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Chapter Ten: The Defeated; The President

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Chapter Ten: The Defeated; The President

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Special Collections and Archives

Chapter Ten: The Defeated; The President

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Return to the Charles A. Thomas Papers (KSU May 4 Collection)


Blood of Isaac
an e-book by Charles A. Thomas



Chapter Ten: The Defeated; The President.


          On the evening of Friday May 8th, just as Dellinger was walking out of the Mobe’s last-minute bickering over the next day’s program, President Nixon choppered back in to his besieged White House from Camp David, Maryland.   He appeared to be extremely nervous, and as if he had gotten even less sleep than usual.   He had given every sign of dreading the scheduled press conference.    “Had said absolutely no phone calls after (because he was really concerned and unsure about this one.”[1]

            He had plenty of time to eat dinner and dress.   He and his media handlers had arrived at the tactic of holding the press conferences late in the evening.   This left the reporters with only minutes to file their stories before their papers had to go to press.   Some of them were thus reducing to composing their articles in their heads while the question-and-answer was in progress.   This particular press conference was set back even later, from nine until ten, so that it would not have to compete with a basketball game on ABC (proving yet again that Haldeman knew the priorities of the American viewer/citizen).   “The network volunteered to squeeze the President in at half-time, but he refused.”[2]

            As the press conference opened, the President remained “visibly nervous.”   But he relaxed quickly when it was obvious that – to put it very mildly -- he was not going to get any tough questions.


                        Q.  Do you believe that you can open up meaningful communications with this college-age generation, and how?

                        A.  I would like to try as best I can to do that.   It is not easy.   Sometimes they, as you know, talk so loudly that it is difficult to be heard…

                        Q.  Mr. President, what do you think the students are trying to say in this demonstration?

                        A.  …I think I understand what they want.   I would hope they would understand what  I want…  I have been working 18 or 20 hours a day, mostly on Vietnam, trying to bring these     men home…

Q.  Mr. President, do you believe that the use of the word ‘bums’ to categorize some of those who are engaged in dissent – and I know you meant it to apply to those who have      been destructive, but it has been used in a broader context – do you believe that is in keeping with your suggestion that the rhetoric be kept cool?

A.  …when students on university campuses burn buildings, when they engaged in violence, when they break up furniture, when they terrorize their fellow students and terrorize the faculty, then I think ‘bums’ is perhaps too kind a word to apply to that kind of person…

Q.  …what, in your judgement, is the proper action and conduct for a police force or a National Guard force when ordered to clear the campus area and faced with a crowd throwing rocks?

A.  …when you have a situation of a crowd throwing rocks, and the National Guard is  called in, that there is always the chance that it will escalate into the kind of thing that happened at KentState.

If there is one thing I am personally committed to, it is this:  I saw the pictures of those four youngsters in the Evening Star the day after the tragedy, and I vowed that we were going to find methods that would be more effective to deal with these problems of violence, that would deal with these problems of violence, that would deal with those who use force and violence, endanger others, but, at the same time, would not take the lives of innocent people.[3]


            Was the president admitting that some of the four killed on Monday were innocent bystanders?   The FBI knew as much by now.   There were no followup questions.   No one asked him about the mass attacks by hardhats on protestors and bystanders in Manhattan that afternoon, although it was on all the wires.   No one reminded him of the Vice President’s televised assessment of KentState as second-degree murder.   No one asked him when American forces in Cambodia would capture COSVN.   The television audience was witnessing media auto-emasculation, whether they could know it or not.


[R]arely has a news conference been as pallid or synthetic a ritual…  a pale shadow of  the passion and trauma of the nation.   It was as real-life as a minuet, as illuminating as a multiplication table…  More a fusillade of spitballs at 50 paces than a searching examination of the President’s mood and motives at a moment of national crisis…   Mr. Nixon [was] as smooth as a cueball, and about as communicative.[4]


            Nixon himself could not believe it.   He had faced his second most dreaded enemy and toyed with them.   As when he learned the Apollo XIII astronauts were safe, his mood swung extravagantly to the other extreme.   He immediately rescinded the order about taking no telephone calls afterward.    “Then he stayed up ‘til after on the calls -- & we ran a batch through.   He was very tired and rambled on a lot.”   Actually, he stayed on the phone after Haldeman and the others finally were allowed to go home for the night.   (“In trying to leave we were jammed in by the troop trucks unloading the 3rd Army into the EOB.”)[5]    Even after Haldeman had dragged himself home, Nixon called him there.   He also called just about everyone else he knew – at least of his supporters – fifty phone calls in all, many of them redials (he talked with Kissinger eight times).   In the midst of the manic telephone marathon, he found time to lie down for an hour in a vain attempt to sleep and to roam the darkened executive mansion, trying to soothe himself with Rachmaninoff on the stereo.   Finally, in his loneliest hour, he sought out the one person he knew would still be there, like a faithful dog lying on his doorstep.


Haig’s always down there,’ the president once said, motioning to the West Basement  in a bitter remark to aides in the spring of 1970, ‘while Kissinger is off having dinner in Georgetown.   When you see the lights burning late in Henry’s office, it’s usually Al Haig.[6]


            And so Nixon finally appeared at the door of what Haig referred to as his “basement cell” or “cubbyhole”, “somewhat disheveled – tie a little askew, coat unbuttoned, hair slightly tousled.”   He smiled at his personal general and said, “We’ve had a rough day, Al.   Things are bad out there.   But we’ve got to stick to our guns.   We’ve done the right thing and we have to go on.”[7]

            The next thing anyone in the White House was aware of, it was the dark hour just before dawn.   Ehrlichman’s young aide Egil Krogh had the duty as security officer.   The Secret Service jolted him awake with a warning that Searchlight was out on the lawn.   Searchlight was the S.S. code name for the president.   The agent told Krogh that Nixon had ordered no one be told he was going outside by himself.   Krogh called Ehrlichman for instructions, and Ehrlichman told him to get the president back inside immediately.   But when Krogh went out onto the lawn, Searchlight was gone.[8]

            Three coeds from SyracuseUniversity arrived on the Mall shortly after this, exhausted by the long drive.   With hours yet to go before daylight and the great antiwar rally that had drawn them, they wandered down toward the Lincoln Memorial.   They were ascending its steps when Secret Service agents materialized out of the dark and told them to keep to the sides, leaving the center of the great staircase clear.   A young man descended to meet them, muttering, “Freaky, freaky, freaky.   You gotta go up there to see for yourself.”   As he disappeared, another, older man loomed up above them, “arms outstretched in a Fellini-esque posture.”   “There’s the President!” one of them whispered.   “What President?” her bewildered companion asked.

            It was indeed Richard Nixon, who had escaped from the White House with only his Filipino valet Manolo Sanchez by his side and sallied out into the engulfing blackness to meet the Enemy single-handed.   Krogh had caught up with him there, “in a kind of surrealistic scene,” talking with eight “obviously tried and obviously disheveled young people.”[9]   He was standing too far back (with some very nervous Secret Service agents) to hear what was said, so the only source for most of the dialogue’s content would always be Nixon himself – principally in an account of the conversation he would give to Garnett D. Horner of the Star several hours later.   With no contradicting source, it is amazing that the president could not come up with a more flattering version of his own discourse, which rambled over an hour from the importance of traveling and seeing sights while still young, through Neville Chamberlain at Munich, through to good surfing beaches in California and the millions of people in China.

            Finally the president began to run down and Krogh and the Secret Service let themselves think about extricating him.   But then as he was leaving the Memorial, he saw the three young women coming up the steps and decided to talk to them.   They were appalled enough by what he said – perhaps even more by the obvious condition of the man who said it – to remember it vividly.


LYNN SCHATZKIN:  His hands were in his pockets; he didn’t look at anyone in the eyes; he was mumbling; when people asked him to speak up he would boom one word out and no more.   As far as sentence structure there was none.[10]

JOAN PELLETIER:  He’d been talking about 20 minutes when we got there, we were told, and we couldn’t even hear what he was saying from a few feet away.   He was talking to the floor, not looking up.

Everyone was stunned, because it was so freaky.   He was talking about his world trip.   The girl next to me said someone had asked about Cambodia and all he’d say was it was the only way Vietnamization would work.   But he was just going on and on, leading to nowhere,     talking about Prague and Warsaw and all the places he’d been.   And it wasn’t leading  anywhere; nothing he was saying was coherent or even in complete sentences…

RONNIE KEMPER:  Somebody would ask him to speak up, he was mumbling at his feet.   And that would jolt him out of wherever he was and he’d kind of look up and shake his head around, but then he’d go back to looking at his feet and he was gone again.   He had makeup all over, it was in his eyelashes.

There was no train of thought.   Like he asked if anyone there was from California, and when one guy was, Nixon started talking about the good surfing places there…

JOAN PELLETIER:  [I was] really sick to see him walking down the stairs; he was very overcautious, like he could hardly walk down them.                      At first I felt awe, and then that changed right away to respect.   Then as he kept talking, it went to disappointment and disillusionment.   Then I felt pity because he was so            pathetic, and then just plain fear to think that he’s running the country

I wanted afterwards to think it was an actor, that it wasn’t really the President, but some actor who thought he’d make himself up like Nixon and go freak us all out as a joke.[11]


            Krogh finally got him away from the three women and into a limousine.   As it pulled away, a bearded youth darted through the Secret Service agents to one of its rear windows and gave Nixon the finger.   Nixon responded with the same gesture.   The hostile exchange snapped him out of his quasi-trance.   “The son of a bitch,” he told his valet, “will go through the rest of his life telling everybody that the President of the United States gave him the finger.   And nobody will believe him.”[12]   It was perhaps the only fitting ending for the whole grotesque episode.


The scene is hallucinogenic.   How could these students and that president occupy the same historical moment?   Students who had traveled through the night to protest the policies of a murderous president; the president himself, avuncular, welcoming them to the capital, hoping they’d take in a few of the sights before they left.

                        The president before dawn in earnest dialogue with the students is a vision not so much of the banality of evil as of the evil of banality.[13]


            And yet Nixon would not let it end.   He insisted on being driven to the deserted, floodlit Capitol.   The only people there at that hour were three black cleaning women.   One of them, Carrie Moore, held out her Bible and asked him to autograph it, adding, “I read it every day.”   “You know, my mother was a saint,” Nixon replied, taking her hand, “She died two years ago.   She was a saint.   You be a saint, too.”

            “I’ll try, Mr. President,” Ms. Moore replied.[14]

            By now Haldeman had joined the growing entourage of aides trying to get the president back to the White House.   But now Nixon insisted that, for the first time since he had been president, he have breakfast out.   They wound up at the Rib Room in the Mayflower Hotel.   “Very weird.   P. completely beat & just rambling on – but obviously too tired to go to sleep.”   When they emerged from the hotel and Nixon decided that he wanted to walk back to the White House – even as demonstrators were moving along the same sidewalks toward the Ellipse – the chief of staff decided to take charge.   He gave Krogh a signal and together they hustled the president into a limousine.

            Back at the White House, Haldeman “finally got him to go to bed, but he couldn’t sleep, so tossed around, made phone calls, was back up again…   I am concerned about his condition…  He has had very little sleep for a long time & his judgment, temper & mood suffer badly as a result…  there’s a long way to go and he’s in no condition to weather it.”[15]   He had a sudden inspiration: he asked the president if he would like to walk over to the EOB and visit the soldiers bivouacked there.   It was the right move.   Dwight Chapin, tagging along, noted that “The President looked great while he was talking to the men… the men ‘turned him on’ and you could tell that he felt good about seeing the young soldiers.”            


he kind of put his head down and had his fists kind of clinched in a manner that exuded all kinds of confidence and leadership.   As he turned, he said in a very, almost emotional voice, ‘It’s a good country.’   Bob Haldeman will have to fill in on the rest of the conversation, but the President was making reference to the young men whom he had just met and comparing them to the hard-corps [sic] type demonstrators who were out knocking the country, etc.[16]


It is unfortunate that Haldeman never did “fill in” on this incident, for – especially with regard to the last phrase in Chapin’s memo – it indicates that Nixon, despite the national agony of the week beginning at on the 4th, had learned nothing.   He was still locked into the dichotomy from which had viewed the world on May Day: his good, loyal soldiers versus the slovenly, vicious “bums.”

            While all this was going on, the president’s family was flying to his side.   Ordered to stay at Camp David because of the “danger” from the demonstrators, Patricia Nixon overruled the Secret Service on the morning of the 9th and ordered a vehicle convoy to take her, her daughters, and her son-in-law to the White House.   Their ordinary black sedan was preceded by a black armored presidential limousine used as a “decoy” to lure radicals who might attack them, and an ambulance which, “with siren blaring just might help us clear an intersection if students surged at the car.”   To the older daughter, “Miss Julie” (as the servants timorously referred to her), “the car ride was like a play” until they got to the northeast gate.


                        I had a sick, hollow feeling in my stomach when I saw that the White House was solidly ringed by military [sic] buses parked fender to fender…

            When we walked up the steps of the North Portico and entered the White House, it was like entering a tomb.   All the window shades were drawn; no lights were burning.[17]


            The First Family spent the 9th of May barricaded in the White House.    The President remained in the Oval Office; the women and David Eisenhower watched some of the demonstration on television, and twice went upstairs to the closet of Tricia’s bedroom to peep “through the sheer lace curtains… out on the crowd… We inside the White House felt the numbness that comes after an intense assault on the senses.”[18]   Apparently the distance from the closet window was too great, and the television close-ups of the crowd too infrequent, for them to realize that the great antiwar protest was falling apart in ideological fugue, empty bombast, and the soporific effect of too much warm sunshine.

            And perhaps the president was too busy pursuing those who had betrayed him – chiefly, Wally Hickel.   Klein relates in his memoirs that he was given the job of calling Hickel and telling him that he would not be welcome at the White House church service the following morning – the ultimate form of ostracism within this publicly pious administration.   Hickel pleaded that his wife was counting on the service and had invited two close friends from Alaska to join them.   I felt as if I were bleeding inside.   But I was firm.”[19]   But as Hickel remembered it, it was Haldeman who called him to say, “Mr. Secretary, it’s thought best that you not come to services in the morning.”   Hickel kept repeating into the phone, “This is incredible.   This has got to be incredible.   Is this the President’s wish?”   Haldeman replied, “The President was in the room when the decision was made.”[20]

            The next morning, anyone looking out the White House windows would find the protest army vanished.   All that moved on the Ellipse that Sunday morning were Park Service employees picking up trash and a few stragglers from the rally, wandering around like the dazed survivors of a military rout.   But the president did not pause to celebrate his victory, and only reluctantly took time off for church from a new manic round of phone calls.   Still inflamed by Hickel’s treachery, he was still looking for traitors in his own ranks.


Has done a lot of thinking – I’m not sure how clearly – re probs. With Cabinet, etc… Delighted to lern [sic] Abrams has already fired two of his Div. commanders cause they didn’t move fast enuf – feels we have to do the same thing.   Someone has to be made an example – this is K’s line.[21]


            have got to get the fear of God into our people…

            we’re in a war now

            when people don’t shape up they’ve got to go

            our people have no fear

            someone must be made an example[22]


            Nixon had not slowed down or rested much if at all before he hosted the nation’s governors on Monday.   Forty-five of the fifty attended, a remarkable showing on such instant notice.   No transcript, notes, or minutes of this meeting has yet been released by the National Archives, which is unfortunate since there is some dispute about what was said.   It is generally agreed that the president spent two to three hours defending the invasion of Cambodia, making use of the “domino theory” regarded in some circles as an embarrassing anachronism from the “Who lost China?” debate of the late 1940s and early 1950s.


                        country by country…

                        then to Philippines

                        can we let Philippines fall

                        ask the dominoes if the domino theory works

                        Then to Japan…

                        So you’re back to fortress America.[23]


                        He did a darn good job – but went on & on – frequently irrelevant.   Still made his points – but would have done better in half as much time…

                        Rogers called me afterwards very concerned about P.   Same reason as above.  Feels we’ve got to keep him on a short leash til he gets rested up.[24]


            Emerging from the meeting, Republican governor John Love of Colorado told the press that none of his colleagues had challenged the decision to invade.   ‘As soon as the first edition of the New York Times hit the streets that evening, Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s office was on the phone to reporter Robert Semple explaining that the governor had expressed some sharp disagreements.”[25]   Semple revised the story to include the purport of the statement Rockefeller had submitted to the meeting, citing the “devastating repercussions” of the whole Southeast Asian war for the nation: “the polarization of the American people…  the diversion of $ 100 million in national resources… the worst inflation since World War II” – and calling for an immediate U.S. withdrawal from Indochina.            Semple’s revised report also included allusion to a sharp exchange between Vice President Spiro Agnew and Governor Frank Licht (D., Rhode Island) on whether the priority should be to restore order on the campus or open lines of communication to the young.   The White House press office insisted there had been no such exchange; Agnew had merely stated that the administration could not send spokespersons onto the campus because of the “anti-intellectual attitudes” there.[26]

Without access to a credible primary source document from the meeting, it is impossible to get the other side of the reported exchange.

            Ehrlichman took the occasion to suggest to the president that maybe he should slow down, citing his performance at the Memorial as proof that his chronic fatigue and tension were impairing his performance: “E. told him he was tired & not very effective – this made him mad – and it came up several times later in day.   Real trouble is – he’s just totally pooped & is not up to his usual performance.”[27]   Nixon refused to accept any such idea, fumed about it for a few days, and then dictated a long memorandum to prove Ehrlichman was wrong:


I can understand why John Ehrlichman got the idea from news reports that I was tired and all I talked about was surfing and nonsensical things…   even when I am tired I do not talk about nonsensical things….

Perhaps the major contribution I could make to them [the students] was to try to lift them a bit out of the miserable intellectual wasteland in which they now wander aimlessly around.[28]


The memo then persuades to reconstruct the “dialogue” with the students, depicting it as every bit as rambling and dissociative as the press reports had indicated.   It does not mention the three young women from Syracuse or the exchange of middle fingers.

            Nixon could “understand” Ehrlichman’s “mistaken” impression as arising from the hostile distortions of the press.   He followed the first memo with one transmitting the latest orders in his war with American journalism:


With regard to the New York Times, no one from the White House staff under any circumstances is to answer any call or see anybody from the New York Times except for Semple.   Try also in a quiet way to get this word carried out wherever you can in the departments without getting in a position where someone is going to report it back to the Times

Ziegler under no circumstances is to see anybody from the Washington Post and no one on the staff is to see anybody from the Washington Post or return any calls to them.[29]


            By Tuesday morning he was striking out in all directions.   “Has new idea re cutting off all defense money to Univs that closed down – or caved in to demonstrators.”   He wanted reprisals against State Department employees who had signed a circular letter condemning the Cambodian invasion.   “P. wants to have all of them – or at least the senior advisors – fired.”[30]   He now wanted a rally of his own to eclipse the one that had just taken place: “B Graham – bring ½ mill to D.C. for America, Graham, [Jackie] Gleason, J Cash   use Legions etc.”   By now the circle of those he trusted had practically contracted to exclude all but the chief of staff: “JEdgar – send FBI reports to me [Haldeman]   not to K   don’t send any to K or E any more.”[31]

            On Thursday, Haldeman finally got what he wanted; the president and his inner circle took a plane to Florida for a vacation in Key Biscayne.   But Nixon would not stop “cranking on minute details” even on the flight down, and was “not at all relaxed as he usually is on the way to Fla.


This whole period of two weeks of tension & crisis preceded by two weeks of very tough decision making has taken its toll.   P. won’t admit it – but he is really tired, and is, as some have observed, letting himself slip back to the old ways.    He’s driving way too hard on           unnecessary things – and because of this not getting enough sleep – is up tight, etc.   All of this OK if he can unwind this weekend – and if nothing big come[s] up in the interim.   But could be rough if a new crisis arises – cause he’s not ready to handle it.[32]            


            The president was finally headed south, where he had wanted to go for two weeks – before KentState had made the trip to Stone Mountain impossible.   He would not be stopping there now; Agnew had already kept that appointment for him – and as so often his surrogate, had thus made the pilgrimage that would consolidate the Republican Party’s new power base, and turn its back on the only noble part of its heritage forever.    And even as the presidential party winged over the silent granite massif, hundreds of miles to the west, the message of Stone Mountain was being highlighted in blood at another American university.


            It may be recalled that Nixon had decided he could not make the Stone Mountain trip the day after KentState.   Even after he had decided to dispatch Agnew instead, however, it remained at the forefront of his agenda, and may be presumed to have occupied much of the time on the 5th that he spent discussing it with Harry Dent: twice before dinner, and then in a series of phone calls throughout the night, beginning at 9:38 p.m. and lasting until 4:09 a.m. on the 6th.

            Dent was one of the most unheralded members of the White House team and, in terms of the plan to completely restructure the nation’s political power base, the most important.   His hold over Nixon went back – as did much of the corrupt connective tissue of the administration – to the 1968 Republican National Convention.   It had nearly ended for Nixon as soon as it began, as the nomination he thought he had sewn up was suddenly jeopardized by an emotional swing of Southern delegates to Ronald Reagan.    Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina had intervened at the last minute to save the nomination for Nixon.   In exchange, he had extorted Nixon’s solemn pledge:  If I’m president of the United States, I’ll find a way to ease up on the federal pressures forcing school desegregation – or any other kind of desegregation.”  Nixon would deliver “the end of the Second Reconstruction – and a turning away of this nation from the problems and challenges of racial injustice.”[33]   Thurmond’s special assistant Harry Dent was in the room when the deal was cut.

            After the inauguration, Dent moved into the White House as, according to one moderate Southern senator, the agent “of the die-hard segregationists, the white-sheet boys.”[34]   Dent was to keep a “wide-open Southern eye”[35] on Nixon, lest he turn out to be “anti-South and liberal like LBJ.”[36]   “Dent and Chotiner were then the two top political aides in the White House”[37] tasked along with newcomer Charles Colson in doing whatever the law didn’t allow to attack the president’s Enemies.[38]        But Dent’s special area of responsibility was what one chronicler labeled “Dixification.”[39]   After Nixon began his effort to pack the Supreme Court with southern reactionaries with the ill-fated Clement Haynesworth, he told Dent, “Harry, I want you to go out this time and find a good federal judge further south and further to the right.”[40]   (This led to the equally doomed nomination of Harold Carswell.)   Dent touted this second defeat to Nixon as a victory, because it made him more of a hero in the south than ever.   And the support of the South remained indispensable to the president’s program, even as it embodied his natural proclivities:


The repressive use of force is, like racism, interwoven into the history of the Southern Rim.   More than any other region, this area has been marked by violence, usually sanctioned  violence, carving out its territory by force and coercion, building its economy on compulsion and servitude.[41]


Should Nixon show signs of veering into moderate or even liberal heresy, Dent was there in the White House to bring him back to himself.   In fact when the shock of Kent State caused the president to falter in that direction, Dent sent him the major policy memo warning him to stop “heading left” in an effort to allay the national outrage.[42]   In it he reminded Nixon that he “does not believe in integration”[43] and warned that if he flagged in his commitment to Thurmnd to end it as a federal mandate, George Wallace could charge him with destroying public education in the South.[44]

            And so the president stayed on the phone with Dent all night May 5th – 6th, until just before dawn.   While the content of their conversation remains one of the secrets of the National Archives, it is doubtful whether they discussed milk price supports in Wisconsin.  

            There is no need to belabor the importance of Atlanta, the New York City of the New South.   But what significance did Stone Mountain have?

            Geologists cannot explain why this naked height of bare rock, the largest exposed mass of granite in the world, erupted out of the Georgia piedmont, thirty miles from the nearest neighboring mountain.   The earliest white travelers found atop it an enclosure of “huge boulders… somewhat reminiscent of Druid places of worship in Britain”.[45]   The Indians then inhabiting the area told the whites that they had no idea who had erected it or why.   Archaeologists have speculated that since the enclosure contained only one entrance, accessible only to one person on hand and knee at a time, it may have been “symbolic of the womb”[46] – i.e., the shrine of a powerful fertility religion.   Speculation about human sacrifices made on the spot remains undocumented.

            Throughout the 19th century, Stone Mountain remained a favorite destination for sight-seers from the slave-owning aristocracy.   But its rendezvous with history remained World War I inflamed the native bigotry of the region.   On August 16, 1915, twenty-five armed men broke Jewish factory manager Leo Frank out of Atlanta Prison, drove him to Marietta – the home of the fourteen-year-old Gentile girl he had allegedly raped and killed – and lynched him.   The perpetrators were spared the attention of local law enforcement.   A month later, they climbed up Stone Mountain and burned a cross that was visible all across the Atlanta area.  

            Widespread approval of their acts encouraged them to apply for a charter from the state, which they received.   On Thanksgiving, anticipating the triumphal opening in Atlanta of D.W. Griffith’s racist cinematic epic Birth of a Nation, they burned another cross on the mountain.   This time they were announcing their own group’s birth as the modern Ku Klux Klan.   The cross burnings became a regular attraction of the site thereafter.   As late as V-J Day in 1945, the Klansmen poured fuel oil mixed with sand into niches in the mountain’s face to form a cross 300 feet long and burned it “just to let the niggers know that the war is over and the Klan is back on the march.”[47]

            In case the crossing burnings were too subtle an indication of the mountain’s reborn significance, the Daughters of the Confederacy, after ceaseless agitating, finally marshaled enough support for a major project: turning the stone flank of the mountain into a huge statuary carving of the leaders of their lost nation.   The scale of the bas-relief sculpture of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and president Jefferson Davis -- was so vast that it was not completed until May 1970.   Life magazine commented by running a cartoon depicting it as it would look with Nixon, Agnew, and Mitchell as the Confederate leaders.[48]

            And that was the problem: it was all just that obvious.   And that was why, after the blood had been spilled in the name of the new order at KentState, Nixon couldn’t go himself.   Georgia governor Lester Maddox cabled the president begging him to reconsider: a “hundred thousand” loyal sons and daughters of the Confederacy had been waiting to welcome him.[49]    Other Georgians were chagrined by the substitution of Agnew.    Emory historian Bell Wiley, an authority on the South’s greatest military hero, stated that Agnew’s appearance would be “an affront to Gen. Robert E. Lee.”[50]   On the other hand, James Venable, Imperial Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, felt that the “Vice President is even better suited for this occasion than the president.   I share his views on college students and professors running amok and all that communistic, socialistic stuff.”[51]

            The night before Agnew flew in for the speech – that same tortured night of May 8th – 9th – Nixon found time amidst his fifty phone calls to make one to William Safire, who had flown ahead to prepare the speech itself.   The president said in part


That’s a good speech Agnew is giving down there.   I wrote it myself.   [Chuckle].  You helped…   In this speech I was trying to show how we are one people.   I’m the goddamdest desegregationist there is, but it has to be done the right way.   We mustn’t ever give any indication that we don’t care about the South, about their feelings.   We’ve got to care.[52]


            Agnew landed amid precautions appropriate for a banana republic dictator, not at the AtlantaAirport, but at Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta.   The tarmac was crawling with police and soldiers; only a “handful of newsmen” were allowed to be present – no other civilians – and they were not allowed closer than one hundred feet.   From there he was “whisked by helicopter” to Stone Mountain.[53]   There – and “[seldom] interrupted by applause” – he merely pulled the prepared text from his jacket pocket and read it.   Of Maddox’ predicted crowd of 100,000, barely ten thousand had shown up.   The no-shows included right-wing icons like Billy Graham and Senator Richard Russell.     The chagrin in some quarters was aptly summed up by a customer of fried-chicken entrepreneur Harry Hearn (who was stuck with six thousand unsold dinners); Governor Maddox sampled one with the typically testy observation that it was appropriate fare, since “Nixon chickened out.”[54]

            The speech itself was as lackluster as the rest of the occasion.   “The South that will make its greatest contribution to the American Dream is the New South,” Agnew read to the crowd, “Just as the South cannot afford to discriminate against any of its people, the rest of the nation cannot afford to discriminate against the South.”[55]   But the content of the speech was nothing; the occasion, everything.   The second-ranking official of the administration, Nixon’s key surrogate, was speaking at the dedication of a shrine to the Klan and the South’s lost war to preserve slavery.   In case black Americans wondered what it meant to them, they only had a little over twenty-four hours before their curiosity would be satisfied.


            Blacks interviewed by Times reporter Thomas Johnson a few days after KentState, on what the event might mean to them, voiced a strange mixture of hope and foreboding.


MRS. MATTIE EVANS (DOMESTIC):  They’re starting to treat their own children like they treat us, aren’t they?   My goodness, I never thought I’d see the day they’d treat their own children like they treat us.

MRS. SHEILA TUCKER (ADMINISTRATIVE AIDE):  If they’re turning on their own children, then Lord help us.   I suppose this means we blacks had better look out for gas ovens…  they are angry now at their children because white kids are doing things that make   the older people ashamed.

CHARLES EVERS (MAYOR):  …this is only the beginning of what will continue in America because of white racism.   God will not allow this country to continue to be blessed  while they systematically oppress blacks, poor whites, Indians, and Mexicans.   KentState was a terrible tragedy, but only the beginning of America’s terrible tragedies.

(UNNAMED COLLEGE STUDENT):  We’re striking at Columbia, but we blacks are striking for Orangeburg, S.C., and for three black students killed there by police in the winter of 1968.   The difference is that there was no national uproar when this kind of thing happened to the black students.

JUDGE WILLIAM BOOTH:  Whites always considered narcotics a black problem until it reached into their own homes.   Now they must see that the National Guard can kill whites as well as blacks.

JAMES BARNES (COMPUTER ANALYST):   [This is] only more evidence of the importance to this country’s power structure to perpetuate their affluent society no matter what the cost in human lives.

MRS. VIVIAN JONES (LEGAL SECRETARY):   I’m a mother and I know how any mother would feel losing a child.   It’s one thing when your child goes into the service – you kind of expect the danger and you fear sudden heartbreak.   But you don’t expect it when he goes to college.   It was horrible and it was shocking – I know how those four mothers felt.[56]


The day after Agnew’s speech, Mrs. Carrie Mays – co-operator of a “mom and pop” 

funeral parlor in Augusta, Ga.  – was confronted with the remains of yet another black mother’s vain hopes and vicarious pain: the body of sixteen-year-old Charles Oatman, just received from the city jail.   “He had been beaten something awful,” she recounted later, “and there were cigarette burns on his hands and feet and – and – and, well, there were burns on his buttocks, too.”[57]

            When county medical examiner Dr. Irvine Phinizy learned of the condition of the boy’s 104-lb. body, he did an autopsy over the strenuous objections of the local authorities.   He concluded that Oatman had died of “pulmonary edema, bilateral; and subdural hemorrhage, moderate, due to severe beatings.”   He also noted that the corpse was covered with “contusions, abrasions, scratches,, and minor lacerations,” as well as “roughly circular lesions that were healing burns that could have been caused by a cigarette pressed against the skin…   All the skin lesions were of varying age.”[58]

            Meanwhile Ms. Mays’ less scientific description of the corpse had been circulating through the black community.   That even, about two hundred blacks gathered in the city park and walked over to the jail to confront the police.   Sheriff E. F. Atkins informed them that Oatman had died as a result of falling off his cot and hitting his head on the floor.   The sheriff retreated on this the next day, announcing that two of the dead boy’s cellmates were being charged with murder.   It came too late.   Black leaders marched on the city-county building to protest while around five hundred of their followers demonstrated outside.   They pulled down the American and Georgia flags, and handed the American flag to a black policeman.   They burned the Georgia flag.

            Backed by twenty of his men with rifles leveled at the crowd, police captain Jim Beck – widely detested in the black community, faced them down.   The crowd fragmented and started drifting downtown.   Some of its members begin throwing things into storefront windows and at passing cars.   Black leaders, pleading with police that they be allowed to restore calm, hastened to the scene.   But before they could arrive, the police fired tear gas into the crowd.   It re-fragmented into smaller packs that lobbed firebombs into and looted white- and Chinese-owned stores, and pulled whites from their cars and beat them.   Then the sun went down.

            It rose again over a burned-out ghetto “business district.”   Six people lay dead in the ashes, all of them black males, all of them shot in the back with the standard police load of 00-buckshot.   Three had been bystanders.   Two were killed in stores that were being looted.   No one has established why the sixth was shot.[59]

            It was announced that the FBI would investigate.   On the 18th, Director Hoover advised his assistants that he had been called by Vice President Agnew.


The Vice President said he saw a picture about Augusta showing some of the Negroes jumping out of store windows with loot and booty and fleeing and you never hear anything about that.   He said whatever I can give him that can ameliorate some of the impact; that he  understands some of these things are wrong and we are probably going to find some of the           shootings showed too much force, but none the less, the people have to understand the very thrust of the newspaper articles is that a bunch of police shot down six Negroes and what happened before – why did they shoot at them – not just that they felt like killing people.  I said they were severely provoked at Kent and we will finish Augusta, Atlanta, and Jackson this week.[60]


            Jackson” was a reference to the black campus of the University of Mississippi in the capital.   On May 13th, some student there staged a protest against the draft.   As darkness fell the next night, a force of town police and Mississippi state highway patrol, backed by National Guard units, surrounded the campus – even as President Nixon was winging overhead on his way to Key Biscayne for the rest cure Haldeman wanted for him so desperately.   Between seventy-five and one hundred students gathered in front of the west wing of Alexander Hall, a women’s dormitory, to defy them.    Then – so the authorities would claim – a sniper fired on the police.   The students insisted the “gunshot” had been a beer can or bottle falling to the pavement.   The police replied with a volley from all kinds of firearms – “a thousand rounds in seven seconds, all kinds of shotguns, rifles, pistols, hand guns, everything.”[61]   Only the fact that they were firing blind into a building held down the casualties.   Student and father Philip Gibbs was killed by a shotgun slug that entered his head just below the left eye.   Another slug ripped through the torso of James Earl Green, a non-student visiting a friend.   Twelve others were wounded.

            The window from which the alleged sniper had fired was the only one on that side of the building not shattered by gunfire.   Gregory Antoine, standing a few yards from the police, did not hear the sniper shot that allegedly triggered the volley.   As the firing subsided and the police began picking up their casings, he did hear a highway patrol officer say, “You better send some ambulances, we killed some niggers.”[62]

            The FBI announced that it would investigate.   At on the 24th, Jerris Leonard flew down to head off a confrontation at JacksonState, where the local authorities were trying to remove the bullet-riddled façade of Alexander Hall.   They had 1300 National Guardsmen and an army of state police to back the move.   The unarmed students vowed to die stopping it.   Leonard averted bloodshed by promising the students the FBI would assume custody of the building’s façade.[63]   It disappeared forever.   No one was ever charged, much less indicted, for the murders in Augusta and Jackson.   This should have surprised no one familiar with the way the FBI was investigating KentState – or knew that it was Leonard who had intervened to dissuade a citizen’s group headed by former Supreme Court justice Arthur Goldberg from investigating the murders of Black Panthers Fred Hampton and Mark Clark by the Chicago Police.[64]   In fact, Hampton’s bodyguard had been an FBI plant who had furnished a diagram of the apartment riddled with 82 police bullets – in response to a single shot from within – to the police.


[T]he FBI was shopping around for a law enforcement unit that was willing to conduct   a raid that it, the Bureau, wanted to see carried out, but had no legal pretext for staging on its own…  the Bureau might have tacitly encouraged the unprovoked killing of two Black            Panthers at a time when there was no legal way of pursuing them otherwise.[65]


            Thus day by day was the text of Stone Mountain underlined.   There has never been any indication that the president paid the slightest attention to Augusta or Jackson – not even in the context of an irritating public relations problem, which was how he had consciously dealt with KentState.   In late May, a group of black academicians called on him.   JacksonState’s president, John A. Peoples, Jr., showed him photographs of the dead students.   “Nixon leafed through the photos, then suddenly sat bolt upright and said, ‘Look, what are we going to do to get more respect for the police from our young people?”   The black scholar subsided in hopeless silence.[66]   So little did the consequences of the Southern Strategy for black America trouble the president that during that summer that Haldeman’s notes and/or journals never even mentioned Augusta or Jackson.   In fact, he only alluded to the fact that there was a black America once, as a nagging minor problem:


After a long discussion decided he has to sign voting rights.   Feels veto would be better politics, but runs real danger of exploding the blacks.   Doesn’t feel we’ll gain any votes with blacks or young, but will hurt with our basic constituency, but still have to do it, against the will of our leaders.[67]


Like his FBI Director, the president believed that the blacks were inherently inferior and that nothing could be done with or for them.   Soon after taking office, he “pointed out that there has never in history been an adequate black nation, and they are the only race of which this is true.”[68]   After Stone Mountain, he seems to have felt nothing need be done for them.   The Harry Dents of the New South would know how to handle them.


            But if news of Augusta didn’t even register, and news of JacksonState is not mentioned, during the president’s weekend at Key Biscayne, this does not mean he was able to relax.   On their first day there, Haldeman noted that “the unwinding process is not succeeding.”   Nixon was on the phone the first thing in the morning


All uptight re UPI failure to give fair crowd estimate at the airport last nite – claims he knows it was intentional at desk.   (It wasn’t – it was reporter error by [illegible].   Wants our lawyers        mobilized to counteract the huge group from NYC that will come to DC Weds.[69]


            And the next day,


More of the same.   He just keeps grinding away call after call after call.   He is sleeping late in the mornings – which helps a little – but he sure has not gotten his mind off     business.[70]


Haldeman persuaded him to stay over until Monday.   But on the plane back to D.C., the president reviewed sweeping new plans for a purge of his own administration: “Say Mitchell has to go unless he can solve the Martha problem.   Kennedy has to go, Hickel.   Helms out of CIA & we’ll have Rush replace him.”[71]   That same evening, he invited his inner circle out for dinner on the Sequoia, ostensibly to celebrate the possibility of a trip to Moscow for arms limitations talks – actually to rant at length about the disloyal aides who leaked stories to the press and the journalists who printed them:


The President’s finger circled the top of his wineglass slowly.  ‘One day we will get them – we’ll get them – we’ll get them on the ground where we want them.   And we’ll stick our heels in, step on them hard and twist – right, Chuck, right?’   Then his eyes darted to Kissinger.   ‘Henry knows what I mean – just like you do it in the negotiations, Henry – get them on the floor and step on them, crush them, show them no mercy.’


“The seeds of destruction were by now already sown,”  “Chuck” Colson added to this account, “ – not in them but in us.”[72]


            Disloyalty next reared its head in the last place he had expected it: “his” F.B.I.   First, the Bureau found, and reported to Leonard, that the Guardsmen had not been in danger when they fired and that they had fabricated the self-defense alibi after the fact.   Then, they failed to tie any of the slain students in to any radical group – or any political group – or to the ROTC fire.   In fact, they finally despaired of pinning the fire on anyone and turned their investigative findings over to the local authorities in hopes that they could prosecute someone.    All this was bad enough, but then someone leaked these non-results to the Akron Beacon-Journal, which stood the nation on its head by publishing them, thus winning for itself the Pulitzer Prize and the furious hatred of its Middle American readers.[73]

            J. Edgar Hoover promised to have the Beacon-Journal story “knocked down” for the president.   But then he too seemed to have turned on him.   By the beginning of June, Nixon’s sense of the threat of subversion had grown to the point that a heroic effort was needed to combat it.   Accordingly he summoned the heads of the mega-intelligence services – the FBI, the CIA, the National Security Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency – to the White House.   Warning them that, “Certainly hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Americans – mostly under 30 – are determined to destroy our society,”[74] he ordered them to set any remaining reservations about traditional American liberties and right to privacy aside, and undertake a sweeping new program of domestic surveillance.

            It was a farce on two levels, not the lesser of which was that the chiefs of these immense black empires were supposed to report to Thomas Charles Huston, Nixon’s 29-year-old in-house master counterspy, whose sole qualifications were a stint in Army counterintelligence and his work on the Nixon campaign while a chapter head of the Young Americans for Freedom.   Hoover instantly loathed Huston for his long hair and mutton chop whiskers, and immediately began referring to him as “that damn hippie.”   This was dwarfed by the irony that Nixon was ordering them to undertake something that they were already doing, and had done all along – and would continue doing after Nixon’s initiative was dead.  “Not only were they deceiving the president and his representative; they were playing games with each other.”[75]

            The day after this meeting, Cartha M. DeLoach (“Deke”), the FBI’s number two man, unexpectedly told Hoover he was resigning.   Hoover viewed this as a personal betrayal and immediately designated William Sullivan – fresh from his supervision of the KentState investigation, and DeLoach’s detested and detesting rival – to replace him as his designated successor.[76]   Sullivan was now the heir apparent to control over the very agency he had been trying to undermine on behalf of the CIA.   He proved capable of realigning his loyalties quickly.   He warned Hoover that the provisions of the Huston Plan would promote the very same “illegal” surveillance that Hoover had forbidden because of its potential for tarnishing the image of the FBI.   “That hippie is behind this,” Hoover growled, “Well, they’re not going to put the responsibility for these programs on me.”[77]

During subsequent working sessions, in which the spy chiefs were supposed to finalize instrumentalities for the “Huston Plan,” Hoover nit-picked and obstructed it to death.   When it looked like Nixon would approve it anyway, he charged into Mitchell’s office and ranted at his nominal superior until Mitchell agreed to discuss his opposition with the president.   Nixon was forced to junk the whole project – Sullivan suspected, because he was afraid of what Hoover might have on even him in his inexhaustible files.[78]


But as spring turned into summer, it must have seemed like every hand was against the president.   Those traditional pillars of a Republican administration, the business and financial leaders of the country, were driven by a stock market mini-crash on May 25th to demand a summit with Nixon, to force him to turn away from his military adventures and police state initiatives and pay some attention to the economy.[79]  

Then treachery appeared in his own retinue.   John Ehrlichman had succeeded in persuading

the President to empanel a presidential commission to look into the crisis on the American campus, particularly what had happened at KentState.   As the commission was assembled, Nixon and his men tried to insure that its investigation would prove their version of what had happened at Kent and vindicate the Guardsmen and the White House, principally by planting their own agents as the executive and assistant director of the commission’s staff, and salting the staff liberally with “moles” who sabotaged its work.   Despite this the commissioners themselves, and some of the young law students on the staff, remained “straight” and issued a report that stated the president must take some blame for what had happened.   Nixon was furious; he refused to meet with the commissioners and had his surrogates attack their work on every level.   John Ehrlichman fell into disgrace and only saved his job at the White House by turning on his on creation.[80]

            The generals in blamed him for “overselling” the Cambodian invasion and then, for not letting them invade Laos as well (see above).   He charged them with failing to carry out his orders.   Both parties had stopped mentioning COSVN.

            Then the professional politicians in his own party began to desert him.   He had by the bloody example in Ohio neutralized the only force he thought could deny him re-election.   Now he prepared for his triumphal return to the White House in 1972 by throwing himself into the 1970 off-year congressional and gubernatorial election campaigns.   But the old slash-and-smear tactics of 1946 and 1950 lacerated the sensibilities of a people still raw from the wounds of that spring.   Speaking on behalf of Republican candidates in the hinterland, he evoked “all the subtlety and grace and finesse of a man running for sheriff in Mississippi; he had appeared at that time very unpresidential, the darkness and hostility had come exploding out of him, and he had seemed unworthy of his office.”[81]

The “help” he gave the local aspirants turned the elections into a disaster for the Republicans.   But he decided that his tactics hadn’t been wrong; he just hadn’t applied them ruthlessly enough.   So he  redoubled his efforts in 1972, with effects, detailed at great length elsewhere, that would in the end drive him from office.

            As the final disaster began to unfold, he refused to blame himself.   He sacrificed his two most loyal hatchetmen instead.   Spiro Agnew was dumped when he ran afoul of the Internal Revenue Service.   Then Nixon turned on the man who had raised him from nothing to the highest office in the land.   He decided Murray Chotiner was getting too old to be of service, and was too soft on his Enemies because he was a Jew.[82]   His decision might have been helped by the fact that Chotiner was going through a messy divorce, with his wife threatening to write a “tell all” book about her husband’s career as Nixon’s hit man.   “She said the book would detail the President’s ‘secret maneuvers in national and California politics and spell out Chotiner’s role in all that wheeling and dealing.”[83]   On January 29, 1974, a Washington area hospital reported that Chotiner was recuperating there from a broken leg suffered in an automobile accident.   Two days later, it was reported that he had died “of complications.”[84]   But in the end, all the president’s men – Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell, Colson – followed him into the flames.

            And Nixon?   Did he ever blame himself for the havoc he had wrought on Cambodia and his own country in the spring of 1970?   The invasion?  “What we did in Cambodia was absolutely correct.”   The war in Southeast Asia?  “the stupid and short-sighted Congress undercut us.”  The generational crisis leading to the national student strike?  “I was the one who had to face down those hippie hoodlums.”   And the four who had been sacrificed to found his new order?   “Of course, look at what happened at KentState.   Those kids were Communists, and the National Guard was defending itself.”[85]

            His people have never repudiated the covenant this anti-Abraham made with the forces of darkness.   When he died, the corporate media he had viewed as his bitterest enemies vied with each other to bathe Richard Nixon in adulation.   In all those hours of sycophantic coverage, the words “KentState” were never mentioned once.   And so his country continues on the course set on May 4, 1970, to the ignominy and oblivion that must lie at its end.

                                                            THE END.














[1]   Haldeman (J), May 8, 1970, p. 43.   EMPHASIS IN ORIGINAL.

[2]   David Spear, Presidents and the Press: The Nixon Legacy.   (Cambridge; Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 1984), p. 87.

[3]   “The President’s News Conference, May 8, 1970,” in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, pp. 616-621.  EMPHASIS ADDED.

[4]   Hedrick Smith, “Viewpoint: When the President Meets the Press,” Atlantic, August 1970, p. 65.

[5]   Haldeman (J), May 8, 1970, p. 43.

[6]   Roger Morris, Haig: The General’s Progress.  (New York; Playboy Press, 1982), p. 125.

[7]   Haig, p. 239.

[8]   Krogh interview in Parmet, Richard Nixon and His America, p. 9.

[9]   Ibid., p. 10.

[10]   Boston Globe, May 14, 1970; quoted in Bruce Mazlish, In Search of Nixon: A Psychohistorical Study.   (New York; Basic Books, 1972), p. 134.

[11]   John Morthland, “Nixon in Public: He Was Mumbling At His Feet,” Rolling Stone, June 11, 1970; reprinted in The Age of Paranoia, by the editors of Rolling Stone  (New York; Pocket Books, 1972), pp. 306-309.   EMPHASIS ADDED.  Like many of the most important books of the period, this survives only in crumbling paperback copies.

[12]   Michel Raoul-Duval, in the UPA oral history publication, The Nixon Presidency; quoted by Tom Wicker in One of Us: Richard Nixon and the American Dream.  (New York; Random House, 1991), p. 635.  

[13]   Marilyn B. Young, The Vietnam Wars, 1945-1990.  (New York; Harper/Collins, 1991), pp. 250-251.

[14]   Krogh interview in Parmet, p. 13.

[15]   Haldeman (J), May 9, 1970, p. 45.   EMPHASIS IN ORIGINAL.   Haldeman’s notes for this date are fragmentary.

[16]   National Archives/Nixon Materials; Dwight Chapin, for the President’s File, reImpromtu Meeting with Federal Troops (EOB Halls), May 9, 1970.  EMPHASIS ADDED.

[17]   Julie Nixon Eisenhower, Pat Nixon: The Untold Story.  (New York; Simon and Schuster, 1986), p. 290.   Little of this book really concerns the former First Lady; the text is mostly a wildly revisionist construction of  Nixon’s presidency.

[18]   Ibid., p. 290.

[19]   Klein, p. 304.

[20]   Hickel, p. 254.

[21]   Haldeman (J), May 10, 1970, p. 47.  EMPHASIS ADDED.

[22]   Haldeman (N), May 10, 1970.

[23]   Haldeman (N), May 11, 1970, “P. mtg. w/ Govs.”

[24]   Haldeman (J), May 11, 1970, p. 49.

[25]   Hugh Sidey, “The Presidency: Shaking Down the Crisis,” Life, May 22, 1970, p. 4.

[26]   Robert B. Semple, “Nixon Explains Cambodia Policy to 45 Governors,” New York Times, May 12, 1970, pp. 1 and 19.

[27]   Haldeman (J), May 11, 1970, p. 49.

[28]   Bruce Oudes (ed.) From the Desk of the President: Richard Nixon’s Secret Files.  (New York; Harper & Row, 1989), pp. 127 et. seq.

[29]   Ibid., p. 125.

[30]   Haldeman (J), May 12, 1970, p. 51.

[31]   Haldeman (N), May 12, 1970, “0945”

[32]   Haldeman (J), May 14, 1970, p. 55.   EMPHASIS ADDED except for the word “but.”

[33]   Reg Murphy and Hal Gulliver, The Southern Strategy.  (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1971), p. 2 (“desegregation”) and 3 (“injustice”).   EMPHASIS IN ORIGINAL.

[34]   James Boyd, “I gave Thurmond 100% loyalty and now I give Mr. Nixon 100% loyalty,” New York Times magazine, February 1, 1970, pp. 12 and 13, 46-48, 63.

[35]   Evans and Novak, Nixon in the White House, p. 145.

[36]   Parmet, p. 510.

[37]   Jeb Stuart Magruder, An American Life: One Man’s Road to Watergate.  (New York; Atheneum, 1974), p. 122.

[38]   Oudes (ed.), memorandum, Charles Colson to Harry Dent, p. 139.

[39]   Stephen D. Cummings, The Dixification of America: The American Odyssey into the Conservative Economic Trap.  (Westport, Conn.; Praeger Publishing Co., 1998).

[40]   Wicker, One of Us, p. 497.

[41]   Kirkpatrick Sale, Power Shift: The Rise of the Southern Rim and Its Challenge to the Eastern Establishment.  (New York; Random House, 1975), p. 171.

[42]   Nixon, Memoirs, p. 442.

[43]   Haldeman (P), July 22 and 23, 1970, pp. 183-184.

[44]   Ambrose, Nixon: Triumph of a Politician, p. 365.   EMPHASIS ADDED.

[45]   Elizabeth Austin Ford, Stone Mountain.  (Decatur, Ga.: Wommack Quality Printing Co., 1959), p. 15.

[46]   David B. Freeman, Carved in Stone: The History of Stone Mountain.  (Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 1997), p. 8.

[47]   Wyn Craig Wade, The Fiery Cross: The Ku Klux Klan in America.  (New York; Simon & Schuster, 1987), pp. 144-145 (1915) and p. 277 (1945)

[48]   “Parting Shots: Will the Southern Strategy Rise Again?” Life, May 22, 1970, p. 78.

[49]   ReconsiderState Visit, Maddox Asks President,” Marietta Daily Journal,  May 6, 1970, p. 1.

[50]   “Agnew to Land at Dobbins Before Speech,” Marietta Daily Journal, May 8, 1970, p. 1.

[51]   Jon Nordheimer, “Agnew Mellow in Talk Hailing Confederate Heroes,” New York Times, May 10, 1970, p. 69.

[52]   Safire, Before the Fall, p. 203   EMPHASIS ADDED.

[53]   “Agnew to Land at Dobbins Before Speech,” Marietta Daily Journal, May 8, 1970, p. 1.

[54]   Don Winter and Peter Scott, “End Sectional Slavery, Agnew Pleads,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 10, 1970, pp 1 and 21A.

[55]   Nordheimer, p. 69.

[56]   Thomas A. Johnson, “Blacks Liken Kent Slaying to Own Oppression,” New York Times, May 8, 1970, p. 19.  EMPHASIS ADDED.

[57]   Thomas Johnson, Martin Waldron, and James T. Wooten, “Witnesses to Augusta Riot Say 3 of 6 Killed Were Bystanders,” New York Times, May 17, 1970, pp. 1 and 60.

[58]   Coroner’s report reprinted in Bill Winn, “They Had Orders to Shoot to Kill,” Rolling Stone/Age of Paranoia, pp. 318-319.

[59]   Johnson et. al., pp. 1 and 66.

[60]   Athan Theoharis, From the SECRET Files of J. Edgar Hoover.  (Chicago; Ivan R. Dee, 1991), pp. 251-25.   EMMPHASIS ADDED.

[61]   Charles Horowitz, HindsCounty Project Director for the Delta Ministry, in “JacksonState: 1,000 Rounds in 7 Seconds,” Rolling Stone/Age of Paranoia, p. 290.

[62]   Roy Reed, “Blacks Start Wide Protest on Police Killings in South,” New York Times, May 18, 1970, pp. 1 and 24.

[63]   Jon Nordheimer, “Mitchell Aide Flies to Jackson at Night to Avert New Clash,” New York Times, May 24, 1970, pp. 1 and 39.

[64]   John Kifner, “U.S. Aide Asked Panel Not to Study Deaths,” New York Times, May 23, 1970, p. 12.  

[65]   SanfordUngar, F.B.I.  (Boston; Atlantic Monthly/Little, Brown & Company, 1976), p. 466.

[66]   Evans and Novak, pp. 291-292.

[67]   Haldeman (P), June 19, 1970.  EMPHASIS ADDED.

[68]   Haldeman (P), April 28, 1969, p. 53.

[69]   Haldeman (J), May 15, 1970, p. 57.   There are no notes for this date.

[70]   Ibid., May 16, also on p. 57.    EMPHASIS IN ORIGINAL.

[71]   Ibid.,  isolated note on p. 58.

[72]   Colson, Born Again, p. 38.

[73]   For a full discussion of the FBI investigation into KentState, including the leak of the prosecutive summary to the Beacon-Journal and the President’s reaction to it, see netbook KENFOUR: Notes on an Investigation  (

[74]   Curt Gentry, J. Edgar Hoover  (New York; W.W. Norton and Sons, 1991), pp. 652-653.

[75]   Ibid., p. 654.

[76]   Anthony Summers, Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover.  (New York; G.P. Putnam’s, 1993), p. 388.

[77]   Mark Riebling, Wedge: The Secret War Between the FBI and the CIA.  (New York; Knopf, 1994), p. 284.

[78]   Sullivan interview in LochJohnson, America’s Secret Power: The CIA in a Democratic Society.  (New York; Oxford University Press, 1989), p. 141.

[79]   See above.  There is an extended discussion of the economic crisis leading up to the “dinner at the White House summit” in netbook  The Scales Overturned ( may70/scales.htm.)

[80]   See netbook, Mission Betrayed: Richard Nixon and the Scranton Commission Investigation into Kent State.  (

[81]   David Halberstam, The Powers That Be  (New York; Alfred Knopf, 1979), p. 605.

[82]   StanleyI.Kutler (ed.), Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes.  (New York; The Free Press, 1997), pp. 129, 131 and 142.

[83]   Chotiner’s Estranged Wife Sues for Divorce on Coast,” New York Times, December 11, 1970, p. 56.

[84]    MurrayChotiner, Nixon Mentor, Dies,” New York Times, January 29 and 31, 1974, pp. 29 and 36.

[85]    Monica Crowley, Nixon in Winter (New York: Random House, 1998), pp. 255, 256, 249, 169. Emphasis in original.