was without question the greatest general on either side in the Civil War." And he said, "He was also perhaps one of the greatest generals of all time." He didn't take anything away from Grant, however, because he then referred to Appomattox, and he said that one of the great moments was when Lee asked Grant if the officers could take their horses. And Grant replied, "Yes, the officers and the enlisted men may take their horses" -- this was after the surrender -- "because they will need them to plow their fields." Then Churchill sort of reared back in his chair and he said, "In the squalor of life and war, what a magnificent act."

Day 1, Tape 4
00:49:17
[Frank Gannon]

We have a photograph from the South Pacific taken -- do you recognize it? -- I think -- taken on Green Island.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:49:27
[Richard Nixon]

I recognize it, yes, and I think I know the time that that occurred, not because of the officers who are there, because [unclear: Augie Kontz], the commanding officer of S.C.A.T. who had come up the line from Nouméa for an inspection trip -- this is on Green Island-- is there, and [unclear: Harry von Loo], who is the second from the right, a legendary United Airlines pilot before and after the war, is the next one. The one over tha -- beyond that I don't know. Now, the one on my right is a nurse, and that's why I know when this was taken, because just the night before this picture was taken, I am sure that that was when Charles Lindbergh arrived at Green Island. And when he arrived at Green Island, it was a big event for all of us, but nothing compared to the event when the nurse arrived the next day, and I confirmed that when I recently read in his wartime diaries his description of his visit to Green Island, his going to dinner there, and his description of the fact that, the next day, everybody in the island was excited beyond belief because the first nurse was arriving, and that there were literally thousands, not hundreds -- the Third New Zealand Division was all gathered around -- and the rest, ogling this nurse that was come off. Now this nurse, as you can see, is very attractive. But I'm telling you, if that nurse who came off that day had been a female chimpanzee, they would have still whistled and oohed and aahed, because they hadn't seen any girls for a long, long time.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:51:10
[Frank Gannon]

Do you think that the future -- the future of Lieutenant Nixon is indicated by the fact that, of the thousands of soldiers and sailors on that island, that you were the one standing right next to her?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:51:23
[Richard Nixon]

Well, I was standing next to her, because, you see, she was attached to SCAT, too, and I was the officer in charge of the detachment. And, in fact, I had arranged for the building of nurses' quarters, which they didn't have at any of the other stops along the line. So the nurses felt that I was one of their friends, too.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:51:46
[Frank Gannon]

Do --

Day 1, Tape 4
00:51:48
[Richard Nixon]

Incidentally, that -- that reminds me, too, of the fact that one of my greatest regrets of my service was the night before, after Lindbergh had arrived, General Barrowclough, who was the commander of the New Zealand Division, very graciously invited me to have dinner at his quarters, with seven or eight others, with Lindbergh. I declined because I had -- I was the host for our poker game that night. And I regret it ever since. And I was so glad that years later I was able to have Charles Lindbergh to the White House.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:52:22
[Frank Gannon]

How did a good Quaker boy from Whittier become a poker shark in the South Pacific?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:52:34
[Richard Nixon]

I had good teachers. You didn't have much else to do. Jimmy Stewart taught me well. Jimmy Stewart --

Day 1, Tape 4
00:52:41
[Frank Gannon]

Not the actor.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:52:41
[Richard Nixon]

-- who was my roommate -- what?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:52:43
[Frank Gannon]

Jimmy Stewart, the actor?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:52:44
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, no. This was Jimmy Stewart. We -- we always called him "the other Jimmy Stewart." He's a very sophisticated New Yorker, still living in New York. He was my age. He -- his -- one of his great friends was Sherman Billingsley --

Day 1, Tape 4
00:52:56
[Frank Gannon]

That's the starter of the Stork Club.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:52:56
[Richard Nixon]

And Sherman Billingsley, incidentally, was particularly good to him, because it -- he smoked cigars, Jimmy did, and he started me smoking cigars -- used to send him half a dozen package -- boxes of [unclear: Raimon el Lona]'s Cuban cigars, which he shared with the rest of us on occasion. And so Jimmy gave me a lot of instruction, and, of course, you just learn by playing with others.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:53:25
[Frank Gannon]

Do you remember your first cigar, because you had not smoked at all till that point, had you?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:53:29
[Richard Nixon]

Never, never have smoked a cigarette in my life, and on occasion a pipe, but I don't do that. But I think that was the first time I ever smoked a cigar. No, it may have been before on some occasion. I don't recall. But I remember the first time I ever smoked when I got sick, but I learned later how to avoid that. Now I, of course, smoke them only occasionally, and never during the daytime, never publicly.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:53:53
[Frank Gannon]

And never Cuban.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:53:55
[Richard Nixon]

Unfortunately, no, not -- they are still the best. I think, though, that -- I think that -- that some of the things I learned from poker are quite interesting.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:54:08
[Frank Gannon]

What was your strategy?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:54:09
[Richard Nixon]

Many -- many people, for example, say, What -- "how is poker like politics?" And, of course, the Russians play chess, Americans play poker. I don't know anything about chess, and I'm sure, however, that they know a lot about poker. But, generally speaking, the rules for poker apply pretty well in politics. The first thing I learned was, don't get in too many pots. If the odds are great against you in a small pot, get out, because otherwise you will lose in small pots what you might want to lea -- to -- to use when the stakes are much higher in a much bigger pot. But while you should be cautious in the small ones, be bold in the big ones. Be willing to risk all to gain all. Don't let somebody bluff you out. Another thing, I learned a lot about bluffing. I found that those who talked the loudest usually didn't have the cards. The most effective way to bluff is to be very enigmatic. Another thing has to do with credibility. In order to win at poger -- poker, you must establish your credibility, credibility that when you are betting you've got the cards. And the way to do that -- and this is very important in foreign policy, too -- is to establish your credibility up and down the line, a seamless web, and particularly on small pots. Make it very clear very early on through a small pot that whenever you're called, you do have the cards. And then when a bigger pot comes along, you may be able to bluff, and they may not call you because you've established your credibility later on. And that's one of the reasons that I was quite successful at poker. I must say, though, that my greatest experience, and I can remember the cards to these days, is a game of five-card stud. The deal was made, six of us in the game, and I was dealt the ace of diamonds in the hole, the card that was down. And then in order -- there were no wild cards in the game -- in order I got the king of diamonds, the queen of diamonds, the jack of diamonds, the ten of diamonds. Two of the other players had a pair showing by the time we'd gotten through the fourth card, and that's very good in a five-card stud game. So they kept betting. I did not raise -- I couldn't be sure. On the other hand, it would have been a pretty good hand to bluff on, because they thought I might have doubled up the king or doubled up the queen or what have you. But so when finally I got the ten, I didn't make any gesture whatever to show my excitement. I just thought, my gosh, this couldn't happen. As I understand, it's a six hundred and fifty thousand to one shot. And so the first fellow that -- with a first pair bet, and, of course, he bet the five dollars. The game was what we call a five-and-ten game. You opened with five dollars, you can raise five dollars, the third bet is ten, and that's all. So he bet five. The next fellow raised him, and so that made it ten dollars. It finally came around to me, and so, what I did, I bet the ten dollars, the maximum. Unfortunately, I had established my credibility too well on the small pots. Nobody called me, so I raked in the chips, a pretty good pot. And then, although you should never let people see your card unless they call you -- they've got to pay their money to see the card - I flipped over the ace and everybody yelled. They never saw anything before that, and they'll never see anything like it again, probably.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:57:51
[Frank Gannon]

What was the most critical small pot of the Nixon presidency?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:58:07
[Richard Nixon]

It's difficult to sort anything out in that respect. I would say none of them were that small, actually. But I was -- putting it in another -- perhaps another context, I think when the Russians, for example, supported the North Vietnamese three weeks before the -- we were scheduled to meet them at a summit in 1972, with tanks and guns and so forth, and the S--North Vietnamese launched a huge offensive across the -- the DMZ into the South Vietnam, there were many of my advisors who said, "Well, do nothing about this because it will imperil the summit." And I said, "Well, if we don't do something about this, then I'll be going to the Soviet Union and be negotiating with Brezhnev with North Vietnamese tanks rumbling through the streets of Saigon. That won't go."So I called him, in effect, on that. We bombed and mined Hanoi and Haiphong, and people thought that it would destroy the summit. Actually, it made him even more anxious. He knew that, if we stopped them there, that we were worth dealing with, I think.

Day 1, Tape 4
00:59:31
[Frank Gannon]

On a -- if you were to set up a ten-point poker strategy scale, how would you rate in terms of what you would guess their style would be, how would you rate Harry Truman?

Day 1, Tape 4
00:59:46
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, very well. Very well. Harry Truman was tough, resourceful. Even though he was not a foreign policy expert, he was not afraid to go to someone smarter than he was in foreign policy, like Acheson and Marshall. And he knew how to play his cards, I thought, very well.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:00:08
[Frank Gannon]

Eisenhower?

Day 1, Tape 4
01:00:10
[Richard Nixon]

Better. I think the -- the mistake, for example, that Truman made, and Acheson made, too, and I think perhaps I have been much too harsh on Acheson in other respects, but not in this respect -- was in terms of -- of Korea, when Acheson made the statement that was because Korea was outside our defense line, that really gave the North Viet -- the North Koreans a license, they thought, to invade the South. Better to have called them earlier, to make it clear that we weren't going to concede that, we might have avoided the North Korean offensive. But Eisenhower was a very tough, shrewd poker player in international affairs.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:01:01
[Frank Gannon]

If, as a lieutenant on Green Island, or on Vella Lavella, you had in fact met Lieutenant John Kennedy, how would -- what kind of a poker player would he have been?

Day 1, Tape 4
01:01:10
[Richard Nixon]

He would have been good. He would have been good. He was -- he was bold. He was very intelligent. It would have been a good match, as he proved in the campaign we had against each other in 1960.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:01:25
[Frank Gannon]

Johnson? You see where I'm going.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:01:28
[Richard Nixon]

Johnson -- Johnson would have been -- frankly, Johnson would have been much better had he been Johnson. I -- I -- I hear these days, for example, some of the enthusiastic, sincere, ultra-conservative supporters of Reagan say, "Let Reagan be Reagan." Well, the best advice Johnson could have had, "Let Johnson be Johnson", rather than trying to pander to his liberal critics. If Johnson had been Johnson, he would not have had gradual escalation of the war in Vietnam. I think he would have done something far more dramatic and decisive, as Johnson was not a weak man, and in that case his weakness, I think, led to his downfall.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:02:16
[Frank Gannon]

Gerald Ford?

Day 1, Tape 4
01:02:17
[Richard Nixon]

Well, I won't get into any people that are living today. I think that would be improper.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:02:22
[Frank Gannon]

And you may, in fact, end up playing poker with them and wouldn't want to tip your --

Day 1, Tape 4
01:02:26
[Richard Nixon]

I'll tell you one, however, that I can name, because I have played poker with him, is Tip O'Neill. After I went to Congress in 1947, Karl Mundt, who was on the Committee on Un-American Activities with me, was part of a poker game, a group. Tip O'Neill was in it, [unclear: Ben Jensen] of Iowa, and so forth. And they used to meet about every two or three weeks, maybe every month, for poker. And O'Neill was a very, very tough, good poker player. He won far of -- more often that I did. Now, I must say that I have an excuse there. They didn't play straight poker. In our South Pacific game, it was five-card draw or far--five-card stud, dealer's choice, but no wild cards. In this game that we played, with O'Neill and Mundt and so forth, seven-card high-low, spit in the ocean, all that sort of thing. You might have four aces, and somebody else'd have five kings. You didn't know what the odds were. I -- I was not any good at playing a game where I was unable to analyze the odds. But O'Neill was good at it.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:03:40
[Frank Gannon]

Do you remember your first impressions of New York City?

Day 1, Tape 4
01:03:44
[Richard Nixon]

Very vividly. I remembered, incidentally, one thing that'll surprise people, the subways, particularly. It was exciting to get on a subway, how fast they were, and how clean they were. They were clean and fast. I remember the streets, how clean they were. I remember that every morning I used to look out and here would come along a big conveyor with water on it with which they'd wash down the streets. I don't know whether it's done today or not. I don't really think they can afford it. It's still done in Paris, incidentally. De Gaulle -- the streets in Paris are very, very clean. But then,I remember, too, the -- particularly going to the plays and going to the opera. We went -- we saw "Tobacco Road" , and I must say that I didn't realize that you could have that kind of profanity and that kind of rather -- that rather obvious sexual-related things and get away with it, but in New York you can get away with anything now, even more so than then. And I remember going to the opera. I, of course, like music, and we went to the opera. We could only afford the least expensive seats. We sat in the great old opera house, which, incidentally, is infinitely more beautiful than the new one. I've never been to the new one because it -- it is so sterile and hospital-like and the rest. It's like the difference between the Bolshoi Theatre, which even Kosygin said was so much nicer, with all of its eighteenth-nineteenth century grace, and the new, sterile one that they've got in the Kremlin, which they never took me to, incidentally. The Russians are more proud of the old one. But, anyway, we went to the opera, and we went to this fifth balcony we sat in. We could hear all right and so forth, but the seats, I recall, were very, very small and right up against you. And I remember sitting there with the seat in front of me, the fellow, a big, fat fellow, leaning against it and bumping my knees all the time, but I still enjoyed the opera.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:05:42
[Frank Gannon]

When you moved back to Whittier as a young lawyer, what did you do for transportation?

Day 1, Tape 4
01:05:47
[Richard Nixon]

Well, before I get into that, I got to tell you one experience that we had in New York -- we got ripped off. We -- we were country boys, and apparently it showed, because one day the -- we were getting into our car, and a panel truck, unmarked, pulled up right beside us, and a guy came up, very breathless, with us, and he had a big cardboard package in it. And he came up to me and said, "Listen. Listen. I'm--I'm a delivery man for" -- one of the big stores that he named, I don't know whether it was Saks or something like that. And he said, "I just am wonderfu -- something has happened is that they double-ordered on one thing, and I have an extra fur here, which I don't have to account for."And he said, "Would you like to buy it?" He says, "I'll sell it to you for a hundred dollars." And we said, "We don't have a hundred dollars." Then he began coming down, seventy-five dollars, sixty dollars, and so forth. At that time two of us were standing by the car, and one of them -- one of the other fellows had gone in to buy something at a drugstore. And he came walking up, and this guy began to shake, and he -- "Who's that fella? Who's that fella?" He was scared. I didn't still get the message. Bill Perdue did, however, because he was a pretty cynical fellow, and Bill said, "I don't think I'd get this." But the guy finally came down to fifteen dollars, and we took it. It was a big fox fur piece with artificially colored black. And it wasn't any good. We took it home, gave it to my mother, and she, being the good sport that she was, wore it a few times, but she never threw it away. I remember, even after she died, it was still in her closet, just as we had bought it that many years ago. Another thing I remembered in New York was the automat. My, they were good. You could get baked beans there for ten cents. They were terrific. And the -- you -- people could live in New York very well in that period with very little. At least that was the feeling. New York is -- of course, it was a very cold city in many ways. The people didn't -- they pushed and shoved and wherever you were and so forth and so on, but while it was cold and relentless, it also had sort of a -- a -- a magnetic attraction, at least to me, and I wanted to come back. I wasn't sure when, but I thought someday I would like to come back and even live there.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:08:31
[Frank Gannon]

When you came back to Whittier, what -- you had to get a car, or you had to get around. What did you do?

Day 1, Tape 4
01:08:39
[Richard Nixon]

Well, at that time, my old friend, Clint Harris, who was on the football team at Whittier, had the Oldsmobile dealership in Whittier. So we bought an Olds, and in those days, in order to save money, you'd go back to the plant, Lansing, Michigan, in this case, pick up the car and drive it across, because you could make -- with gasoline being as cheap as it was, you could save money by buying it at the plant rather than having -- paying the railroad fare that it would take to ship the car by rail to California. So I took my younger brother Eddie back there, and we picked up the car and brought it back.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:09:20
[Frank Gannon]

Do -- you told me once about the -- that when you were courting Mrs. Nixon, you went -- your -- your loyalties were sorely tested because you took her to the USC-Duke game. Do you remember that?

Day 1, Tape 4
01:09:36
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, I do remember it very well. She had a -- she had been a graduate of USC, and both of her brothers had played football, and so she understood the game, and she liked it almost as much as I did, not quite, but almost. I, of course, have been a football nut all my life. I think anybody who doesn't play a game well probably likes it the better for that reason. So we went to the Rose Bowl. I remember we took a picnic lunch and ate it in the parking lot before going in, and we had good seats because I was a member of the Duke alumni association and so forth. It was a great game. Duke came into the game undefeated, untied and unscored upon, and Duke had a three-point lead going into the last three minutes of the game. And in those last three minutes, Howard Jones, the USC coach, a great coach -- Wallace Wade was the coach at Duke -- had a third-string quarterback by the name of Doyle Nave. And he came in and threw four straight passes to Al Krueger, whose name was "Antelope Al" Krueger, because he came from the Antelope Valley, and, incidentally, he ran like an antelope, too. And he completed all four passes, and they scored and kicked the extra point. And so Southern Cal spoiled the un -- the perfect record, won the game seven to three. But I think perhaps because she was sorry for him may have -- one of the reasons it tipped the scales in my favor when she decided to say yes.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:11:06
[Frank Gannon]

Didn't you, on your way back to Washington when you took the job at OPA, didn't you stop in South Bend and --

Day 1, Tape 4
01:11:11
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, we certainly did.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:11:11
[Frank Gannon]

-- go to Notre Dame?

Day 1, Tape 4
01:11:13
[Richard Nixon]

We -- as a matter of fact, we stopped at South Bend. I think that was the year -- no -- yes, we stopped at South Bend -- let me think if I've got that date correct, if that was the time. Yeah. We stopped at South Bend. We went to the USC-Notre Dame game. USC lost the game. That's the first time I've ever seen a game at South Bend. And let me tell you, I've seen football crowds. I've seen them at Whittier. I've seen them at Duke. I've seen them at Southern Cal. I've seen the great professional games. You have never seen a crowd until you go to Southern Cal. They are really something.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:11:59
[Frank Gannon]

Have you ever had a -- in -- in a secret fantasy life -- the desire to be a sports commentator?

Day 1, Tape 4
01:12:05
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, by all means. Yes, I have -- I have made that very clear.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:12:08
[Frank Gannon]

It's a not very secret fantasy.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:12:09
[Richard Nixon]

I have -- I have made that very clear. Yeah. I would -- I would enjoy being a sports writer, to travel, but -- but not just to write about it, but to travel with the team, you know, and sit in the locker rooms with them, and on the airplane, and talk to them, and find out about them, and try to give them a little lift here and there and so forth, or even a sports announcer. You know, if I had the second life -- as a matter of fact, one of the most tempting things, offers, I ever turned down -- it wasn't an offer, but it might have become that -- was when Del Webb, who was the owner and manag -- and general manager, in effect, of the New York Yankees, after I lost the presidency in 1961, came out to see me in California and asked me if I--if I would allow him to put my name in for the commissioner of baseball. I, of course, was complimented. He knew I was a great baseball fan because I used to go all the time, when I -- every time I could, in Washington, both as congressman, senator and vice president. And, boy, I had -- thought a long time before turning that down. hat must show that I still had politics in mind even in 1961.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:13:15
[Frank Gannon]

If you were a sports commentator, how would you have summarized the last -- the Super Bowl? Last.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:13:24
[Richard Nixon]

Well, it was a - it was an excellent game. The - of course, Riggins justifiably gets the major credit because of his fantastic record-breaking a hundred and sixty-eight yards on the ground against the best defensive team in--in the NFL, but the real heroes of that game were the Hawks, that offensive line. The greatest back in the world can't run unless the offensive line pushes the other people back and opens the holes. And I have often said -- when presenting an a -- an award once to an offensive lineman, I said, "I want to tell you something about you fellows. Offensive linemen are the most underpaid, unpublicized players in football."And they laughed, and they said that's certainly true. I think, however, now a lot of these people, these hotshot owners and so forth, are out reaching for the superstars, the great runners and passers and so forth, after seeing what the Redskins did with Riggins and also protecting [unclear: Sizeman] when he had the made pass, that are going -- that offensive linemen are going to be paid what they ought to be paid. And that is, right at the top of the lineman scale.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:14:43
[Frank Gannon]

Do you remember your first plane ride?

Day 1, Tape 4
01:14:49
[Richard Nixon]

Yes. That was in Ottumwa. I was--

Day 1, Tape 4
01:14:47
[Frank Gannon]

When you --

Day 1, Tape 4
01:14:47
[Richard Nixon]

--twenty-eight at the time.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:14:48
[Frank Gannon]

When you were in the Navy.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:14:49
[Richard Nixon]

That's right, and I was twenty-eight at the time. Jimmy James -- I as the aide -- I was the aide to the executive officer. He was the executive officer, and one day he was going out to -- flying from Ottumwa to Des Moines or some other place to pick up some equipment for our new base. We were just building our base there, and he said, "Have you ever taken a plane ride?" And I said no. He said, "Well, you--you should." And he says, "Come on. Come along." It was a -- it was a two-seater plane. He piloted. I sat in the second seat. I remember I had a heck of a time putting on the safety belt, the straps and so forth and so on, which you had to wear, a harness. But I got it on, and I got in, and I remember what a thrill it was for the plane to rise up there and then float out over the --the cornfields.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:15:38
[Frank Gannon]

Did you ever imagine that you would become the most traveled, air traveled, figure in world history?

Day 1, Tape 4
01:15:42
[Richard Nixon]

Around the world more times than I even choose to remember. And let me say, incidentally, air sickness, just like seasickness and carsickness was a problem for me, not on that trip, but on other occasions. But I got over it, which reminds me, of course, of what Chu -- Churchill said to me about that. I remember Churchill in 1954, we were talking about vacations, and he said that he was going to Marrakesh and -- down in Morocco, one of his favorite places, for vacation. And I asked him how he was going. And he says, "Oh, I'm going to go by boat, by ship." And I said, "Well, you know, even though I've been in the Navy", I said, "I don't like ships too well because I get seasick."And he -- fixed me with a rather stern, fatherly look. He said, "Young man" --I was forty-one at the time -- "as you get older, you'll outgrow it." And he's right. I don't get seasick, airsick, anything else at the present time. I think it's all in the head.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:16:46
[Frank Gannon]

We have a photograph that I think you well recognize.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:16:51
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, I do. As a matter of fact, that's my favorite photograph of Pat. As you can see, she was then, and she is now, a very beautiful woman. I -- when I got out there to the South Pacific -- you know, they didn't let you take much with you, and I had to take a few things in my -- my un -- my uniform and other things in my bag. And I found that I didn't have a photograph of hers, and several of the other fellows had photographs of their wives or girlfriends. And if the wife and the girlfriend was the same person, they had one photograph. But, in any event, so I sent -- I wrote her, and I said, "Have a photograph taken." And that was taken in San Francisco. It's the best photograph ever made of her, in my opinion, and she sent it to me. At that time, incidentally, she was helping to build up the nest egg, which, along with my poker winnings and what I saved during the service, made it possible for me to run for Congress. She was working as an assistant to one of the executives of OPA in San Francisco as an economist.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:17:53
[Frank Gannon]

Were you lonely in the Pacific?

Day 1, Tape 4
01:17:56
[Richard Nixon]

Uh -- not really. I got along well with the other people. We'd talk to them. We'd talk at night, for example, and I read a lot. Whatever we could find, I read. I didn't have as -- any occasion when I was just homesick. Sure, you miss the family and so forth and so on, but I was not lonely.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:18:19
[Frank Gannon]

You've described --

Day 1, Tape 4
01:18:20
[Richard Nixon]

And particularly not lonely, as I had more to do. When I was first in Nouméa for two or three months and so forth, it was a little harder then. In fact, the most difficult thing in wartime is to be in a rear area. The boredom is unbelievable. That's why -- one of the reasons, not because you're brave -- nobody's really -- if he says he wants to be up where the action is so he can get shot at, he's -- he's either stupid or lying. But you want to be where the action is because you're bored where it isn't. And once you got up the line, and I was the officer in charge of -- of these various detachments, I had so much to do that I didn't have a little time to get bored -- have any time to get bored.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:19:04
[Frank Gannon]

In your memoirs, you describe a really searing experience of a bomber that came in from Rabaul.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:19:12
[Richard Nixon]

Yes. As I pointed out, while I was in battle areas, on Bougainville, for example, Vella, occasionally -- they dropped one or two there. Green Island, however, was expected to be a major battle area, but the Japanese, except for a few snipers, had been driven off or had evacuated before we got there. But [unclear: Ribal], ninety miles away, was still Japanese-occupied, and it was heavily bombed by the Pacific air force there, by [unclear: B-29s]. The airstrip had not yet been finished. See, we -- I came in to Green by a [unclear: PBY] flying boat before the airstrip was finished and proceeded to set up our S.C.A.T. operation, which was the operation for the [unclear: DC-3s] which would come in as soon as the airstrip was finished. So that's how I got to know the Seabees so well. And there was a -- there was a big bulldozer on the airstrip at the end at the time that this incident occurred. A B-29 had its undercarriage shot off. It, just before dusk, came in for a landing on this airstrip. It couldn't get back to wherever they had taken off from in order to bomb [unclear: Ribal]. And I remember they made a belly landing, and it skidded along, and we all clapped when they made the landing. And then the plane swerved and ran head-on into the bulldozer, went up in flames. I remember we rushed over. I had a marvelous corpsman, an Indian boy, who went right in through the flames and pulled out a couple, and I think a couple were saved. I got one out, and I -- I can remember his face to this day. He was so young, and then I looked at his hand, and there was a wedding ring on it, just a single band. And I thought that -- then I was glad I wasn't the commanding officer that had to write his wife.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:21:20
[Frank Gannon]

You -- you came back in 1944, I think, in August of ' 44.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:21:29
[Richard Nixon]

That's correct.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:21:30
[Frank Gannon]

Did you -- did you go direct to Los Angeles, or --

Day 1, Tape 4
01:21:33
[Richard Nixon]

No, San Diego. San Diego was where we went in order to take the shots and everything you're supposed to do to -- I guess to be debugged or whatever they did do then. And Pat came down. She flew down from San Francisco, and I vividly remember the time that she came off the plane. It was a [unclear: DC-3], I think, United Airlines, and she was wearing a red dress, which is my favorite color, incidentally, for her, and I was standing over behind the fence, and I remember she ran toward the fence, and, frankly, I got through the gate some way and ran to her. And that was one of the few times when we weren't concerned about showing a little public affection. We usually never did before -- or after.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:22:19
[Frank Gannon]

From there, I think you--you went to Alameda.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:22:23
[Richard Nixon]

We were -- we were at Fleet Air Wing --

Day 1, Tape 4
01:22:23
[Frank Gannon]

One of your -- less favorite --

Day 1, Tape 4
01:22:25
[Richard Nixon]

-- Fleet Air Wing Eight --

Day 1, Tape 4
01:22:26
[Frank Gannon]

-- assignments.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:22:27
[Richard Nixon]

-- where my job was -- I -- I was called the First Lieutenant, so to speak, which meant that really I was the -- the head janitor. By that, I mean that I was in charge of keeping the place clean, you know, having the -- the men that kept the -- the place clean and shaped up and so forth and so on. And we had a very strict commanding officer. He was a fine man, but he was strict. And on inspections, he just gave us the devil. Fortunately, I had a chief, chief who was a real outspoken, tough guy -- he'd been in the Navy for twenty years, and the only reason he was at Fleet Air Wing Eight is that he was stationed on a carrier in the South Pacific, and the carrier was hit by a kamikaze, and he was blown into the air and landed on his feet and had flat feet. And so they sent him back, and here he was, and he didn't like it being there, but he did his job. Well, one of the things that the commanding officer had a fetish about was clean toilet bowls, and the toilet bowls usually were yellow. It was -- the water was that bad, but there are perhaps other reasons toilet bowls become yellow, I must admit. And three times we got a -- a -- a minus mark because our -- everything else was clean but our toilet bowls. The commanding officer said, "They just aren't clean enough." I said, "Chief, we've got to do something about it." He said, "Lieutenant, I'll take care of it."The next month the commanding officer came through. The bowls were glistening white, and I said," Chief, what'd you do?" He said, "Well", he said, "the pipes down below are going to be eaten out, but those bowls are clean. I just loaded them full of lye."

Day 1, Tape 4
01:24:21
[Frank Gannon]

When -- from there, you went east and did contract -- Navy term -- Navy contract termination work, terminating war contracts after the end of the war. And that was the point at which you became interested in politics or had the first opening to get into politics.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:24:42
[Richard Nixon]

Well, it was the first opening, true, and also it was the -- an opportunity that came to us. I wasn't thinking consciously that after we were c -- see, when we came east to be in contract terminations, we were at first stationed in Washington briefly, then in Philadelphia for a couple of months, and then in New York for four months, and then back at Middle River, Maryland, where -- where we were settling contracts for the [unclear: Bud] --not for the [unclear: Bud] in that case, [unclear: Bud] was in Philadelphia, but for the Martin Mars, the flying boat, which, of course, had been terminated. And when -- it was when we were in Middle River, Maryland, that I received a letter from Herman Perry, who had gone to college with my mother and who was the head of the Bank of America and had known me when I was -- had been a young lawyer in Whittier, and who was one of those who had suggested that, before I decided to come east, that I might be a -- be the favored candidate for the California State Assembly. In fact, it was really offered to me, and I made the decision to come east rather than going up to Sacramento. Of course, it was an easy seat. We would have kept it when Gerald Kepple, who was the assemblyman, was appointed to judge. But, anyway, I got this letter from Herman Perry, and that changed my life.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:26:11
[Frank Gannon]

I think we've come to the --

Day 1, Tape 4
01:26:12
[Richard Nixon]

Yeah.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:26:12
[Frank Gannon]

-- end of our morning session.

Day 1, Tape 4
01:26:18
[Richard Nixon]

Did we run out?

Day 1, Tape 4
01:26:18
[Frank Gannon]

(Nods.)

Day 1, Tape 4
01:26:19
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, boy.

[Action note: Screen goes black.]

Day one, Tape five of six, LINE FEED #5, 2-9-83, ETI Reel #5
Feb. 9, 1983

Day 1, Tape 5
00:01:00
[Frank Gannon]

-- taken a little better care of.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:01:02
[Richard Nixon]

And [unclear: Willis Cove] and it's near this?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:01:05
[Frank Gannon]

Yes, you'll -- you'll see it if you look off. It's called Anguilla because it means eel, and it's shaped like an eel.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:01:10
[Richard Nixon]

Well, I'll tell you, there's nothing primitive about this place.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:01:11
[Frank Gannon]

No.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:01:12
[Richard Nixon]

It's one of the most ex -- Los Hermanos is one of the most expensive places in the world, not just the U.S. And it's terrifically good.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:01:22
[Frank Gannon]

Let's start with -- let's start with the -- the letter from Herman Perry again. Then -- then the two a.m. phone call and Tricia's -- do you mind talking about Tricia's being born, and the minks next door?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:01:37
[Richard Nixon]

Yeah. We don't want to go too long. That's fine if you think it's good.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:01:40
[Frank Gannon]

And then -- and then we're into the ' 46 campaign.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:01:41
[Richard Nixon]

[Action note: Screen goes black.]

If it's -- if it's good.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:01:42
[Frank Gannon]

Then that's the last --

Day 1, Tape 5
00:01:43
[Richard Nixon]

Yeah.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:01:44
[Offscreen voice]

Ten seconds.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:01:45
[Frank Gannon]

I think it's --

[Action note: Sound ends.]

[Action note: Picture returns without sound.]

Day 1, Tape 5
00:02:09
[Frank Gannon]

You've said that it was a letter that brought you into politics. Is that true?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:02:15
[Richard Nixon]

A letter from Herman Perry, who was in college with my mother at Whittier College, who was then the head of the Bank of America branch in Whittier, one of the town fathers there, one of those who urged me to run for the state assembly before I came east to go with the OPA [Office of Price Administration].

Day 1, Tape 5
00:02:37
[Frank Gannon]

In 1941? Before the war?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:02:38
[Richard Nixon]

Before the war, in 1941. What had happened there was that Gerald Kepple, the assemblyman, was decided -- had decided not to run because he was going to be appointed to a judgeship, and they looked around, and they decided that, as a young, coming fellow who was very active in community affairs, that I might be a good candidate. It was -- it was quite an honor to be asked.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:03:01
[Frank Gannon]

And you said yes?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:03:04
[Richard Nixon]

No, I said that I'd like to think about it, and then I opted to answer the other letter that I'd received with -- from Tom Emerson with regard with going to the AP -- OPA.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:03:17
[Frank Gannon]

I'm sorry. I meant that you said yes to the --

Day 1, Tape 5
00:03:19
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, I'm sorry.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:03:19
[Frank Gannon]

-- to the -- to the later Perry letter.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:03:21
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yes. With the Perry letter, yes. I called on the phone, as I recall, and he, of course, made it very clear that he didn't have the nomination to offer, that they had a committee, and that you'd have to fly out there to appear before the committee. And then I got to work and wrote letters and all that sort of thing, setting up the stage for going before the committee. One of the real problems I had was finding a way to get out there. I was settling these contracts with not only the Martin Aircraft Company, but also with Engineering Research Company, and I was right in the middle of negotiations, and airplane tickets were hard to come by, and I remember the controller of E.R.C.O. [Engineering and Research Corporation], [unclear: Bill Carroll] was his name, said that he'd go down, pick up a ticket for me, and he went down to the airport, picked up a ticket on one of the airlines to go to California. It was American Airlines, as a matter of fact, and then he billed me from his credit card when he got the bill. Years later, during the famous fund crisis, one of my critics pointed out that I had borrowed money from a contractor in order to run for Congress. And that's what that's all about.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:04:45
[Frank Gannon]

Was this -- was the group that Perry represented the Republican organization?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:04:50
[Richard Nixon]

No. They were all Republicans, but this was a -- a Committee of 100, as they called them, citizens getting together who wanted to find a candidate who could beat Jerry Voorhis.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:05:01
[Frank Gannon]

Who was the incumbent.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:05:02
[Richard Nixon]

Jerry Voorhis was the incumbent, had been the incumbent for ten years. He had just slaughtered every Republican candidate up to that time, and everyone up to that time had been ultra-conservative. Now, Perry was a conservative, but he was also a realist. And the other people in this committee, they weren't big businessmen. Basically, they were insurance people, real estate people, one was an auto dealer, et cetera, et cetera, but they were people that knew that you had to have a progressive stance in order to beat Jerry Voorhis even in that district, which was more conservative than Voorhis was. And so, consequently, a group of a hundred representing the various cities in the district sort of put themselves together, a -- and then they proceeded to interview candidates. Of course, one of the apocryphal stories out of that campaign was that this committee put an ad in the paper asking if people wanted to run for Congress and to apply to the committee. There was never any ad. There was a news story to the effect that they were going to interview candidates, and finally six finally showed up in Whittier, appearing before that committee at the William Penn Hotel the night I did, the first night. And it was after that first night that the decision was made, at least I learned it was made, in my favor.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:06:16
[Frank Gannon]

How did you hear?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:06:16
[Offscreen voice]

Excuse me, gentlemen. I have to inter-interrupt for one second. [inaudible]

Day 1, Tape 5
00:06:46
[Offscreen voice]

[inaudible] Keep rolling tape.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:06:55
[Offscreen voice]

We'll come back to you, Frank, on camera one.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:06:57
[Frank Gannon]

Right.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:07:13
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, that's Herman, all right. I don't recognize some of the others.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:07:18
[Frank Gannon]

Sorry? That's the right one.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:07:18
[Offscreen voice]

Okay.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:07:25
[Richard Nixon]

Jesus, what memories.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:07:27
[Frank Gannon]

I'm going to ask you how you got the --

[Action note: Screen goes black.]

[Action note: Picture returns without sound.]

Day 1, Tape 5
00:07:39
[Frank Gannon]

How did you find out the result of the committee's deliberations?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:07:43
[Richard Nixon]

I -- When I went out and appeared before the committee, I made a ten-minute speech, as did the other six candidates, and I was in my uniform, of course, and I did rather well, I -- apparently.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:07:54
[Frank Gannon]

You made the speech --

Day 1, Tape 5
00:07:54
[Richard Nixon]

I was the last speaker.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:07:55
[Frank Gannon]

You made the speech in -- in uniform?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:07:56
[Richard Nixon]

Yes. Oh, yes. I didn't have a suit, not at that time, and I flew back to Middle River, and to continue with my work with the Navy, and late at night I had a call from a man that I had met out there, Roy Day, who was the Pomona representative on the ticket -- on that committee. And he shouted on the phone. He said, "Dick! The nomination is yours! The committee has voted for you", so much to so many. I remember it was about three to one. Well, of course, I was very excited, but I hadn't heard from Herman Perry. He was the one that didn't call me. About ten minutes later, Herman Perry called, and he told me the same thing. And, incidentally, I practiced then a lesson I learned from my mother many, many years before. I remember once she said that George Washington once said that a gentleman has never heard a joke. And so when Herman told me, it was news. And I have learned that with politics all my life. Somebody will say, "You have won this or that the other thing", and when he thinks he's telling you for the first time, he is, and you must let him think he is.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:09:08
[Frank Gannon]

We have a photograph of some of your early supporters, some of the members of the Committee of 100 in 1946.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:09:15
[Richard Nixon]

And that's Herman Perry right in the middle.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:09:06
[Frank Gannon]

That's the man who brought Richard Nixon into politics.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:09:19
[Richard Nixon]

He certainly is. He was a marvelous man. He didn't live until I became president, but his son did, Hubert, and he was very active in all my campaigns.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:09:30
[Frank Gannon]

Do you recognize any of the other --

Day 1, Tape 5
00:09:32
[Richard Nixon]

I can't from -- from here. Let's see.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:09:38
[Frank Gannon]

You recognize him.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:09:39
[Richard Nixon]

That one I can pick out, but I must say [inaudible].

Day 1, Tape 5
00:09:43
[Frank Gannon]

He looks like a kid.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:09:45
[Richard Nixon]

Well, he was. Thirty-two at the time. No, I can't remember the others. I can't recall them. There's Chief Newman. I recognize him in the back row.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:09:59
[Frank Gannon]

That was your football coach.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:10:00
[Richard Nixon]

And there's [unclear: Tom Buley] on his right. Chief, you -- is, of course, the swarthy-complected -- my football coach.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:10:07
[Frank Gannon]

Did he play an active part in campaigning for you?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:10:09
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yes. He wasn't political, but, on the other hand, the word got around, everybody that played at Whittier College-- "Well, Dick's the one", and so forth and so on. And I had a strong group of supporters there, not only in that campaign, but in the senate campaign, the vice presidential campaign, the presidential campaigns, from then on.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:10:27
[Frank Gannon]

Was Mrs. Nixon enthusiastic about the possibility of going to Congress?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:10:31
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, yes, very much. She was very much for it. She knew that my interests were in that direction. She liked adventure. She thought that it was very important to live an exciting life, and, frankly, going to Congress was -- would be exciting, she thought.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:10:50
[Frank Gannon]

Wasn't -- Tricia was born just about the time of the campaign?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:10:52
[Richard Nixon]

Tricia was born in February of the next year, and, incidentally, it was an occasion that I don't like to be reminded of. The doctor had told me and her that Tricia would be born in about two days -- two or three days. And actually first babies usually are born late, you know. In this case, she was born a bit early. And I was over in Los Angeles, meeting with a group of my political supporters at the University Club in Los Angeles, when the telephone rang and she said, "You're the father of a baby girl". So I rushed home, but I wasn't there when Tricia was born.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:11:34
[Frank Gannon]

Mrs. Nixon, I think, helped you in the campaign after --

Day 1, Tape 5
00:11:38
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, did she help. She -- we -- we had very little money. You see, we weren't the organization candidate. Not that the organization was against us. They didn't have any other candidate, but this was before the nomination, and she worked in the office. She did envelopes and passed out literature and all that sort of thing. She had a very interesting experience, as a matter of fact. We had limited funds and the -- at one time somebody came in and took a whole lot of our -- of our campaign literature out, and then came in and took out some more. We found out that it was just being thrown in the wastebasket. In other words, it was just one of the opposition playing a prank. So she watched very closely. After that, she let them have -- take only one at a time.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:12:27
[Frank Gannon]

Was Voorhis a good congressman?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:12:30
[Richard Nixon]

I thought that he was. He was a very sincere congressman, and, incidentally, he was very effective. After Tricia was born, I remember that he sent us a baby book, which was common in those days. I wrote him a little note thanking him for it. Also, I remember seeing him on the House floor. The only time prior to the time of my going to Washington as a congressman that I saw the House in session was when I graduated from Duke. My grandmother came back with my mother and father and two brothers in a Chevrolet car, and six of us went in that car up to Washington. I had to get a ticket to get in to see the House of Representatives. And we got it from Jerry Voorhis' office, because he was the congressman of the Twelfth Congressional District, in which Whittier was located. I remember we got there late in the afternoon , and there were only four on the floor, which was a shock and a disappointment. I was to learn later that it was quite common at the end of a day and the speaker on that occasion speaking was John Stephen McGroarty, who was sort of a halfway poet and so forth, who was a liberal congressman from California, a Democrat, who was for the Townsend Plan. Incidentally, my old man was for the Townsend Plan, too, because he believed that it was very important to do something about older people in their retired years. One of the few listening was a young congressman -- to Jerry Voorhis -- that I had met in Jack Betit's barn just three -- two years before that. And I remember so well, after John Stephen McGroarty finished his speech, and the speaker said, "The House will now stand in recess until twelve o'clock tomorrow", that Voorhis gathered up a whole lot of papers that he was working on all the way -- all the time, stayed there to hear his colleague finish his speech, and he went walking out of the room, the chamber, very, very speedily. And I sort of thought, "Well, there is a very conscientious man". You know, Voorhis was a very decent man. His problem was he wasn't effective, and his political problem was he was a liberal, ultra-liberal as a matter of fact, in a relatively conservative district. And that was the fundamental reason why in 1946 he lost. There were other reasons, but that was the main one.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:14:46
[Frank Gannon]

How did you beat him?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:14:46
[Richard Nixon]

Well, first, in all fairness to him, the tide was running in our favor. It's very possible that -- that I would have won if I hadn't campaigned at all, although I doubt it because he was very good at constituent relations, not only baby books to me, but agriculture books to the farmers and all that sort of thing and so forth and so on. He handled his mail very well. He always answered it. He was good to his constituents, but I think what happened that really gave me the lift was that after the primary, when He was substantially ahead of me -- since we were both filing on both tickets, we could tell who was ahead -- that after that, I challenged him to debate. The way it came about is that we were invited to a joint appearance before one group, and then I -- after that debate, which was in south Pasadena, the League of Women Voters, I challenged him to more. We had three more. They drew increasingly great crowds. And in debate, first, it created interest in the campaign. Second, it made me known, and up to that point he was more -- better known than I was. He should never have accepted the challenge, incidentally, from a political standpoint, but he was good sport enough to do it. And, third, it enabled me to point up what were our real differences, which were philosophical. He was pro-labor in a district which was not anti-labor but thought that the labor laws, as I did, had to be modified to an extent to avoid some of the very terrible strikes that came immediately after the war. He was -- he had been a socialist years before, and that was reflected in his thinking. He was for more and more government enterprise, and I was more for private enterprise. I think, however, the advantage I had over who had previously run against Voorhis was that I was not -- did not portray myself and did not believe that I held a point of view which was reactionary. I think I was in the mold of my father. I was an activist. I was progressive, conservative, but with the belief that government had to act where people could not act for themselves. And I think that gave him not as easy a target to shoot at had I just been a hard right, frankly dull conservative. Whatever people said about me, I was not dull. And I've often said, when people say, "Well, what does a candidate have to have"? Let me say, don't be wrong on an issue if you can avoid it, but there's one thing worse than being wrong on an issue, and that is to be dull.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:17:33
[Frank Gannon]

Didn't the -- who's the dullest man in politics? Dullest man who succeeded in politics?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:17:45
[Richard Nixon]

I don't think I'm able to -- to answer that question. The dullest man who could succeed in politics, I don't think I have a good answer for that.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:17:55
[Frank Gannon]

Who's the most exciting man in these terms?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:17:59
[Richard Nixon]

Today, you mean, or in times past?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:18:00
[Frank Gannon]

Oh, or in your -- in your experience.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:18:04
[Richard Nixon]

Well, Franklin Roosevelt was exciting. Dewey tended to be dull, not as -- when he ran for governor but when he ran for president. Taft did not excite people, except his own partisans. Eisenhower was exciting, the mystique, the flashing blue eyes, that great smile and so forth. He was exciting. His ideas were not particularly exciting. Kennedy was exciting because he was able to run against things as they were, and for the New Frontier, and a lot of other things, of course, and that sort of thing. Johnson was not dull. Goldwater was not dull. In fact, Goldwater went to the other extreme. He was so reckless and so unpredictable and so -- so brutally honest sometimes that he practically killed himself. I mean, my goodness, he goes down to the Tennessee Valley, and they say, "What do you want to do about the TVA [Tennessee Valley Authority]?" and he says, "Sell it". He goes down to appear in St. Petersburg before a group of senior citizens. "What are you going to do with Social Security"? He says, "Make it voluntary". He was asked about what should be done about dealing with the Russians"? he said, "Well, when they get out of line, we should just lob one into the men's room at the Kremlin". And when people said, "What are you going to do about the situation in Europe"? He said, "We ought to give our field commanders in Europe the right on their own, if they feel they need to, to use nuclear weapons without having to get approval by the president of the United States". Now that's what -- things that he believed, but it was devastating, because it made him appear to be reckless and therefore dangerous, and Johnson, a master politician, played that up to the hilt.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:19:53
[Frank Gannon]

The -- the 1946 race was, I think, listed by the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee as the second longest shot of all the congressional races in the country. Did you have the sense at the time that it was an impossible -- a mission impossible?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:20:11
[Richard Nixon]

Well, I did, except for the fact that Herman Perry and my other good friends said, "Look, Dick, this district is not a Voorhis district, but the problem is we just haven't had good enough candidates. If you're a good enough candidate and if you work hard enough, you can beat him". And so that's what happened.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:20:30
[Frank Gannon]

How did you get funding?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:20:33
[Richard Nixon]

Money was one of the hardest things. The biggest contribution, you know, in these days of these hundred-thousand-dollar dinners and million-dollar dinners and million-dollar campaigns even for the House, the biggest contribution we had was five hundred dollars in that campaign. Our total -- the total we expended in both the primary and the final was thirty-seven thousand dollars. It proved to be enough, because in those days we didn't have any television. Very little radio was used because that was a district which was too broad. You couldn't -- it -- radio would cost you too much if you had to emanate out of L.A. to cover the Twelfth District. So, consequently, it didn't cost as much as it did. Travel? I just traveled in my own car. Mainly you had literature. As a matter of fact, one of the most effective things we had in that California, I remember Harrison McCall, my campaign manager, came in one day, and in those days you used to give out fingernail files and blotters and other things, little gimmicks, you know, to voters, and -- and he said, "I've got something new here", and he showed me a thimble. He said, "Why don't we give these out"? He says, "I can get five hundred of them". And so I -- we wrote on there, "Put the needle in the P.A.C. [Political Action Committee] Vote for Nixon". And it cost us five hundred dollars. I thought it was a rather foolish expense. It was the best expense we ever made. It became the symbol of that campaign, and, later on, the symbol in the campaign we used in 1950. But I -- I must say that I had there one of the most memorable, and, I would hope, forgettable con -- contacts, or incidents, of all. Running in another district, also considered to be relatively hopeless, was Don Jackson, over in the Sixteenth District around Santa Monica. The -- the -- this is a district, for example, in the Assembly, that is represented by HaydenJane Fonda's husband, in the state assembly, California. But, in any event, Jackson, whom I had met when Charlie Halleck came out to address some of the new candidates in southern California, was a Marine veteran and a very much man of the world, et cetera. He liked the girls, and they liked him. In any event, Jackson called me one day, and he said, "Dick", he said, "you got money problems. I got money problems. I've just had a very interesting letter from one of my constituents". He says, "He's got a scheme. He's been following both you and me, and he believes that we're the young people of the future, and he's got a scheme, he says, where he can finance our whole campaign". I said, "Well, I don't know". He said, "But this is in a very good district, a very good area. He must have the dough". So I drove over one day. Jackson and I went to call on this fellow about six o'clock at night, and I remember it was over in Beverly Hills, a gated lot, perhaps a big house on about two acres. We went in. It sort of reminded me of the house in "Sunset Boulevard", rather run-down.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:23:45
[Frank Gannon]

The film?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:23:46
[Richard Nixon]

Yes, the film "Sunset Boulevard". It was rather run-down. It was a -- it looked like another era. We knocked on the door. A butler came to the door, bowed, let us in. It had that musty smell and feel of great wealth that had sort of fallen on bad days. And yet we met the man. He was wearing, I remember, a very, very handsome smoking jacket. He was very proper. He shook our hand when we came in, took us into a big library, I remember there were books on all sides, very impressive, and we sat in front of an open fire, and then he began to tell us how he was going to finance our campaigns. Unfortunately, we found within a few minutes he was a funny-money man. He thought that if you just printed enough money, that that -- and distributed it to enough people, that that would mean that the economy would get going, and things would be settled from then on out. Jerry Voorhis, incidentally, had written a book not as exaggerated as that, and he was also called a funny-money man, which I used to point out in our debates on occasion. If I didn't, the questioners would, my conservative questioners. But, in any event, he went on and on about this scheme, and he says, "You know, if you two fellows will push this", he says, "I am sure the word will get around and others like myself", et cetera, "will make contributions to your campaign". Just as he was going into this and getting more and more enthusiastic, and I was stealing a look at Jackson and Jackson at me, wondering how we were going to get out of there, in walked the butler. He had a .45 pistol. He pointed it at this guy, and he said to me, and he turned to us, he says, "Young fellows, do you know who this fellow is? Don't you have a thing to do with the son-of-a-bitch. He's no good. He's murdered two wives already". And he waved the pistol around, and in our direction, too, and we began to feel a little bit -- and this fellow said, "George, quiet down now, quiet down now". He said, "Oh, no, no. You know what you did. You poisoned the first one, and the second one, you made her take an enema, and you kept the enema going until it burst her -- her belly". And, my God, we wondered what this was all about -- says, "George, don't do this."And so, finally, Jackson and I sort of gradually eased up, keeping our eye on him, backing out of the room. And we said, "We -- maybe we'll see you another time. We should talk". We got out of the room. We got out of the door, and we were both perspiring on a very cool evening, and Jackson said, "I think we need a drink". And I said, "Fine". I says, "Let's go to your place". He says, "Oh, no. Let's go to a bar". I said, "To a bar"? I said, "I wouldn't think of going to a bar during a campaign, not in the Twelfth District". He says, "Well, in the Sixteenth District, we campaign in bars". So we went to the closest bar, and we both had a double Scotch.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:26:39
[Frank Gannon]

Did -- you mentioned the thimbles. "Put a needle in the P.A.C." That raises one of the most --

Day 1, Tape 5
00:26:46
[Richard Nixon]

Controversial issues.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:26:47
[Frank Gannon]

-- controversial issues of that campaign and of your subsequent career, the political action committee, the P.A.C. [Political Action Committee] What -- what was it?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:26:55
[Richard Nixon]

Basically, here was the problem. Jerry Voorhis, in his previous campaigns, always had the support of organized labor. Organized labor -- the CIO [Congress of Industrial Organizations], had a political action committee, but in this campaign, when he knew he was going to have formidable opposition, the word got -- he got the word to these people, even though he had a 100 percent pro-labor voting record, that he -- it wouldn't be helpful to have their endorsement.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:27:25
[Frank Gannon]

What did the political action committee do?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:27:28
[Richard Nixon]

So, the seat -- oh, the -- oh, handed out money to candidates and prepa--provided precinct workers for them. Now, that was not particularly a labor district, but the dough was very, very important and so forth. Any event, when the -- the C.I.O. - P.A.C. therefore did not endorse him -- didn't oppose him, didn't endorse me, you can be sure, but the National Citizens Political Action Committee, which was broader than labor, and in which, as it later was revealed, there were so many fellow travelers and some even Communists involved in that, it did endorse him, and the word got out that he was endorsed, and it even appeared in the "Communist Daily World" in Los Angeles that he had been endorsed by the National Citizens Political Action Committee. So, in our first debate, Voorhis said that I was misrepresenting him when I said he was endorsed -- I said he was endorsed by the P.A.C. [Political Action Committee] Then I took this flyer that had been sent out by the National Citizens Pala -- Political Action Committee, and I took it over and showed it to him and then showed it to the audience, and I said, "What about that, Congressman"? And he got up and said, "But this is the National Citizens P.A.C.[Political Action Committee] This is a different one from the C.I.O. [Congress of Industrial Organizations] P.A.C. [Political Action Committee]", but they had in most cases the same officers. They had the same goals, and the point was they were both on the liberal side, and I had made the point, and he had made it by not being able to deny he was endorsed by that one, although he later asked them to withdraw their endorsement, too, but it was too late.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:29:05
[Frank Gannon]

How important was that issue to the outcome of that campaign?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:29:10
[Richard Nixon]

As it turned out, not too important, because Voorhis' record on labor, Voorhis' record on social spending and everything else was on the left, and my -- our views were just different. He was a very honest liberal on the left, and I was, frankly, a very honest conservative, I would say a fairly progressive one, on the right. And that was the clash. And another thing, I think the cue -- key issue, which Voorhis very honestly pointed out in his book written after the campaign, the key issue was this. The Republican campaign slogan nationwide that year was, "Had enough". "Had enough of controls, had enough of rationing", and all that sort of thing, and Voorhis had to defend those controls, the Truman administration and what had been imposed. I could attack. People wanted a change. They had had enough. That was the real reason that Voorhis lost, that I won, and the real reason I think that Jackson won in the Sixteenth, and that we had enough wins to have the historic change of over fifty votes in the House, which won both the House and the Senate in 1946.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:30:23
[Frank Gannon]

At what --

Day 1, Tape 5
00:30:24
[Offscreen voice]

Excuse me, Frank, one second. I need to readjust the mike cable. [inaudible] Keep rolling tape.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:30:33
[Frank Gannon]

Do you want to mention the rabbit, the representation for rabbits?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:30:38
[Richard Nixon]

Mm-hmm. Yeah. Effectiveness -- it had to do with effectiveness.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:30:42
[Offscreen voice]

Frank -- [inaudible].

Day 1, Tape 5
00:30:44
[Frank Gannon]

We're coming up to this one --

Day 1, Tape 5
00:30:46
[Offscreen voice]

Okay.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:30:47
[Frank Gannon]

-- shortly.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:30:48
[Offscreen voice]

Okay.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:31:16
[Frank Gannon]

I'll ask you about the debates, and then about the house meetings, and then --

Day 1, Tape 5
00:31:19
[Richard Nixon]

Right.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:31:20
[Frank Gannon]

-- then go to the results, and then go to Herter.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:31:22
[Richard Nixon]

That's right.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:31:22
[Frank Gannon]

Or then go to K --

Day 1, Tape 5
00:31:23
[Richard Nixon]

Yeah.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:31:24
[Frank Gannon]

-- McKeesport.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:31:25
[Offscreen voice]

Excuse me. [inaudible]-- do you again.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:31:27
[Frank Gannon]

Okay.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:31:28
[Offscreen voice]

Okay -- [inaudible] .

[Action note: Taking still photographs of Nixon.]

Could you look up this way for just a second? Great, great.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:31:49
[Frank Gannon]

Okay?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:31:49
[Offscreen voice]

[inaudible] I'll let you know when you're on.

Okay, clear the set. Stand by for--

[Action note: Screen goes black.]

--ten seconds to studio.

[Action note: Picture returns without sound.]

Day 1, Tape 5
00:32:37
[Frank Gannon]

In the debates, didn't you particularly challenge him on the subject of his effectiveness as a congressman for the district?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:32:44
[Richard Nixon]

Well, as a matter of fact, even before the debates, I had studied his record very, very carefully, and I found that, while he'd introduced a great number of bills, even though he was a member of the majority party and had been in Congress ten years, he hadn't gotten many through. In fact, I could find only one, and it was -- and so, consequently, based on that research, which I had done very, very carefully, we got out a postcard. We sent out -- I mailed about twenty-five thousand of those, which said, "Your congressman over the past ten years has introduced over three hundred bills" -- I think that was the number -- "of which only one was passed. That one transferred jurisdiction over rabbits from the -- from the C -- from the Department of Interior to the Department of Agriculture". Well, that had a devastating effect, and so it naturally became a subject in the debate, and the point had to be made by Voorhis and his opponents said that was a misrepresentation of his record. Well, in fact, it was accurate. That was the only public bill that did get passed, and so we were able to quip at times that in order to get representation from the Twelfth District you've got to be a rabbit. Incidentally, that he did that, however, in all honesty, and the reason that it had some effect on the district is that in that period many people out on that district, which was about half rural, at that point were raising rabbits, rabbits to be sold and rabbit skin and furs and so forth and so on. It was quite a drill for a while. And so -- which reminded me, incidentally, that while we didn't have the rabbit problem when -- after Tricia was born, we had a problem with minks because they also tried to raise minks out there. Any -- any way to get a few extra bucks. I remember we had -- we had a tiny little house that we lived in when we were campaigning in that period, right after Tricia was born. And I helped Pat by doing the two o'clock feeding at times. You get up, and Tricia was -- was a -- one that was -- was a very good baby, but once she was awake at two she'd want to stay up the rest of the night. And I'd walk and walk and then, finally, when I thought she was asleep, I'd sort of tiptoe back and slip her down in the crib and then try to sneak back to bed and, and up she would go. Another thing that kept her awake were the minks. Our neighbors next door were raising minks. I think there was a city ordinance against it, but that didn't seem to bother them. And, you know, minks may make a beautiful coat, but minks as animals are among the most repulsive animals. They stink. They eat their young. They squeal, and the squealing used to keep us awake. Anyway, getting back to Voorhis and the rabbits, I would say that he -- this was very effective, and I felt a little sorry for him because I knew he had worked hard. And it isn't a case of 435 members of the House, how many bills did you get through. Maybe you affect legislation in other ways as well, but it was one dramatic way to point out that he wasn't a very influential congressman.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:36:10
[Frank Gannon]

Was it a dirty campaign --

Day 1, Tape 5
00:36:12
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, no.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:36:13
[Frank Gannon]

-- in the sense of being tough and rough?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:36:14
[Richard Nixon]

No. No. No, it was very gentlemanly. As a matter of fact, I remember when our debate took place at Bridges Hall at Pomona College. We had over fifteen hundred, and it's a beautiful auditorium, and that, of course, was his home turf. And I remember that on that occasion, in my concluding remarks during the debate, I said, "You know, this district's been represented over the past ten years by a man who's very sincere, who's very able, and who I am sure has been working and voting in -- for causes that he deeply believes in". And the Voorhis supporters, and there were about as many of his there as mine, cheered a bit and so forth. Afterwards, some of my hardline supporters just ate my tail off. They said, "You shouldn't have said those nice things about him. He didn't say anything nice about you". And I said, "Look. We're in his territory. We're probably going to win more being honest about what a good man he is and then cut him up where he's wrong". So that was the kind of a campaign it was. Voorhis, incidentally, on -- on his part, may I say he was not a vicious man. He was a gentleman, and he defended his record very vigorously, but, on the other hand, he was running against the tide that year. There was no way that he could win. And may I say, in 1946, as far as the Republicans are concerned, we elected a lot of good people in that great Republican tide, but also a lot of good Democrats. I'm not including Voorhis in that at the moment, except that -- because he was representing a district which was different from his views, but a lot of good Democrats went down -- there was nothing they could do -- and we elected a few turkeys who were later defeated, of course, in either '48 or '50.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:38:03
[Frank Gannon]

The story has come down from that campaign, one of the most controversial legacies from it, that just before the el -- election or on the election eve, anonymous -- very late at night, anonymous phone calls were made to Voorhis supporters, and -- with the message just, Ver -- "Jerry Voorhis is a Communist"! and then hanging up, and it's been attributed to your supporters.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:38:27
[Richard Nixon]

Well, first, I would say our supporters had nothing to do with it. I certainly knew nothing about it, would have disapproved if it had happened, but, second, assuming that people aren't going to believe when you say you didn't know about it, let me say, Communism was not the issue in that campaign. There were domestic issues that were involved. Foreign policy, I don't remember being discussed significantly in that came -- that campaign whatever. I think that -- I remember the only time that we really discussed Communism was at the second debate before the American Legion in Whittier. Voorhis was a member of the Committee on Un-American Activities, and the question came up about the Committee, and I remember I talked about the need to have fair procedures, and Voorhis agreed. But otherwise there was no discussion of Communism. Now, there isn't any question, let me say, that the National Citizens Political Action Committee had heavy infiltration by Communists and fellow travelers. Even the objective observers on the left have had to admit that. Voorhis himself, there was never any question about his being a Communist. He had been a socialist, but he certainly -- nobody could make the other charge.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:39:41
[Frank Gannon]

How did he reconcile being a thorough-going liberal with being on the House Un-American Activities Committee?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:39:48
[Richard Nixon]

Well, because they wanted somebody on that committee that would be a counterpoint for the [unclear: Martin Dyes] and some of the nuts on the other side.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:39:57
[Frank Gannon]

What did Communism mean as an issue in American politics at that time in the immediate post-war period?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:40:06
[Richard Nixon]

It -- Communism at that time primarily meant just being on the left. It meant for - it meant Marxism, basically. It meant - it meant all-out socialism. It meant government control of the economy. It did not mean, as it did later, that it was related to control by and supported by a foreign power and a potential enemy, the Soviet Union. That was not the issue in that--those early years, because at that point until Churchill's famous Iron Curtain speech began to stir people up and get them to feel about it, there -- there wasn't that anti-Soviet feeling.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:40:51
[Frank Gannon]

Wasn't it in this campaign that you pioneered the technique of house meetings?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:40:59
[Richard Nixon]

I did. As a matter of fact, I've got to thank Voorhis for that, I think, because Jack Betit had had a meeting in his barn, which was in effect his house, his playroom, so to speak, and just -- and I liked the format. I remember how impressive it was for me to meet a man running for Congress. And it turned out to be an excellent forum for me for two reasons. One, I developed supporters there that have been supporters throughout my political career, as friends as well as supporters. Two, it gave me a chance to see what people really were thinking. From their questions I could tell what was concerning them. And, three, it sharpened me up, sharpened me up for the debates, having to answer questions by very intelligent people. You see, this district was considerably above the average in intelligence. There were four colleges -- there was -- in -- in the district, La Verne, Whittier, and, of course, Pomona, and there were -- it was relatively high income in certain parts, for example, San Marino, South Pasadena, and so it was a pretty good test of a young man who had never been in politics before, thirty-two years of age, to go before those groups and get asked questions about the economy, about the budget and so forth and so on. It was a great education.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:42:15
[Frank Gannon]

We've talked about your sense of privacy and your lack of salesmanic tendencies, temperament. Were you embarrassed to ask people for their votes --

Day 1, Tape 5
00:42:31
[Richard Nixon]

Ah.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:42:31
[Frank Gannon]

-- to sell yourself in that first political context?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:42:34
[Richard Nixon]

Well, I didn't -- I developed a different technique. I did not ask people to vote for me. I asked people to vote for the cause that I believed in, and that is the technique I used throughout my political career. I think, for example, in -- when I ran for reelection or at -- at other times, you will never see a case where I said -- where I in effect say, "Vote for me because of what I can do for you", or something like that. It was in terms -- "I support these views. If you support these views, if you believe this district needs better representation, if you believe in these issues, then I am your man. If not, somebody else is your man". And if you read all my speeches, you'll find that is the theme. When I ran for the House, when I ran for the Senate, when I was campaigning with Eisenhower, when I campaigned for the presidency. I would advise that to other young people, too. It always has turned me off to see somebody come in and stick his chest out and say, "Vote for me for Congress. I'm the best man". It just turns me off.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:43:40
[Frank Gannon]

Did you think you were going to win?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:43:43
[Richard Nixon]

No. I didn't -- I wasn't too hopeful. We did -- there were no polls then, not in that district, at least. I -- I was encouraged by the enthusiasm, however, the enthusiasm of the crowds I was addressing. I was encouraged by the increasing turnouts at the debate. There was enormous interest in the campaign. The last debate that we had in the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse, I recall they had over a thousand outside listening by radio when we were debating inside. And I felt that I had done -- I had held my own, which was all I needed to do against him in that district, and perhaps bested him a bit, although it was very close. It wasn't a case of his getting wiped out. He was very effective.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:44:30
[Frank Gannon]

Was He a good debate -- debater?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:44:31
[Richard Nixon]

Excellent. He's a highly intelligent man. It was a real test for me.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:44:38
[Frank Gannon]

But you did win.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:44:39
[Richard Nixon]

I won tremendously.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:44:39
[Frank Gannon]

What was your first election night like?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:44:41
[Richard Nixon]

I won tremendously. Oh, I remember it very, very well. Roy Day, who was quite a man about town, had invited me to have dinner with him at the "Tail of the Cock Restaurant". That was his favorite. It was over in Los Angeles someplace, I think in Beverly Hills. And so we had dinner early, and he said, "You know, you're not going to get the returns from the Twelfth District till very late, because, you know, you have paper ballots in California, and so you can have district and get home and listen to the rest of them with Pat". So, as we were driving home, he had on the car radio, and all of a sudden on the car radio we heard the reports about the gubernatorial race, where War -- Voorhis -- I mean, where Warren was running off with it, had, as a matter of fact, already run off with it, because of having won both primaries. But Nolan was winning for the Senate, and he was up that year. And then all of a sudden they began to go through the congressional districts. So he tuned up the radio, the volume. "The Twelfth District - Nixon 536, Voorhis 386". And they yelped and almost hit the curb. I said, "I -- I'm afraid that's just from San Marino". Of course, that was our most Republican part of the district. But the trend held, and we won very sis -- decisively, about sixty-four thousand to forty-seven thousand.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:46:07
[Frank Gannon]

Did Voorhis concede it and --

Day 1, Tape 5
00:46:09
[Richard Nixon]

Yes. He conceded. He was not happy about conceding. It's difficult to. In fact, he -- he made a rather -- rather sad speech in a way. He said, "I have given the best ten years of my life to my country, but this district -- my constituents have decided otherwise", and so forth and so on. And I didn't receive a letter from him or a call, but afterwards when I went to Washington, he invited me to come by his office as he was closing it up. And I remember sitting there and talking to him about the problems of the district and so forth. He was a gentleman.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:46:50
[Frank Gannon]

How did it feel to be the new congressman, the new Republican congressman from the Twelfth District at age thirty-two?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:46:58
[Richard Nixon]

Well, as you know, I've won a few, I've lost a few, but you remember the ones you won. I won for the House, won for the Senate, twice for vice president, and twice for president. But, believe me, there's nothing to equal the first time. And being the congressman at thirty-two years of age, and for Pat and for me, I think that was the top, even more so. The only thing next to it, I'd say, would be the presidency in '68. That, in its way -- of course, nothing could be higher than that, but that first win for Congress was the one that left the most lasting, and, I would say, most memorable recollection with us.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:47:37
[Frank Gannon]

How did you celebrate it?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:47:39
[Richard Nixon]

You know what we did? We went around to the various parties that were being held in the district by those that had had house meetings for us. We couldn't go to all, of course, but I remember we went to Alhambra, we went to Pomona, we went all over the district, and we got into the last one at about two o'clock in the morning, and they were still celebrating. But in those cases while -- and at that time, they were all, frankly, having a drink now and then. Even in that district, which was considerably dry insofar as open bars were concerned, people did drink at home. And that was one night when everybody had something.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:48:19
[Frank Gannon]

When you --

Day 1, Tape 5
00:48:28
[Richard Nixon]

We didn't. Excuse me.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:48:22
[Frank Gannon]

When you got to Washington, one of the other members of the freshman class elected in 1946 was John Kennedy of Massachusetts. Did you have any dealings or contact with him, this fellow freshman?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:48:35
[Richard Nixon]

A substantial number, considering the fact that he was a Democrat and I was a Republican. One of the reasons was that we were both put on the Labor Committee, and we had to draw straws to see who had, among the new members of the Congress, who had the seniority. And he drew the last straw on the Democratic side and I drew the last straw on the Republican side. So we were -- and when questioning came -- when we were developing the Taft-Hartley bill or when we were investigating Communism in labor unions and so forth, by the time the questioning came to us, virtually all the good questions had been asked. But we were both pretty sharp, and he would come up with some good questions, and I usually did, and consequently, we'd get together in our offices from time to time and discuss how we could do well the next hearing around. It turned out, incidentally, of course, we differed on that act. He, coming from a heavily pro-labor district, voted against the Taft-Hartley bill and also voted against overriding President Truman's veto. I voted for it. I did not take an extreme position on the Taft-Hartley bill. As a matter of fact, I supported the position of Senator Taft, which buffered down some of the more extreme positions of the Hartley bill. [unclear: George McKinney], who later went to the Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D. C. -- still there -- and I worked very effectively, incidentally, on Section 14B, a lot of technical things we can't get into here.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:50:13
[Frank Gannon]

Did you see in John Kennedy at that time someone with a major political future? Did he seem to be different from the other freshmen in the class?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:50:25
[Richard Nixon]

I don't know as I really thought of that, but I could see he was very intelligent. He was very intelligent. He was very personable. However, I -- I sensed that he was very shy, frankly, as I was. I -- I -- I rather thought that we were alike in that respect. We were very different in many ways, but he had a very great sense of privacy. I think that's one of the reasons perhaps we hit it off rather well. I remember one night, for example, that Eunice Kennedy, his--his older sister, who was not married then, had a dinner at her house where he was there and I was there and a few of the other young members of Congress, And we talked far, far into the night, not, incidentally, about domestic issues, where we would totally disagree in many cases, like on Taft-Hartley, but about foreign policy, where Kennedy and I saw the world pretty much alike. He was anti-Communist, I was anti-Communist. He was for foreign aid under proper circumstances, I was. He was for reciprocal trade, and I was. We had a lot of things in common.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:50:32
[Frank Gannon]

There's a photograph of the two of you taken at that time. You both look about twelve years old.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:51:39
[Richard Nixon]

Well, he was very young-looking, and of course he was about three years younger than I. I was thirty-three by that time, and he was about twenty-nine or so. We were both thin, and he remained that way, and I've taken on a little more weight, but, let's face it, we were young. And I remember -- the thing I remember about Kennedy more than anything else in that period was when we debated. Well, the first debate was not in the '60 campaign, where seventy million people listened to the first presidential debate on television, but the first one was a little town called McKeesport, Pennsylvania. The silver-haired congressman, Democratic congressman, from that district, very much of a go-getter, by his local Chamber of Commerce had been asked to get a couple of young congressman to come up and debate the Taft-Hartley Act. And he talked to me and talked to Kennedy, and we both agreed to go. I don't know why we did it, but, you know, we didn't get that many invitations in those days, and there was no honorarium. And so we went up and we debated before the Chamber of Commerce. I think I had a little the better of it, because I think the Chamber of Commerce audience was more on my side. But be that as it may, it was very friendly and gentlemanly, and we expressed our differences of opinion on the Taft-Hartley Act. We went back by train to Washington from McKeesport. It was a night train because we had to get back for a vote the next day. And so we drew for who got the upper berth and who got the lower berth, and I won, one of the few times I did against him. I got the lower berth, but it didn't make a lot of difference, because all night long, I recall, going back on the train, we talked about our experiences in the past, but particularly about the world and where we were going and that sort of thing. I -- I recall that was the occasion, too, as we were going back on that train, we -- I told him about my having been stationed at Vella Lavella and found that his PT boat had put in there, and we reminisced about whether we possibly might have met on that occasion. So we each assumed we did.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:53:45
[Frank Gannon]

You were assigned to the House Labor and Education Committee, but you were also assigned to a second committee, the House Un-American Activities Committee, which was exceptional for a freshman. Why was that?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:53:57
[Richard Nixon]

Well, Joe Martin was the one that made those assignments. Joe Martin was the speaker, and the committee had a fairly bad reputation at that point, of being extreme, being reckless and so forth.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:54:07
[Frank Gannon]

Was it deserved?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:54:08
[Richard Nixon]

Some of it was, yes, in my view. But, on the other hand, Joe Martin felt that they needed a -- a lawyer on the committee, and I was a young lawyer, and, as a matter of fact, as it turned out, on the Republican side, I was the only lawyer on the committee. Parnell ThomasKarl MundtMcDowell were not lawyers. I don't mean by that that lawyers cannot also be extreme and irresponsible, because God knows they can be. But, on the other hand, he put me on it for that reason. I wasn't keen about doing it, incidentally. I didn't ask for the committee, but he asked me to go on it, and I said, "All right. I'll go on it". And he also, I think, put me on because Voorhis had been on it. See, Voorhis had been on it as a Democrat. The Democrats lost the Congress, and so there was an extra seat on our side. So, I think he sort of got a kick out of putting me on it to replace Voorhis, because he was not a Voorhis man. Well, Voorhis -- Voorhis was not as unpopular, for example, as Helen Gahagan Douglas, who had turned off both Republicans and Democrats, except those were very liberal. On the other hand, the -- his sort of what they called "fuzzy liberalism" turned off conservative Republicans, and they sort of considered me to be a giant-killer, and I think that's one of the reasons I got on the committee.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:55:29
[Frank Gannon]

Shortly after you arrived in Washington, you were with a group, small group of congressmen, that went to the Oval Office to visit President Truman, which I guess was the first time you had met him personally.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:55:40
[Richard Nixon]

Yes.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:55:41
[Frank Gannon]

In a small group or personally --

Day 1, Tape 5
00:55:42
[Richard Nixon]

Mm-hmm.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:55:43
[Frank Gannon]

-- the first time you had been in the White House. Do you remember what the --

Day 1, Tape 5
00:55:45
[Richard Nixon]

It may have been the first time, it may not have been, because I remember very shortly after we came there, that the Trumans had a reception for all the members of Congress. And I remember Pat on that occasion with our limited funds bought a new dress, a long dress, and we thought it was worthwhile because, as she said -- she said, "You know, this may be the only time we'll ever be in the White House, so it's probably worth it". And I remember when we went through the line, Truman and Mrs. Truman did it very automatically. They grab your -- they -- they -- the aide would stand here, "Congressman Nixon", and he took the hand, and he'd push you on to Mrs. Truman. He'd push them on to Mrs. Truman, but he was gracious. Later on that year was when I went to the Oval Office. That was arranged by Charlie Kersten from Wisconsin, a good friend of mine who was always thinking of something. For example, he even had the gall, when I was a member of the Committee on American Acti -- Un-American Activities, he was very interested in Communism at home and abroad and so forth. He got the two of us appointments with the Hungarian ambassador, with the Polish ambassador, and with the Czechoslovakian ambassador from the Iron Curtain countries. Nobody ever saw them, the people in the administration, because that was the time of the Cold War, but they received us, and we had a good go with them. So we learned a little about Eastern Europe at that time. But, in any event, he asked the White House for an appointment for these three young congressmen. I don't know why Truman ever did it. I don't know why his staff let him do it, because I think of my own period, if three Democratic congressmen, I would -- see, I just had -- didn't even have time to see the senior ones. I saw most of them, but to get their junior Democratic congressmen in to see him, it was just unheard of. But he was very gracious. He was very warm, and I remember vividly that he took us over to the globe. He had a big globe in the office, and He -- he pointed out China and pointed out the importance of China for the future, and he pointed out Europe and so forth. And it was, to use a pun, it was quite clear that he had a global, shall we say, grasp of affairs at that point. But what impressed me the most was that he was down-to-earth, very direct and very cordial to three Republican congressmen, which may prove that he was a pretty good politician, too. He realized that he didn't control the Congress, and he thought maybe he was going to get a little support here or mute our opposition.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:58:16
[Frank Gannon]

Do you remember what it felt like to cross the threshold of the Oval Office for the first time?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:58:23
[Richard Nixon]

Well, it's like going into a great cathedral for the first time. It -- it -- you're always in awe of that place.

Day 1, Tape 5
00:58:24
[Frank Gannon]

Joe Martin, who was the speaker of the House, gave you another surprise shortly with the appointment to the Herter Committee, which turned out to be a very -- an important step in your career, and really your first opportunity to exercise your interest in foreign affairs. Why did he appoint you?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:58:53
[Richard Nixon]

I haven't the slightest --

Day 1, Tape 5
00:58:53
[Frank Gannon]

Do you know?

Day 1, Tape 5
00:58:54
[Richard Nixon]

I honestly don't know. Again, I think I had made a fairly good impression. I had beaten the giant-killer. My first speech, my maiden speech, in the House of Representatives was pretty successful. It was only a ten-minute speech, but Gerhart Eisler, a top Communist functionary in the United States, had refused to testify before the committee, and we cited him for contempt, and asked the House, of course, to vote contempt, and they did, overwhelmingly. So I had a pretty -- pretty easy task -- task doing it. But I made, apparently, quite an effective speech. So I was considered to be a cut above the others. I wasn't, really, but -- but -- but it was because of who I had beaten and opportunities that were presented to me. And so the way I heard about this, I was reading the "Washington Star" one afternoon, and to my amazement, it said," The following have been appointed to members of the Herter Committee to go to Europe". And I saw my name. He didn't even tell me about it, you know, which speaks a lot for him. Usually, the speaker in this case would have called you and says, "Dick, you know, I want to do a great favor for you". But Joe wasn't that way. He did it, and later I thanked him for it, and he says, "Well, you deserved it. Do a good job". Boom!

Day 1, Tape 5
01:01:06
[Frank Gannon]

What was Joe Martin like?

Day 1, Tape 5
01:01:08
[Richard Nixon]

Joe was a very down-to-earth kind of Irish brogue, but with a very good political sense. Not exciting, not combative. I remember -- I think what I remember him most for was what he told Eisenhower very early on in one of the legislative leaders' meetings. A very tough bill was coming up, and -- and Eisenhower's legislative representative was, you know, from the White House, was giving him the rundown on the vote, and the rundown was approximately a hundred in the House -- it was a hundred and eighty for the Eisenhower proposal, and about a hundred and eighty against it, and the rest undecided. And so Eisenhower said, "Well, that looks pretty good, then". And Joe says, "No, it doesn't, Mr. President". Joe says, with that Irish burr of his, "When they say it's that undecided", he said, "they're just trying to be nice to you. You can figure that they're on the other side". We lost the vote, too. He was right.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:01:23
[Frank Gannon]

What was the Herter Committee meant to do?

Day 1, Tape 5
01:01:26
[Richard Nixon]

The Herter Committee was established to go to Europe to study the economic conditions in Europe, to make recommendations to what was then a very isolationist House of Representatives for foreign aid, implementing the Marshall Plan. It was, of course, a great opportunity for me and for every member of the committee. It was my first trip to Europe.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:01:48
[Frank Gannon]

We have some photographs, snapshots, that were taken by committee members. This looks like Venice.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:01:56
[Richard Nixon]

That's George Mahon. I know him very well.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:01:59
[Frank Gannon]

I've seen him.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:01:59
[Richard Nixon]

He, incidentally, worked with me later when I was president. Hewas chairman of the Armed Forces Committee, a fine man from Texas. And that is taken, of course, in Venice. It was quite a trip. Oh, this one I recognize very well. This one was taken on a plane, a DC-3 plane, where we were going from Athens up to the northern part of Greece, to visit an area that at that time was being attacked by the Communist Greek guerrillas. And it was quite a hairy flight, incidentally.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:02:37
[Frank Gannon]

What did you find when you got there? You were up actually in the battle lines or --

Day 1, Tape 5
01:02:41
[Richard Nixon]

Well, we were very close to it. We primarily got a chance to interview people who had either been captive -- in other words, we -- we interviewed some captive guerrillas, and they told us how they were pressed into service by the Communist threat and blackmail and so forth and so on. And -- and -- and one particularly, very shocking, moving event -- I'll never forget it -- was when we talked to one young fellow who -- who told us about his sister. He said she was such a beautiful girl, only eighteen years of age, and the Communist guerrillas had cut her breasts off because she refused to tell them where her family was. And I thought, "Well, we're up against a fairly cruel enemy here".

Day 1, Tape 5
01:03:32
[Frank Gannon]

This photograph is back in Venice, I think, and --

Day 1, Tape 5
01:03:39
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, I can see that, and I can see that's a Soviet Union photograph.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:03:42
[Frank Gannon]

You're looking at a S -- a S --

Day 1, Tape 5
01:03:43
[Richard Nixon]

It's a Communist photograph.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:03:44
[Frank Gannon]

Yes. Or it's a poster for a Soviet film exhibition.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:03:47
[Richard Nixon]

That's right. Uh-huh.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:03:55
[Frank Gannon]

Did you find the Communist presence powerful?

Day 1, Tape 5
01:03:55
[Richard Nixon]

Well, it was powerful in propaganda, powerful in money, powerful in its infiltration of labor unions, and powerful, too, because it identified with basically the principle -- the ethics of the West rather than the East. I mean, they were free elections, and when they came into power, they had no elections. They were for democracy. When they came into power, they'd have dictatorship. They were for nationalism, they said. For example, they identified it with Garibaldi. He was the hero in Italy who would have turned over in his grave if he thought totalitarians were using his name. They identified in this case, I think, with the great lions of -- that you see in the Great Square at Venice. As -- as they identified with independence, when they come into power, they imposed Communist colonialism, which was worse than the colonialism before. But it was -- it was enormously effective propaganda.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:04:56
[Frank Gannon]

Why do you think you were good at foreign affairs? You had never been abroad before, except in the war. You had come from a relatively isolated, if not provincial, town in Southern California. You'd have -- you'd had limited exposure to world affairs, and yet from the very beginning you seemed to have an instinct or an intuition for it, which certainly carried on through your -- through the rest of your career to the presidency. What makes -- what made you good at it?

Day 1, Tape 5
01:05:23
[Richard Nixon]

Well, first, I would say it goes back to my education at -- at Whittier, the study of history, the study of philosophy, the fact that, even be -- long before I went to Whittier, that my interest in geography -- geography deals with foreign affairs, not just where the countries are and all that sort of thing. And it also goes back to, frankly, the Quaker background, that -- that passion for peace. You know, I-- I'd been in wars, World War II, of course, and I'd been exposed to Korea and exposed to Vietnam and so forth and so on as a political leader, but there -- there is nothing that is -- has been more a motivating force in my life than to do something whethe -- in my service, whether in the House, the Senate, vice president or president -- that would make the world possibly more peaceful. I know many of my critics, probably justifiably, based on my record, will say, "Well, you certainly haven't acted that way in decision-making". But what I have attempted to do is to be quite pragmatic, recognizing that it isn't enough just to be for peace. You have to recognize that there are evil forces in the world that are not for peace, that there are aggressive forces, and that, unless you stop that aggression, that you are not going to have a real peace. You have to recognize that if you, in the name of peace now, roll over in front of an aggressor, that may buy peace not even in your time, but maybe in our time, but it ensures war at a later time, Munich being the prize example. And so, while I was for peace as a Quaker, I suppose it -- I must say that I was always against appeasement, not because I was for war, but because I was for peace for the generation, for a century, rather than just peace in my own time. And that is what motivated me, and, consequently, going to Europe was an opportunity that was fantastic for me, to see what made the world work, to see what motivated people, to be able to understand them.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:07:47
[Frank Gannon]

Beyond your intellectual background, though, it's always struck me and many observers as interesting about you, that for someone who in some cases with Americans or in American political situations is uncomfortable or ill-at-ease, you seem to have an intuitive instinct for foreigners, that you -- you know how they think, you say the right thing, you do the right thing, that you can negotiate, you can deal with them in -- in -- in an intuitive way. Is there any -- have you ever thought about it in that way -- why?

Day 1, Tape 5
01:08:21
[Richard Nixon]

Well, yeah. Let me -- let me say it, since you apparently are too polite to say it. There are many people that say that I like foreigners better than I do Americans, and there are many people that say that they can't understand when I go abroad, even after the trauma of Watergate and so forth, that I am received so favorably and so well in places like China and France and Austria, et cetera, et cetera. No, I think -- I think maybe that goes back to the early years. One of the -- one of the great benefits, may I say, one of the fallouts of living in that little closed Quaker community was, first, the exposure to a splendid faculty, who had a world view and not a parochial view, and to grow up with people, with Japanese, with Mexicans, with Koreans, with Chinese. Let me tell you an interesting thing, not -- not that it's particularly relevant to your question, that I recall vividly from my college days. This was back in 1933, '34. At that time, the Ch -- the Japanese had invaded China, you know, in Manchuria, and I remember two of my best friends, one was Chinese, in the Whittier College class, and the other was Japanese. And they virtually came to blow -- blows in the floor of our stadi -- of our assembly. These two virtually came to blows in the assembly that we were having when that subject came up. And I could see some of the great forces that fought each other in the world. Now, let's come to the feeling about foreigners. I think if I identify with them, it's because I see them as people, as individuals, more than simply as sort of impersonal leaders representing nationalistic views. Let me put it more precisely. Everybody is quite aware of my anti-Soviet attitudes, my anti-Communist attitudes, but -- but when I went to the Soviet Union in 1959, along with Pat, I insisted -- and it was hard to do, but I insisted from the Russians that I have the opportunity to go into plants, to meet people, to go down the streets and so forth and so on. Now, of course, they fenced me up pretty good, but I found that the Russian people were warm and strong. They were people that I wanted on our side rather than on the other side. They're good people. I admire them. The same with the Chinese. When I went there, a great, great -- you can think of China of a billion people. You can think of them as Maoists. You can think of them as hopeless Communists and so forth, or very foreign, or you can think of them for what they really are. They're really, frankly, more like us than the Russians because they laugh somewhat similarly at the same jokes. Some way or other I'm quite simpatico with the Chinese. With the Russians as well, but in a different way. I guess what we're really saying here is that -- that fundamentally, I think every individual counts, and I think whether it's in China or Russia or Indonesia or Ghana or Cairo, wherever you go, that if you can break past the official structures and get to see the people and particularly the people not of the elite class. The elite class is -- is the same all over the world. They go to the same parties and they drink the cocktails, et cetera, and they -- they have the same snobbish characteristics any place, and they're not, frankly, although I have many friends among them, they're not my dish of tea. But if you can get down and you meet the shopkeepers and the workers and the students and the rest, really get to talk to them, you'll find that there is out there a great common bond that brings us all together. Now I'm speaking a bit too idealistic for the pragmatist I'm supposed to be, but that is the only way we eventually are going to bring this world together.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:12:39
[Frank Gannon]

It seems that in the last several months the relationship with China that you forged and opened as -- opened and forged as president, has been drifting and loosening, and the Chinese, in fact, are talking with the Soviets. Is a Sino-Soviet rapproachment possible, and are we doing the right things to prevent it now?

Day 1, Tape 5
01:13:04
[Richard Nixon]

It's possible, and I would say, on the contrary, that we should not openly try to prevent it. The -- I don't think that a rapproachment is going to come, not soon, because they have such great differences about Afghanistan, about Vietnam, about the Soviet forces on the northern Chinese border, and because they have great historical differences. The Russians and the Chinese don't like each other very well for reasons we don't need to go into, but it's there, and either side will tell you that. On the other hand, some of our more stupid, or I should say, obtuse, observers on our side, they say, "Wouldn't it be great if the Russians and the Chinese had a good fight, and then both of our Communist enemies would eat themselves up". It wouldn't be great at all. Let us suppose that the Russians jump the Chinese. What are we going to do? China is supposed to be our, quote, "friend", end quote. Do we go to war with Russia in order to save China? I hope that doesn't ever confront an American president. That's a tough question. Second point, when you have two major powers, believe me, if war comes between two major powers like China and Russia, it cannot be contained. It will spread. It will become a world war. So it's in our interest not to have these differences between the two to be exacerbated at the point that it gives the Russians an excuse for a preemptive strike. It's better to cool it to an extent. Now, that's one side of the coin. On the other side of the coin, it's just stupid for us to take the Chinese association for granted and to say that we can do anything we want in terms of our relations with Taiwan or what-have-you, because they have no other place to go. They do have someplace else to go. They are still Communists -- I'm speaking of the leadership -- and under the circumstances, if they give up on us, if they think that the relationship with us economically and otherwise is not worth their while, they may turn that way. So -- but I guess I come back to the fundamental point. We should seek good relations with both China and Russia due to the fact that they're both great people, due to the fact that it would be a better world for us and for them if we could reduce arm -- the level of arms, trade with each other and know each other. That's looking at the idealistic situation. As far as the Chinese are concerned, and this is the way I would describe it best, if you were to take the Soviet Union and bodily pick it out of the world, and you had left the rest of the world, it would still be in the interest of the United States to seek good relations with China, because there are a billion pe -- Chinese. They have enormous natural resources. That's one-fourth of all the people in the world, and the future of the world in the next century is going to be greatly affected by the Chinese because they're a very capable people, potentially. So I would say let's seek good relations with them and not just look upon it in a narrow, parochial sense of, "We've got to have good relations with China because we'll play the China card against the Russian card".

Day 1, Tape 5
01:16:20
[Frank Gannon]

What -- if you were counseling Tricia and Julie and Ed and David now, what--what languages should Alexander and Jenny and Christopher learn in school in order to be effective international citizens of the twenty-first century?

Day 1, Tape 5
01:16:38
[Richard Nixon]

English first. We -- we don't really speak English well enough, and I would urge them to -- I would urge them to read English. I'd -- like Churchill, to have a love affair with the English language, learn to read it, communicate with it, both speaking and writing. Beyond that, I would still, and I guess it's because I'm a Francophile, I'd go for French. French is a great language, and -- and it's great to read the French classics, Rousseau and Voltaire, et al., in French. I would suggest Russian. It's not that difficult, particularly if you learn it phonetically. Chinese I would not suggest, because it's too difficult, and the Chinese are very good at speaking English. The Chinese can learn English easy -- easier than the Japanese, ncidentally -- so -- incidentally. So that's the way I would look at it for the moment.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:17:32
[Frank Gannon]

You've recently written a book on leaders called "Leaders". How do you analyze yourself as a leader? What's -- what's your strongest point as a leader?

Day 1, Tape 5
01:17:46
[Richard Nixon]

Well, you know, I'm -- I've never believed that any individual can analyze themself. I know that's the hep thing these days. That's what you learn in political science classes, and that's what you learn in psychology classes, and -- and I know that everybody's supposed to sit about -- around in rap sessions and say, "Well, these are my weaknesses and these are my strengths", true confessions and all that stuff. But it's always turned me off. I don't think I'm really very good at it. Now, having said that, I would say my -- that -- that the first -- I'll put it in a more general sense. The most important asset that a leader can have is to believe deeply in a great cause. That is overlooked too often in the political science courses. They tell you how to win, how to be better on television, how to communicate better, how you poll, how you play this group and this group and this group and this group, but in the final analysis, unless an individual is motivated by a great cause -- he must know it, he must believe it -- he's not going to be able to motivate others. And I think that one of the factors that has helped me is that -- that I have been -- had a great interest in foreign affairs, that I have wanted, to put it in the vernacular -- give history a nudge, hopefully in the right direction in terms of building a more peaceful world, not just for the present, but for the future. and that I have become somewhat expert in that area. Not a true expert in any res -- sense of the word, but somewhat more expert than others. I think that's been the major factor. Now, as far as other things are concerned, I think most people would give me rather low grades as far as, what do they call it, charisma and gregariousness and all that sort of thing that the politician is supposed to have. The other thing is, of course, I guess another factor where I am reasonably strong is in terms of discipline, disciplined thinking, disciplined writing. It -- it doesn't mean just hard work, but it means -- it means working hard in an organized way, where you know the priorities and don't waste your time on things that are not the most important.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:20:15
[Frank Gannon]

Have you ever wished that you had more conventional charisma?

Day 1, Tape 5
01:20:19
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, not at all, not at all, because I've never been one of those charisma nuts. I think there's far much too -- far much -- far too much emphasis -- far too much -- on this business, "Is the individual charismatic"? I'm more interested in, "What does he believe? How -- what are -- how effective is he in implementing those beliefs"? And I think that one of the curses of the modern television age is that it puts far too much attention on appearance rather than substance, on froth rather than what the beer is really like. No. I -- I've -- I've never had any regrets about that -- people don't think I'm a charismatic figure.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:21:08
[Frank Gannon]

You've had such an incredible and such an incredibly long career with amazing agonies and amazing ecstasies. Do you feel that you were carrying out a destiny, that there is a destiny for you?

Day 1, Tape 5
01:21:28
[Richard Nixon]

Well, up to this time, yes. I think it can -- I think that what I said in Shanghai at the conclusion of our Chinese trip at -- in 1972, that "his is a trip that has changed the world and a week that has changed the world", I think that is true. Whether that will be dissipated as a result of mismanagement or what-have-you in the years ahead, I don't know. But I think the world has been changed, and I think for the better. Putting it quite bluntly, if we had not had the new relationship with China, dangerous as the world appears to be now with the Russians having gained superiority over us in strategic land-based nuclear weapons, it would be infinitely more dangerous if one billion Chinese were looking toward them rather than being at least neutral and sometimes looking toward us. So I think we've helped there, not just vis-à-vis the Russians, but in building a more peaceful world.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:22:28
[Frank Gannon]

One hundred years from now, when Jenny's and Alexander's and Christopher's children's friends say to them, "Oh, your great-grandfather was President Nixon, who", how will they fill in that blank, "President Nixon who"?

Day 1, Tape 5
01:22:48
[Richard Nixon]

Well, it depends on what hi -- on what happens in history. There's not much I can go in what remains of my life to affect that, but Claire Boothe Luce once said that -- and this was before the Watergate business -- this was right after the China trip. She said, "Historically, a thousand years from now", she said, "there'll be only one line, and that's all that's needed with regard to your career. 'He went to China'". And now, that could change, however, because, let us suppose that the Chinese relationship is --sours. Let us suppose they go the other way, and then the fact that I went to China, all it did was simply buy us some time, which is important. I would hope that a hundred years from now that the world would be a safer place. If it is, I think we would have contributed to it during our administration by not only what we did with regard to China, but what we did with regard to a different relationship with the Soviet Union. Détente, I know, as practiced in the Carter administration, has gotten to be a bad word, but as practiced in our administration, it resulted in some liberalization in Eastern Europe. It resulted in some lessening of tensions, and, if reinstituted on a hard-headed basis by administrations in the future, a relationship with Russia, I think, can be developed which will avoid war and, even more important, avoid surrender to blackmail.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:24:33
[Frank Gannon]

Let me ask you a question, the kind of question I know you hate. How, if you had to in twenty-five words or less, describe Richard Nixon, what twenty-five words would you choose?

Day 1, Tape 5
01:24:49
[Richard Nixon]

Well, that's one that I probably not only would hate to answer, but one that I simply am unable to do. If -- if I had time to sit down and write it out, maybe I could answer it. But I don't think I could do it now.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:25:02
[Frank Gannon]

If you could have been present at -- at any event in history, what event would most have interest you -- interested -- would most interest you to put yourself back in time and watch as a -- as a fly on the wall?

Day 1, Tape 5
01:25:25
[Richard Nixon]

Well, I -- I would -- I mean, anybody would have to say, who had the Christian background, you'd want to be present at the birth of Christ. That, of course, was the great event of certainly what we know now as modern civilization. No event in history has had more effect. I mean, some of the effects have been bad, as anybody who reads "The Decline and the Fall of the Roman Empire" would agree, although Gibbon, of course, went much too far in blaming all the ills that followed -- that befell the Roman Empire on the Christians. But, on the other hand, the way that the life of Christ affected millions is something that has not happened, of course, since, and had not happened before. Whether it will have lasting effect for the future, I -- I am not able to say.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:26:22
[Frank Gannon]

If you could give a -- you're going tonight, when you leave here, to a dinner party--if you could invite three or four people from all of past history, and excluding the founders of the great religions, who -- who would be at your historical dinner party that you would like to listen to their conversation?

Day 1, Tape 5
01:26:41
[Richard Nixon]

Well, I -- I -- I think I'd go pretty much to more of the modern ones. Maybe Churchill. Well, I'd like to have in the same room Churchill and De GaulleTheodore RooseveltLincoln, of course, maybe Jefferson because he was more interesting. I -- he wasn't my favorite of the Founding Fathers, but he would be more interesting than some of the others. Benjamin Franklin, without question. These among the Americans. Going back, Napoleon, naturally. Not because he waged war so successfully, but because his Napoleonic code and what he did in Europe was so important. In terms of the -- well, Voltaire, a marvelous conversationalist. You couldn't miss him. Augustine, Saint Augustine, and, of course, when you get to the Greeks and the Romans and so forth, I suppose you'd talk about Cicero and others. It's a -- it's a -- it's a -- it's quite a smorgasbord to pick from.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:27:58
[Frank Gannon]

Will you invite me?

Day 1, Tape 5
01:28:00
[Richard Nixon]

Oh. Oh, you would be included.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:28:01
[Frank Gannon]

I noticed you left my name off the list, but I assume that's because --

Day 1, Tape 5
01:28:04
[Richard Nixon]

No, these are only -- they're all dead --

Day 1, Tape 5
01:28:05
[Frank Gannon]

That's right.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:28:05
[Richard Nixon]

-- and you're still walking around, even though you may be dead.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:28:08
[Frank Gannon]

Well, I think I've actually even survived the--the second of these sessions. (Laughs.)

Day 1, Tape 5
01:28:15
[Offscreen voice]

We need to change tape. It'll-we'll take five minutes. We can still tape for another forty-five minutes.

[Screen goes black.]

Before we move off the set, however, I would like you to have -- absolutely quiet in the studio. We're going to need your microphones, fellows, just to record about thirty seconds of room film for editing purposes. So, just everybody hold tight in the studio for thirty seconds, okay?

Day 1, Tape 5
01:28:44
[Richard Nixon]

Let's see, we should finish at three. I can be down there at three-thirty that's right.

Day 1, Tape 5
01:28:50
[Offscreen voice]

Okay, here we go. We're going to record room film. Quiet for thirty seconds.

[Action note: Screen goes black.]

Day one, Tape six of six, LINE FEED #6, 2-9-83, ETI Reel #6
Feb. 9, 1983

Day 1, Tape 6
00:02:03
[Frank Gannon]

When was the - when was the first time you saw Whittaker Chambers?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:02:08
[Richard Nixon]

Well, I remember the date very well. It was August the third of 1948. On that occasion, he came before the Committee on Un-American Activities. I had not known before he came who he was or what he was going to testify to. At that time, Bob Stripling, who was the committee's chief investigator, was trying to find witnesses who might corroborate or dispute the testimony of Eli -- uh -- Elizabeth Bentley, who had testified both before the Senate committee, of which Bill Rogers was the head aide, and the House Committee on Un-American Activities, about a very broad infiltration of the federal government by Communists. Now, let me explain here that in the year before that, in the years before that, the Committee on Un-American Activities had had numbers of hearings about Communist infiltration into other segments of American life. They had hearings on infiltration into Hollywood. I didn't participate too much in those hearings. That's the famous Hollywood Ten. They were Communists, without question, but that was as -- about as far as it went. Whether or not they influenced movies was the question, and I think -

Day 1, Tape 6
00:03:26
[Offscreen voice]

We're going to go -- we're going to roll tape right now. Thirty seconds to studio. We're going to [inaudible].
Day 1, Tape 6
00:03:31
[Frank Gannon]

Weren't we?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:03:31
[Offscreen voice]

[inaudible] camera one. We had a problem on [inaudible]. Here we go. [inaudible] camera two [inaudible].

Day 1, Tape 6
00:04:16
[Frank Gannon]

When was the first time you saw Whittaker Chambers?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:04:21
[Richard Nixon]

Well, the date was August 3, 1948, my second year in Congress, and he came before the committee after Bob Stripling, our chief investigator, had made a search for witnesses who might corroborate possibly or dispute the testimony of Elizabeth Bentley, who had testified before the committee.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:04:45
[Frank Gannon]

This was the House Un-American Activities --

Day 1, Tape 6
00:04:46
[Richard Nixon]

House Un-American Activities Committee -- who had testified before the committee about a number of Communists who, she said, had infiltrated the government of the United States. Now, this opened up an entirely new vista for the committee, before -- because up to that time, including the time I was a member of it in 1947, the committee was investigating Communist infiltration in the motion picture -- the famous Hollywood Ten, and in labor unions, into education, even into churches and that sort of thing, but never yet to any degree in government. So, when Mr. Chambers came before the committee and ran off a list of several that he said belonged to a Communist group in the government in the thirties -- Lee Pressman, who was the general counsel for the C.I.O., John AptVictor Purlo, et cetera, that was something new. But what was particularly new insofar as the press was concerned, and insofar as we, too, on the committee were concerned, was when he mentioned Alger Hiss. Alger Hiss, the mention of him did not particularly ring a bell with me at the moment, but it certainly shortly thereafter, because we got a wire from Alger Hiss demanding to be heard by -- by the committee and totally denying Chambers' accusations. And so we knew that we had a problem on our hands.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:06:24
[Frank Gannon]

Here's a photograph of Chambers. What impressed you about him, or how did -- how would you describe him?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:06:33
[Richard Nixon]

Unkempt, disorderly, unimpressive, except when he spoke. He spoke in a monotone, but he was obviously a brilliant man, a genius without question. He, of course, was a senior editor at "Time magazine", had written some of their great editorials. Jim Shepley told me the greatest editorial ever written in "Life" on religion was written by Whittaker Chambers.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:06:59
[Frank Gannon]

Was he a good witness?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:07:01
[Richard Nixon]

He was a good witness on the facts, not a good witness in terms of presenting them. he was just unimpressive.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:07:10
[Frank Gannon]

The next day, as you say, you got the cable and Hiss asked to come down. I think we have a photograph of Hiss testifying. What -- how did he impress you? What was your --

Day 1, Tape 6
00:07:25
[Richard Nixon]

Well, he impressed us exactly the opposite of Chambers, and he impressed the press, who were very much on his side, incidentally, and which made it easy for him, he impressed the press in exactly the same way. Hiss was a -- was good-looking, suave, sophisticated, Ivy League dressed, Ivy League manner. He was everything that an elegant Washington executive should be in the New Deal era. And with his clipped words and his very professional way of answering questions, a very careful way, he was a very effective witness.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:08:07
[Frank Gannon]

What did he say?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:08:09
[Richard Nixon]

Well, he'd never known a man by the name of Whittaker Chambers, that it was totally false, that he was mystified by how it happened, and of course demanded that the committee clear his name, in effect.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:08:25
[Frank Gannon]

How did -- what did you then do?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:08:28
[Richard Nixon]

Well, the fat was in the fire. The -- the committee was in, virtually, panic. I remember we had a meeting thereafter, and we all said to Stripling, "How did we get into this spot"? And Stripling said, well, he had checked Chambers out, and Chambers had a good reputation, that he felt that he seemed to be a credible witness. On the other hand, the other members of the committee said, "Look. The committee's got enough problems. Let's drop this case and get on with something else". And I must say that I was very disturbed myself, because right after the committee's hearings I went to the House dining room, the old House dining room, I should say. And there they used to have a round table where all the Republicans used to sit around the table together, and I sat there, and Joe Martin was there on that occasion, andHalleck. And a reporter from the "Chicago Daily News" came in. He was a -- not a left-winger at all. In fact, I considered him one of the most fair and objective reporters who was covering the committee's activities. And he was virtually shaking with rage. His face was all red, and he said, "This is the most terrible thing that you would allow that man Chambers to come in and testify against Hiss without seeing whether or not Chambers knew the man. You should have done it in executive session". Well, of course, I was pretty shaken by that, too, because here I was, a young congressman, I -- trying to do a good job with a committee that I knew had a reputation for irresponsibility already. And so I must say I ba -- was tempted to do what most of the committee wanted to do, drop the case and get on with something else and admit that we were wrong. But somehow I remembered -- I had a feeling. You know, sometimes it's like gut instincts you've got. Any successful politician's got to have gut instincts or you're never going to make it. And I said, "There's something about that fellow that doesn't ring true". And I began to think of it. He was too smooth. You know, the British have a saying that, "He's too clever by half". And I thought, why was it that he was so careful when he said, "I have never known a man by the name of Whittaker Chambers". He didn't ever say that he didn't know Whittaker Chambers. And I felt, too, that he gave the appearance of one who was trying to make his case from a legal standpoint. In some way, it didn't ring true, but I couldn't be sure, because I thought maybe it was just his manner that had made me suspicious and not the subject of what he said. So I asked the committee chairman, Parnell Thomas, I said, "Let's take some days off."He said, "Well, do you want to take the responsibility"? And I said I would, so he appointed me chairman of a subcommittee to question Chambers further. And so I was the chairman of the subcommittee, and we went to New York. There were two other members of the committee who went with me, and we went up to New York, and I spent the whole night the night before we got there, on the fifth, or the seventh, I should say. You see, Chambers appeared on the third. Hiss appeared on the fifth and denied it all and said he didn't know Chambers. And then on the seventh we were in New York at the Foley Square building , where I now have an office. He then came before us -- Chambers came before us. I spent the whole night before the hearing putting down questions of everything that one man would know about another if he really knew him, and I took Chambers over that ground. Two hours of it. I grilled him.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:12:06
[Frank Gannon]

What kind of questions did you --

Day 1, Tape 6
00:12:08
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, what did he look like, what did his wife look like, where did he live, can you describe his houses, what were his eating habits, what did he like, what kind of clothes did he wear, did he have a car, what were his hobbies, and the answers came back in a matter-of-fact, not exciting way, but that made it even more impressive. Chambers, it seemed to me, was talking about somebody he knew. And when we came to what are his hobbies, for example, he said, "Well, he was an amateur ornithologist". And then he said -- his eyes lighting up, he said, "I remember how excited he was one day when he came back to the apartment in which we were both living at that time and said that he had seen a prothonotary warbler on a walk down through a Washington area by the canal". And that didn't sound like a man who had just studied the other fellow and said, "Well, he's an am--ornithologist". But it sounded like somebody who was recounting a conversation that he'd had. Well, so it went. So, under those circumstances, I felt that we had at least a prima facie case that indicated that Chambers knew enough about him that he must have known him. And I wasn't satisfied, however, so I went up to see Chambers at his farm. And I remember sitting on the porch of his farm with him, and he was sitting there with -- wearing galluses and very unkempt, no way that you would imagine the present-day elite class of "Time" senior editors looking, all spruced up in their fancy clothes, ready to go out to the next cocktail party and that sort of thing. And so Chambers was talking to me about things in general, and I mentioned the fact that I happened to be a Quaker. And he said, "You know, Mrs. Hiss was a Quaker, too". And -- and he snapped his finger, and he said, "You know, this reminds me of something else. I remember when she talked to Alger she might often use the plain speech". Now, I was a Quaker. Chambers was a Quaker convert, and I knew that anybody who uses the plain speech, of course, to use that term, you had to know what it meant. But beyond that, it was the way he said it, not the fact that he knew that she was a Quaker, but the way he said -- said it that indicated to me that he was talking about somebody he knew, rather than somebody he'd read about and studied for the purpose, for some dark, evil reason in the recesses of his mind -- was trying to do in. So we went back again, this time to Hiss. I, as chairman of the subcommittee, was calling the signals at this point. We went over the same ground with him, and as the answers came back from him with regard to the places he lived, with regard to his car, with regard to all of these matters, we recognized that he -- that Chambers had been right. We asked him, for example, what his hobbies were. And then McDowell, Congressman McDowell of Pennsylvania, when Hiss said that he liked birds, li -- Hiss was an amateur ornithologist, McDowell said, "Oh, that's interesting". And he leaned forward in his way, and he says, "You know, I'm fond of birds, too". He said, "Tell me, did you ever see a prothonotary warbler"? And Hiss said, "Oh, yes, I have, down on the canal", he says, "a beautiful bird with yellow coloring", and so forth. And there was silence in the committee room, because that's exactly what Chambers had said. Well, it still didn't prove the case, because it was always possible Chambers had studied his life and made it all up so that it would fit into the pattern. So, as we went along there, it -- finally Hiss realized that we were onto something, and he finally said that it's possible that this man Chambers was the same man as a George Crosley, a freelance writer he used to know for the Nye Committee -- that used to -- used to know when Hiss was one of the staff people working for the Nye Committee on disarmament, and he had known him then, and it might be that this Chambers was the same fellow as this Crosley, a deadbeat who had stayed in his apartment on one occasion. He just gave it to him, loaned it to him, and then he'd thrown him out because he wouldn't pay the rent. In other words, our pointing out to Hiss that Chambers knew all these things about him put him on notice that he had to find some way to explain how somebody could have known all these things. And so he invented, as it turned out later, the name Crosley.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:17:34
[Frank Gannon]

When was the first public confrontation between the two?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:17:39
[Richard Nixon]

Far more important than the public confrontation, which was on August the twenty-fifth, was the private confrontation. That was what broke open the Hiss case, broke it o--o--open, and set in motion a chain of circumstances which eventually brought Hiss's indictment and his conviction of perjury.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:17:55
[Frank Gannon]

Where was that?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:17:57
[Richard Nixon]

Took place in Room Fourteen Hundred at the Commodore Hotel.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:18:01
[Frank Gannon]

In New York?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:18:02
[Richard Nixon]

In New York. We had Hiss and Chambers both invited to come there, and they were in the room -- Hiss was in the room first, and he was seated there. I pulled the blinds open so that there would be no problem in terms of identification when the two were to meet for the first time. And so after Hiss had sat down, I called the committee to order, and then I told Lou Russell, who was the committee investigator, one of them, to bring Chambers into the room. And he brought Chambers into the room, and as Chambers came into the room, one thing occurred to me right away. Not once did Hiss turn around to look at this man that he said he had never seen before, that he didn't know. He just stared straight ahead. That told me something, but I didn't want to judge too quickly. So I asked Hiss to stand, and I asked Chambers to remain standing, and then I said to Hiss, "Now, this man is Whittaker Chambers. I ask you, have you ever seen this man before"? And Hiss said, "Well, would you ask him to say something"? And Chambers said -- I said to Chambers, "Will you please state your name, your occupation"? And he said, "My name is Whittaker Chambers". Hiss interrupted. He said, "W--w--would you ask him to open his mouth wider". And -- no. He said, "Would you -- would you -- would you ask him to read -- to say something more"? And so I found a copy of "Newsweek" magazine that was there on the table, and I had Chambers read from that, and after he'd read awhile, Hiss said, "Could he open his mouth wider"? And he turned to me, he says,"You know what I mean, Mr. Nixon. I want to s--look at his teeth". And so Chambers opened his mouth, and he said, "I remember that the Crosley that I knew had very bad teeth. I wonder if you'd ask him, Mr. Nixon, if he's ever had anything done to his teeth". And I said, "Have you, Mr. Chambers"? And Chambers said, "Oh, yes. I've had considerable dentistry". And Hiss then said, "Well" -- I said, "Then can you prepare to identify him, then"? He said, "Well, no. I wonder if you could ask him the name of the dentist who did the work on his teeth". And Chambers gave -- gave the name of the dentist down in Maryland who had done the work on his teeth. And I said, "Now are you prepared to identify him"? And Hiss said, "Well, I -- I can't make an identification yet. I would like to ask the -- to -- to talk to the dentist to see what he has done". And then I broke it open right then. I said, "Mr. Hiss, do you mean to tell me that before you can identify this man you would have to check with his dentist to see exactly what he did to his teeth"? And Hiss changed the subject, and soon thereafter he agreed that this was the man he had known as George Crosley. Then we had a public confrontation after that, on the twenty-fifth, and that was on television.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:21:14
[Frank Gannon]

That was one of the most dramatic events of the time to that time, wasn't it?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:21:18
[Richard Nixon]

It was --

Day 1, Tape 6
00:21:18
[Frank Gannon]

It was the first --

Day 1, Tape 6
00:21:19
[Richard Nixon]

It was the first --

Day 1, Tape 6
00:21:19
[Frank Gannon and Richard Nixon]

[In unison] -- televised --

Day 1, Tape 6
00:21:20
[Frank Gannon]

Yes.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:21:20
[Richard Nixon]

-- hearing of any significance.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:21:21
[Frank Gannon]

I think we have --

Day 1, Tape 6
00:21:22
[Richard Nixon]

It was very dramatic.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:21:23
[Frank Gannon]

I think we have a clip of that.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:21:25
[Richard Nixon]

And so there they met before the television cameras. It went on and on and on. What had happened was the press that was all in Hiss's corner after Hiss first came before the committee, not only because they thought Chambers was wrong, but because Hiss was more their favorite than Kennedy -- th -- th -- because they thought that Hiss was more liberal, et cetera, et cetera. Anyway, the press finally, after that hearing, began to change because of the way that Hiss dodged and turned and so forth and so on. I once, for example, when we went through the dentist business in the public hearing, I said. "Tell me, Mr. Hiss, have you ever seen Chambers with his mouth closed"? He said, "No. I only remember him when his mouth was open". And everybody laughed, and the chairman gaveled down, and so forth and so on, and the people in the press, who had been very much pro-Hiss, began to get more and more concerned that maybe there was something wrong.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:22:42
[Frank Gannon]

What were some of the other elements of the case that -- that led to his conviction?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:22:49
[Richard Nixon]

Well, for example, Chambers said that the Communist operator, who had worked with this ring of Communists in the government, had given him a rug, and it was established that Hiss did get a rug. Colonel Bykov was his name. One of the key elements was a car. Chambers had told how Hiss had given his car to a Communist Party operative for the Communist Party at a time when he got a new one. Hiss had had to admit that he did -- that -- that he had -- he said he had sold Chambers a car, and then he said he'd loaned him car. And finally it turned out that we found the bill of sale when he had s -- given the car, in effect, to this Communi -- to -- to this car dealer who turned out to had a -- to have a Communist background. And I remember when we showed the -- the bill of d -- sale to Hiss, we asked him if that is hi -- if that was his signature. It was, of course, a photostatic copy. And he said, "Well, could I see the original"? And we said, "Well, do you have to see the original in order to know whether it's your signature, to be sure"? He said, "I could be surer". And the press tittered -- the people in the audience. He began to lose them. And so it went from then from bad to worse as far as he was concerned. It was obvious that he know who Chambers was. It was obvious that, frankly, that he had not been fully forthcoming in his testimony.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:24:34
[Frank Gannon]

When did the so-called Pumpkin Papers material emerge?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:24:40
[Richard Nixon]

That was later. The way that came about, ironically, was Hiss's friends proved to be his worst enemies. After this hearing, Chambers went on "Meet the Press". Somebody on "Meet the Press" asked Chambers whether or not Hiss was a Communist. And Chambers said, "Alger Hiss was a Communist and may still be". See, Hiss had said during the hearing that he wanted Chambers to make his charges public, away from the privilege of a committee hearing, so that he could bring suit against him. He didn't bring suit for two weeks, and then the "Washington Post", one of his greatest supporters, had a sort of querulous editorial that said, in effect, "Put up or shut up. Mr. Hiss should sue". And so he did sue Chambers. After suing Chambers, what happened was that the -- the -- there were depositions taken, and the -- Hiss's lawyers were very, very rough on Mrs. Chambers and made her cry. This is what Chambers recounted to me later. And as a result of that, the case took on a totally new dimension, new evidence came into being.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:26:03
[Frank Gannon]

What kind of new evidence?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:26:05
[Richard Nixon]

Well, the way it came into being is interesting. We had thought our part in the case was over, over because we had brought the two together, we had destroyed Hiss, inso -- inso -- certainly so far as his veracity was concerned about whether he knew Chambers or not. But, on the other hand, we had no further evidence of what, if anything, he had done as a Communist. Being a Communist is one thing, but I remember one time we asked Chambers in one of the hearings whether or not, as had been claimed by some of the pro-Hiss people -- if-- if this weren't just a -- a sort of a study group, and Chambers had answered, "It was in no wise a study group. Its purpose was to infiltrate the government of the United States in the interest of the Soviet Union". But he didn't say how. In fact, he had denied, in effect, that it was an espionage group, in those hearings and others. So, after --

Day 1, Tape 6
00:27:13
[Frank Gannon]

What would -- what would have been the point of infiltration without espionage?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:27:16
[Richard Nixon]

It would be very hard -- well, to influence policy, to influence policy. In other words, to -- to get a pro-Communist policy in the Department of Agriculture, in the Department of State, and so forth. But espionage, of course, involves spying and turning information over to a foreign p - -power. But, going further then, after this last deposition, the lawyers for Hiss had demanded for Chambers -- to Chambers that he produce some documentary evidence, some hard evidence proving that Hiss was a Communist, proving that what he said was true. Now, this is a civil proceeding, you understand. So, Hiss -- the -- Hiss's lawyer having done that, they had made a very grave mistake. They had underestimated Chambers. Chambers realized after they had cross-examined his wife so brutally that they would do nothing without des -- until they destroyed him. So he went up to New York. He had left some papers there, documents and other materials as well which had been turned over to him and -- and through him, of course, to -- supposed to be turned over to the top Communist operative. He got them out and had taken them to the next deposition and turned them over to the federal -- no -- turned them over to the defense lawyers, and the defense lawyers, of course, called in the Department of Justice. Now we're ahead of our story, ahead of our story because the next time we heard about this, we in the committee, was that I, without knowing anything about Chambers having turned over this documentary evidence -- these were several score typewritten pages of State Department documents and so forth. Without our having known that, I saw a little article in the "Washington Daily News", the paper that's now defunct, indicating that the Justice Department was about ready to drop the Hiss-Chambers case investigation. A -- and then an article in another paper to the effect that the Justice Department was considering indicting Chambers for denying that he was espionage -- engaged in espionage or what-have-you. So -- let's start again on that. I saw an item in the paper indicating that the Justice Department was going to drop the Hiss-Chambers case, a very small one. So I got ahold of Stripling. We went up to see Chambers. I showed him this item. He said, "That was what I was afraid was going to happen". He says, "Let me tell you something. I just dropped the bombshell in a deposition hearing". And they said, "What was the bombshell"? He said, "The judge has ordered us all to say nothing. I cannot say anything without risking contempt of court, so I can't tell you". I said, "Well, in view of this, however, do you -- I hope you haven't given them everything". He said, "No, don't worry. I wouldn't be so foolish. I have another bombshell". And I said, "Let me tell you something. I don't know what the first one is, and I'm not going to ask you to be in contempt of court by telling us, but whatever the other bombshell is, you keep that. Don't give it to them. Give that to the committee". We went back to Washington. All the way back Stripling and I talked. What could the bombshell have been? We didn't think of espionage, but we couldn't -- we c -- we -- we thought it had something to do with tying Hiss closer in to Communist Party membership, some way of proving it, a written way. In any event, I came back, and that following day I was to leave with Pat on a trip, along with other congressmen, to Panama, a -- a junket, as a matter of fact, that was available to members of Congress at that time, to go to Panama after the Congress recessed. I rather wondered, e -- actually, if I really should go, but I had cancelled a vacation the year before when we had gone to the -- on the Herter Committee trip. We hadn't had a vacation for years, as a matter of fact, and I thought it was about time, that I owed her one. So I decided to go ahead with it, but that night I got Stripling in before I left, and I signed a subpoena for everything else that Chambers had. "And I said, Deliver this to Chambers. Have this served on him. Let's find out what else he has". So I took off with Pat. We got on the -- the ship, and the next day the whole thing broke wide open. I got a wire from Bert Andrews and another one who was covering the -- the -- the case for the "New York Herald Tribune".

Day 1, Tape 6
00:32:30
[Frank Gannon]

He was a reporter.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:32:31
[Richard Nixon]

A reporter from the "New York Herald Tribune", a very fair reporter, one very interested in the outcome of the case, who had been following it from the beginning, and one of the very few reporters, one of about three out of a press corps of fifty who wasn't totally on Hiss's side. In any event, he said, "You've got to come back", because Stripling apparently had shown him the new evidence. I got one from Stripling, and Forrestal, the secretary of defense, arranged to have a PBY fly into a quiet lee side of an island near Cuba. I got off of this boat, was let down to -- into a lifeboat, which was rowed over to this flying boat, and was flown back to Miami. I got into Miami, and as I got off the flying boat, there were all sorts of reporters around, and they said, "Congressman, do you have any comments on the Pumpkin Papers?" I said, "Pumpkin Papers? What are you talking about?" I thought it was a joke. And they said, "Well, they found some papers in a pumpkin at Whittaker Chambers' farm."And I said, "Oh, my God, we really have a lulu on our hands this time."I -- I got into a DC-3. It wasn't commercial. It was one of the Air Force DC-3s, it reminded me of my days in the Pacific. I sort of sat on a bucket seat, and all the way up I wondered, "What in the world is this all about?" I got in. Stripling met me, and he took me into the committee rooms, and there it was, a whole pile of documents, with copies of the typewritten documents that Chambers had turned over in the deposition hearing. And then the reels of tape of the -- which were basically photostatic copies of papers which were on microfilm. And he had already had them developed, and so we looked through those piles of tapes. And in them there were certainly, I imagine, some innocuous things, but there were three -- three pieces of paper with Hiss's handwriting on, in which he had summarized various State Department documents, and there were -- several of them were mocked -- marked "Top Secret."So we knew that we had there, certainly, evidence, the hard evidence that we had lacked before, but evidence that went far beyond anything we'd even dreamed of. Before, we had thought of Hiss being a Communist, possibly even just a member of a study group, possibly simply a member of a group trying to infil -- trying to influence the policies of the United States in a way that was more favorable to the Soviet Union, but never of espionage. And this involved espionage.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:35:14
[Frank Gannon]

How could the Truman Justice Department have ignored the implications for Hiss of the material that Chambers turned over at the first deposition hearing, given that Truman, who was embarrassed by it politically, had dismissed it --

Day 1, Tape 6
00:35:31
[Richard Nixon]

As a red herring.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:35:31
[Frank Gannon]

-- at the very beginning as a red herring, but as the evidence against Hiss grew and as his partisans began to fall away, did the Truman attitude change or the attitude of the Justice Department?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:35:46
[Richard Nixon]

The Justice Department was in a box here. I mean, after all, it was a political administration. An election was coming up within a matter of months. This was August of 1948, and Truman honestly felt that the committee was a disaster, that -- he felt that it had been irresponsible in times past. He felt that, as he put it, that it was a red herring, a red herring in order to divert attention from the failures of what he called the "Terrible Republican Eighty of Congress", of which I was a member. That's what he honestly felt. Truman was certainly not pro-Communist in any manner -- manner or means. He was a strong anti-Communist. I don't think he had any brief to carry for Hiss. But, on the other hand, he was caught in a terrible dilemma. He had called this -- these committee hearings a red herring. After the first hearings, when it appeared that Hiss was going to come through scot-free and the committee was going to be embarrassed, and now, as a good politician -- he felt as a good politician, he had to stick to it. He did stick to it, and the Justice Department at least played his game for a while, but we forced their hands, and Chambers forced their hands by coming up with this new evidence. And from that time on, the press, even though it was strongly pro-Hiss, first, because it was a big news story, but, second, because they felt they had some responsibility in the matter. They kept hammering and hammering until finally justice was done.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:37:16
[Frank Gannon]

Do you think Truman ever changed his mind?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:37:19
[Richard Nixon]

About Hiss's guilt, yes, if he had any. About whether the committee was engaged in a red herring activity, no. I have a -- I think one of my most interesting recollections is a conversation I had with Bert Andrews, who had sources not only within the committee but in the White House itself, because he was considered to be one of the top reporters in Washington in those days. He was the chief of the bureau for the "New York Herald Tribune".

Day 1, Tape 6
00:37:43
[Frank Gannon]

He was very critical of the committee, too, wasn't he?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:37:45
[Richard Nixon]

He had written a book that had won him a prize in which he had given the committee the devil for some of its procedures in government loyalty checks, and he had given the State Department the devil for the same thing, for -- for firing some people and forcing some people to leave because of the loyalty issue. So, therefore, his credentials were very good in that respect, but he was an honest reporter. But he had a line within the White House, and he said that his source within the White House was in the Oval Office. When a Justice Department representative took some of these documents in to show them to Truman, the so-called Pumpkin Papers, the reproductions of the documents on microfilm and the typewritten papers and the rest, which were later proved to have been written on a typewriter by Priscilla Hiss, which Hiss's -- Hiss owned. That was another one of the physical things. You see, the typewriter, the rug, the car, these physical things were the hard evidence that brought him down. And when Truman saw these documents, he looked at them, and he got angrier and angrier, and then he started to pace the floor, according to the aide who was there, and he said, "The son-of-a-bitch, he betrayed his country, the son-of-a-bitch, he betrayed his country". That's how he felt about Hiss, but he went out in the press conference -- no, but then -- not in the press conference. But then the aide said, "Well, are you going to change your evaluation as far as this hearing is concerned"? "Not at all. Not at all". He said, "As far as that committee is concerned, they aren't interested in -- in Hiss. They're simply interested in discrediting this administration. These hearings, the purpose of them is a red herring", and he went r-- out even after that and told a press conference he still considered the hearings to be a red herring, even after it became public knowledge, when Hiss had to back down and say, yes, he had known Chambers, even though he claimed he had known him as Crosley, even after the papers came out which indicated that Hiss very possibly had been involved in espionage, and later, of course, it was proved by a jury or admitted by a jury or held by a jury that he had been.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:40:06
[Frank Gannon]

He was convicted --

Day 1, Tape 6
00:40:06
[Richard Nixon]

H--

Day 1, Tape 6
00:40:06
[Frank Gannon]

-- of perjury.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:40:07
[Richard Nixon]

H -- that's right. Truman never changed his view that the committee's hearings were a red herring, because he was referring to our intent, which he considered to be political, and he ignored what we finally had brought to public attention, the fact that he was guilty.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:40:24
[Frank Gannon]

Alger Hiss is still trying to exonerate himself. How do you think that's possible? How can one, for all these years, in the face of such overwhelming evidence and the conviction by a jury -- how can he do this? Can he still believe in his innocence?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:40:45
[Richard Nixon]

Well, he may believe in his innocence. I don't think he does believe in his innocence, because I believe is -- the one who started out as very pro-Hiss, Allen Weinstein, came down on the other side with the conviction that Hiss had been guilty of perjury. I believe that he was, and that Hiss knows it. But --

Day 1, Tape 6
00:41:05
[Frank Gannon]

This is the man who wrote the book about the --

Day 1, Tape 6
00:41:07
[Richard Nixon]

That's right.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:41:07
[Frank Gannon]

-- the perjury --

Day 1, Tape 6
00:41:08
[Richard Nixon]

That's right.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:41:08
[Frank Gannon]

-- about the Hiss-Chambers case.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:41:09
[Richard Nixon]

A -- uh -- a professor. I think that as far as Hiss is concerned, it's -- I -- I'm not really able to judge his motives except he's determined to stand by what he said so many years ago.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:41:27
[Frank Gannon]

How did you feel when he was reinstituted by the Massachusetts bar a couple of years ago?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:41:34
[Richard Nixon]

Not surprised. You have to understand that the Hiss case, you see, went far beyond, far beyond the usual congressional investigation of Communist subversives or what-have-you, or even espionage. The Hiss case was considered by Hiss's supporters and defenders as being an attack on the whole elite establishment, an attack on the Foreign Service of the United States, an attack on those who were for the U.N., attack on the Roosevelt foreign policy. I recall, for example, being at a dinner at Virginia Bacon's house in Washington, D.C. She was one of the great hostesses, and Paul Porter was there, a good liberal Truman Democrat, and this was right after the Pumpkin Papers had come out, and somebody was needling Porter a little because they knew he had been strongly pro-Hiss. "Well, now, don't you believe -- aren't you going to have to admit that -- that the committee has done an honest job, at least, and a good job in exposing this"? And he said, "No". He says, "I think these committee's -- this committee's hearings, the Un-American Activities Committee's hearings were a disaster. I think they were very detrimental to the country, because they cast reflections on the Roosevelt foreign policy". Well, of course they cast reflections on the Roosevelt foreign policy, but that, it seemed to me, for a lawyer to say, went a bit far. But that was perhaps typical, typical of people in the Foreign Service, typical of people, and particularly those who were very closely associated with Harvard and the other great universities to find a fellow like Hiss being involved in this sort of thing. If it had been the other way around, if it had been Chambers, this rather unkempt, rather disorderly-looking fellow with the poor teeth and the rest, not in the top social set -- if he had been the one, I do not think you would have had the same reaction. But then, and even now, years later, I think people think that -- they identify me as one who attacked the establishment -- helped to bring, unfortunately, some disrepute to the whole foreign policy establishment of the United States.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:43:57
[Frank Gannon]

Let me read you a -- a short quote from Lillian Hellman, writing in one of her books about this time, about the anti-Communist atmosphere led first by the House Un-American Activities Committee and then by Senator Joseph McCarthy. She wrote, "It is now sad to read the anti-Communist writers and intellectuals of those times, but sad is a fake word for me to be using. I am still angry that their reason for disagreeing with McCarthy was too often his crude methods. Such people would have a right to say that I and many like me took too long to see what was going on in the Soviet Union, but, whatever our mistakes, I do not believe we did our country any harm, and I think they did". Do you believe that the people that were investigated and criticized by theHouse Un-American Activities Committee and the McCarthy investigations did harm to the country?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:44:54
[Richard Nixon]

I think that I would put it another way, taking Miss Hellman's point of view, that when she says that those who were Communists, who did infiltrate the government of the United States, and in some cases did turn over information to the Soviet Union, as the atom spies did, for example, I think they did very great harm to the United States. I, of course, as you know, did not agree with McCarthy's methods. I did my very best to get him to be more responsible but was unable to bring him into line. On the other hand, I have no apologies for -- whatever for the work we did on the Hiss case. One of the reasons that Eisenhower said that he selected me for a running mate was -- was that he was impressed by my -- by what I'd done on the Hiss case, because I got him, but got him fairly. Now, let me say, it wasn't that personal. It wasn't just me. Others participated in it, too, but those who say that, "Well, it doesn't -- it isn't going to make any difference if there are a few Communists in the State Department and pass this little bit of information or the other to the Soviet Union". It makes a very great deal of difference because that's part of a whole Soviet move, not only toward the United States, but everyplace else in the world. Espionage, subversion, subversion for the purpose of influencing policy. That's part of the Soviet Union's great objective, and we have to be on guard, in a responsible way, to see that people under their control, influenced by them, even innocently influenced, are not in government positions.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:46:39
[Frank Gannon]

How widespread do you think Communist infiltration in the government was in those years and the pre-war and immediately post-war years?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:46:47
[Richard Nixon]

Very significantly, particularly during the period of the -- of -- of World War II, when we were allies. Then, frankly, it was considered proper, even fashionable, you know, to take a sort of a pro-Soviet line. Thereafter, it became certainly less the fashionable, shall I say, and it became legally dangerous to do so, because the Soviet Union during the Cold War period was considered to be a potential enemy of the United States. But there is no question that there was infiltration, and there is no question, in my view, that Truman's loyalty checks, which were carried on by Eisenhower, that they were necessary. Some of them were not, perhaps, conducted in a way that would meet all the standards that we would have liked, but something had to be done. You just couldn't leave those people in those positions. And, as you know, for every Hiss who was exposed, found guilty, and went to prison, there are many others who left office because they didn't want to -- to, frankly, testify or sign a loyalty oath, or what-have-you.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:48:03
[Frank Gannon]

Do you think that there is Communist infiltration in the government today?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:48:07
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, I would not be surprised. Let me put it this way -- I would be surprised if there were not. I would say that I do not think it is widespread, because, after all, both the Republicans and the Democrats know that, in terms of a political issue, it would be dynamite to have a high appointee, or even a low one, be exposed for any Communist activities. But certainly don't think for one moment that the Communists don't continue to try, not only in government, but in business and so forth. Let me say, at the present time, one of the grave problems we have is industrial espionage. I mean, you -- we read of cases every day, the -- every few days here, you know, of industrial espionage, or this one or that one who turned over information. That's part of the -- of the whole thrust of Soviet foreign policy.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:49:05
[Frank Gannon]

Did you address the problem when you were president?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:49:11
[Richard Nixon]

Not specifically. I was, too, frankly, busy trying to handle the foreign policy problems that we had dealing with the Soviet Union at the very highest level, dealing with China, delling -- dealing with the Mideast, and, of course, the primary concern, at least for the first four years, of ending the war in Vietnam in an honorable way. As far as Communism within the government was concerned, Communist activities or industrial espionage and so forth, I did not take any personal role in that. I didn't have any time to concentrate on it.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:49:49
[Frank Gannon]

In view of the way the Communist empire has unf -- has imposed itself since the post-war years, since the dropping of the Iron Curtain, since Czechoslovakia in 1968, since Afghanistan, since Poland, how is it possible for someone in the West today who enjoys the freedom that--that goes with living in the West, and particularly in the United States, to be a spy for the Soviet Union unless it's -- unless it's purely for money? But is it -- how is it possible to be an ideological Communist with one's allegiance in Moscow today?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:50:30
[Richard Nixon]

Hard to understand, but it happens. I guess it happens because there are people, particularly among the intellectual people -- this idea that Communists are all working stiffs or minorities and the rest is just fatuous nonsense. That isn't the case. There are few in those areas. Primarily, the Communists in most countries are the intellectuals. They're the better educated people. They're the idealists and so forth, but they're the idealists who have given up on Western society, given up on U.S. democracy, on European democracy, and whatever. In fact, Foster Dulles, who was one of those who had vouched for Hiss when Hiss was named the president of the Carnegie Foundation for International Peace, of which Dulles was one of the trustees -- Foster Dulles, after Hiss's conviction, made a very eloquent statement where he said, "The great tragedy of the Hiss case" -- I will paraphrase it -- "is that our ideals no longer have the appeal to our young people that they should have in order to retain their loyalty". And that's the key to it. It's -- it's -- but let me say it is a real problem. There are -- there are numbers of people in the intellectuals community who see the danger on the left -- on the right, but do not see a danger on the left. And -- and they s -- they think that all liberation or revolutionary movement against any, what they call "dictatorial society", "authoritarian", or other ways on the right, should be supported, even, like, for example, similar to that is the way the -- that most of the American establishment -- that many in the American establishment came down on the side of the North Vietnamese Communists, who were among the most brutal vicious people -- aggressors in the history of civilization. And they've proved it, of course, since they moved into South Vietnam, and since their colleagues have moved into Cambodia and slaughtered three million Cambodians. But it's something I can't explain.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:52:42
[Frank Gannon]

One of the statements from Chambers testimony, one of his several testimonies before the committee, that you used to use in speeches at the time, had to do with -- was his -- Chambers' summation of the web they had become [inaudible] --

Day 1, Tape 6
00:53:01
[Richard Nixon]

I -- I recall. I think -- I think I know the one you're speaking about, but let me tell you that came about. I was trying to find out what might have motivated Chambers, because Hiss's defenders -- this is after Hiss denied that he knew him -- said, "Well, Chambers must have had a grudge against him. Chambers has got to -- got -- have some secret hatred for this man that would make him do this sort of thing."And one time, sitting up there at Chambers' farm on the porch, I said -- I caught him -- tried to catch him unaware, and I said, "Tell me". I said, "What do you say to the charge that people say that you're doing all this because you've got some secret beef against Ch --Ch -- Hiss, something growing out of your relationships in the past"? And he said, "How could I have any motive which would lead me to destroy myself"? And that seemed to be an answer, and so when he came before the committee in that long session -- it lasted about six hours, as I recall -- Chambers was on, Hiss was on, and it got late in the day. It was about five o'clock. We were tired. The press was tired. I'm sure Chambers was, and -- and -- and I finally asked him the critical question. I said, "Mr. Chambers, will you tell this committee, is there some motive you have, some motive of revenge that has led you to testify against Mr. Hiss as you have"? And then he answered.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:54:35
[Frank Gannon]

I have --

Day 1, Tape 6
00:54:36
[Richard Nixon]

And I think--

Day 1, Tape 6
00:54:36
[Frank Gannon]

I have a copy, if you'd read it.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:54:37
[Richard Nixon]

I think I can remember it, but if I could have it. He answered in his usual monotone, but it is per -- perhaps the most moving statement I've ever heard before a committee. "The story has spread that, in testifying against Mr. Hiss, I am working out some old grudge or motives of revenge or hatred. I do not hate Mr. Hiss. We were close friends, but we are caught in a tragedy of history. Mr. Hiss represents the concealed enemy against which we are all fighting, and I am fighting. I have testified against him with remorse and pity, but in the moment of history in which this nation now stands, so help me, God, I cannot do otherwise". He completed the statement. There was a dead silence in the room for at least a minute. And anybody that heard that statement certainly was disabused, if he had it before, of any idea that Chambers had testified against Hiss because of some revenge motive.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:55:55
[Frank Gannon]

You went to the 1948 Republican Convention as a -- not as a delegate, but as an honored guest, as a member of Congress. You were a Stassen man, and you have subsequently said to friends that if you had been Stassen's campaign manager in '48, he would have won the presidency.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:56:15
[Richard Nixon]

Well, as a matter of fact, Stassen was the most interesting candidate. He was also one who could relate to World War II people because he had been a veteran in World War II. He was young, he was charismatic. Many people think since that time he was dull, but he really wasn't at that time. And he was smart, very, very smart. Dewey, I think, was one of the most capable men ever to run for the presidency, and would have made a great president, without question, or a great chief justice, or anything, but no one would suggest that Dewey could excite people, at least not in his later years. he didn't have that capability. Taft, another enormously capable man, an intellectual giant and a giant in terms of just sheer character and belief and not a reactionary. As a matter of fact, Taft was a progressive. He was an isolationist, basically, deep down, but he had very progressive, advanced views on aid to education, on health care, and on housing. In fact, some of the conservatives on the right only stuck with him because they thought he was more, shall we say, isolationist, and that -- that held them in line. They didn't agree with his domestic views. And so there you had Taft, and there you had Dewey. I would say that of -- of the -- of the lot that we had there at the convention, Stassen, if he could have been nominated, would have been the strongest candidate. I think he would have won.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:57:46
[Frank Gannon]

You weren't his manager then --

Day 1, Tape 6
00:57:48
[Richard Nixon]

Oh, no.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:57:48
[Frank Gannon]

--but Joe -- but wasn't Joe -- McCarthy was --

Day 1, Tape 6
00:57:50
[Richard Nixon]

Joe McCarthy was his floor manager, and I remember Joe McCarthy, after Stassen had made his run for it and didn't get enough votes on the first ballot, and finally it went over to Dewey -- I saw him, I can remember vividly, at the entrance to the auditorium. Particularly -- it's funny the things you remember. The sweat was just pouring down his cheeks and so forth, and his shirt was wet, and he was saying, "Well, fellas, we've had it. There's no way that Stassen can make it, and now let's go out and work for Dewey". Now, let's understand -- that was a different time in McCarthy's history. He hadn't even thought of the Communist issue then. I don't think he'd thought of it. He was engaged in other activities. He had come to the Senate, and we were good friends in 1946. The Communist issue had not come up until later with him, after the ' 48 elections.

Day 1, Tape 6
00:58:45
[Frank Gannon]

Was he sincere in his anti-Communism?

Day 1, Tape 6
00:58:49
[Richard Nixon]

I've often thought about that question, and my answer is, at first, no. At first I believe that he just saw it as an opportunistic issue. He thought it was a good one after he saw what had happened in theHiss case, and he was making speeches. This was during the -- the campaigns, of course, that followed thereafter. And so he was making speeches and wanted to get a new lead for a speech, and speaking out in West Virginia to a group of women, he threw out the fact that there were fifty Communists in the State Department, and then continued to up the number, referred to them as card-carrying, and so forth. And from then on, it was almost impossible to restrain him and to make him be responsible. But once he got into it, and once they began to take him on, he found there were some of those against whom he main -- made charges who were actually guilty. And that, of course, made him deeply sincere about those. But at the beginning, no. He started with opportunism, ended with extremism, and him extremism destroyed him.

Day 1, Tape 6
01:00:02
[Frank Gannon]

The controversy that surrounded the Hiss case must have been very tough and rough, not just on you, but on -- on Mrs. Nixon as well. Did you consider leaving politics after '48 or after the -- your term, your '48 term, ended in 1950?

Day 1, Tape 6
01:00:21
[Richard Nixon]

Not then. At a later time, in 1954, after we went through a brutal campaign, and it didn't seem to get us any credit. We just seemed to take slings and arrows from everybody, although we knew we'd done a good job and probably saved a few seats, as the Gallup Poll indicated we had, by our campaigning. Then I was very depressed, and Mrs. Nixon was relieved when I indicated, in our house at forty-oh-one--forty-eight-oh-one Tilden Street one time around the fireplace, "Well, this was the last campaign". After this one, I must say, though, taking the Hiss case on was not pleasant. It was not something I welcomed doing. After all, I had -- I had come to Congress, I was quite respected as a congressman, not universally liked because I was a conservative among a liberal media sect and so forth, but people considered me a responsible conservative. I had joined a group, along with Jack Javits, headed by Russell Davenport, for forward-looking programs for health and in other areas. I'd been on the Herter Committee and had made very effective speeches for foreign aid. I had supported the Greek-Turkish aid program. I had supported reciprocal trade. I had supported the Marshall Plan. I was considered to be a responsible internationalist in foreign policy. It seemed to me I had a very -- a very good career and a relatively non-controversial career -- career, and everybody likes to be kind of non-controversial. You don't like to get up in the morning and see a Herblock cartoon showing you climbing out of a sewer, and he had worse, on occasion, with me. You don't like your family to see it, because children grow up, and those images become in -- seared onto their brains and in their minds and their souls. And so, after the Hiss case, the Hiss case certainly left a great mark on all of us because what happened there was that many people in the media never forgave me for that. I'm not critical of them. I understand why. They -- they -- they thought some way that I was attacking their whole way of life, what they stood for and so forth. I mean, they weren't Communists. They probably disapproved, if they thought he was guilty at all, of what Hiss had been charged with, at least, but, on the other hand, they just didn't like the idea of somebody coming along and demonstrating that there was some Communist infiltration in the government. I think -- I think Herbert Hoover perhaps hit a raw nerve when he wired me right after Hiss was convicted. And I think I can recall the wire exactly, when he said, "Congratulations on the result in the Hiss case". He said, "The--the stream of treason in our government has finally been exposed for all to see in a way they understand". So, he thought, in other words, that there had been a stream of -- of treason. Others thought it, but there were many others who, perhaps like Paul Porter, if there was a stream of treason they thought it was time to forget it and to go on to other things.

Day 1, Tape 6
01:03:48
[Frank Gannon]

Thank you.

[Action note: Screen goes black.]

 

Go to: Transcript, Day 2

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