Kevin M. Kruse @KevinMKruse Historian. Author/editor of White Flight; The New Suburban History; Spaces of the Modern City; Fog of War; One Nation Under God; Fault Lines. Feb. 12, 2019 1 min read

The president who calls his supporters the Silent Majority wants to hold a Fourth of July rally at the Lincoln Memorial as "a salute to America"?

Where have I heard that before?

Oh, right. Nixon. It's always Nixon with him.

As I noted in my book One Nation Under God, when Nixon was under fire in early 1970, he and his supporters planned a Fourth of July rally at the Lincoln Memorial which they called "Honor America Day."

Billy Graham and Bob Hope unveiled the plans this way:

Despite the Nixon administration's claims that it would be a celebration of national unity, it quickly turned into a partisan fight.

"They ought to be clubbed," one attendee said of nearby hippies who were holding "a marijuana smoke-in"

That evening, Honor America Day shifted to a musical revue hosted by Bob Hope at the base of the Washington Monument.

It quickly turned to chaos, with lighting trucks flipped over in the reflecting pool and the police launching tear gas that then blew back over the crowd.

As I noted there, the organizers soon put out a double album of the evening's events -- with all the protests and chaos edited out of it. Jimmy Stewart did the narration.

You can listen to it all here: 

You can follow @KevinMKruse.


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