Friday, March 27, 2015

Vice President Agnew's Trip to New Orleans (1972)

Vice President Agnew’s Visit to New Orleans
Spiro Agnew delivers speech at a Republican Fund Raiser
Type Of Activity
 Republican Party Fund Raiser
 New Orleans LA
Date of Activity
 24-25 April 1972
 29°57'22.7"N 90°03'56.2"W

APRIL 24 1972 Vice President Agnew’s Visit to New Orleans

From the time of his nomination as Richard Nixon's running mate in August 1968 to his resignation in October 1973, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew was the leading administration spokesman for those Nixon called "The Silent Majority" of Americans. His speeches crafted by William Safire and Pat Buchanan spoke repeatedly about the Media, Vietnam, student unrest, campus disorders and integration which were the most controversial political subjects of the time. 

On April 18, 1972 WHCA received information that Vice President Spiro T. Agnew was scheduled to travel to New Orleans arriving at New Orleans International Airport on the morning of April 24, 1972. I was assigned with two others to support the VP and departed the next day for New Orleans. When we arrived we went directly to the Royal Orleans Hotel where the VP would be staying and we had our initial meeting with the Staff advance and the Secret Service to be briefed on the VP’s itinerary for the next two days.

We met with the local Telco and completed a radio coverage survey of the planned motorcade route that the Vice President would travel. We then set up radio base stations at the Airport, and the Royal Orleans Hotel for the USSS CP. The remote keying lines were ordered and installed and we were ready to support the Secret Service as well as the Vice President during their stay in New Orleans.

Aboard AF-2 Speechwriters William Safire and Pat Buchanan with VP Spiro Agnew
The Vice President arrived at noon on April 24, 1972, at the New Orleans International Airport and traveled directly by motorcade to the Roosevelt Hotel where he would give a luncheon/speech before the American Road Builders Association Convention. The USSS Agents at the Roosevelt Hotel reported that there were nine anti-war protesters carrying placards by the front entrance of the Roosevelt Hotel. There were no other incidents or demonstrations reported While we were in New Orleans.

Upon the completion of the speech, the Vice President flew to Shreveport, Louisiana, where he was scheduled to give a speech that evening addressing members of the Ambassador Club at Barksdale AFB, Bossier City, LA and then attending a social function of prominent Republicans later that evening.

The Roosevelt Hotel
The Royal Orleans Hotel
We had set up the Secret Service CP in the Royal Orleans hotel adjacent to the Vice President’s suite and secured the area while the Vice President was in Shreveport.  The suite was on the top floor of the hotel and was easy to seal off from anyone trying to gain unauthorized access. The Secret Service monitored all activity from the CP and was in constant communication with all Agents in Shreveport and New Orleans.

New Orleans International Airport
Site Of  Departure
The Vice President returned to New Orleans that evening about 10 pm and returned to the Royal Orleans Hotel. The next morning Vice President Agnew had breakfast at Brennan’s Restaurant and motored to New Orleans International Airport. Once we received wheels up in the USSS CP at 12 noon on Apr. 25 1972, all that was left to do was to collect all our equipment and return home! We departed New Orleans the next day on Apr 26, 1972.

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