Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Supporting Vice President Agnew


Vice Presidential Support Trips

Type Of Activity
Political Fund Raisers
Location
Location
Various locations
Date of Activity
 02 December 1969 through  April 24 1972
Coordinates


The CCT also provided the Vice President communications support on west coast trips. In a two year period the VP traveled to Phoenix twice, Tucson, New Orleans twice, Los Angles, Newport Beach, San Diego, and Palm Springs four times to play golf. The VP stayed with either Bob Hope or Frank Sinatra houses while golfing. Vice President Agnew participated in the Bob Hope desert Classic in 1971 and attended Frank Sinatra's retirement concert.

Vice President Agnew Blasts the Network News Media (1969)

Support Trips with Vice President Agnew
Vice President Agnew

Type Of Activity
Political Fund Raiser
Location
Location
New Orleans LA
Phoenix AZ
Date of Activity
02 December 1969
23 February 1970 
Coordinates
29°57'22.7" N  90°03'56.2"W
33°25'57.83 N112° 0'27.34"W

02 Dec 69 to New Orleans LA-Political Speech

It was almost a year after the election when I was sent to New Orleans to support Vice President Agnew. The Vice President had just delivered a hard line speech concerning media bias toward the Nixon White House. We expected his speech in New Orleans to continue along the same lines as his Cedar Rapids speech and we were correct as he continued to criticize the network news media. The Secret Service was also expecting some demonstrations and public protest during the period of time he would be in the city.
  
Vice President Agnew in Cedar Rapids IA                            
I departed Washington DC with two WHCA personnel and enough radio equipment to support the VP and the USSS. Our first stop after landing at the New Orleans International Airport was at the local USSS Field Office and review the Itinerary of the upcoming trip with the Advance Agent.  When we were finished at the field office we went to the Royal Orleans Hotel where we were staying.


The Royal Orleans Hotel on Bourbon St

The next morning we met with the Hotel Manager and the local TELCO representative to survey the Suite where the Vice President would stay and the room that we would set up the USSS command post. We also conducted a survey of the hotels mechanical room and the roof for a location to install the B/C base station and its antenna. All circuits were then ordered from the TELCO rep. and we started the installation of our equipment. The suite had several key telephones installed with ring down circuits to the USSS CP. Key phones were also installed in the CP along with the remote console for the radio’s. When we were finished installing the radios we conducted a radio survey of the motorcade route to insure we had necessary coverage. The last piece of equipment that was installed for the VP staff advance was a DEX-1 facsimile machine.

The Royal Orleans Hotel near the VP's Suite
The vice President and Mrs. Agnew landed in New Orleans about noon on Dec.4, 1969 and traveled by motorcade to the Royal Orleans Hotel. The speech was scheduled for that evening and the Vice President continued his attack on the media and the unfair coverage of the Nixon administration’s policies.

The VP speaks at a Republican fund raiser 
The Agnew’s on the way to Brennan's Restaurant
There were a few protesters present but no large demonstrations like the Secret Service had anticipated. The Vice President and Mrs. Agnew departed the next day, and we removed and packed all of our equipment and prepared for our return trip to Washington and home.

23 Feb 70 to Phoenix AZ-Political Speech

I was again assigned to support Vice President Agnew and was sent this time to Phoenix AZ where he was speaking at another fund raiser. Which we found out would be held at the Del Webb Town House Hotel.

The Vice President’s popularity had increased with Republicans ever since his now well-known speech attacking the Network media by calling them “nattering nabobs of negativism”. The Vice President became the Nixon Administrations most prolific fund raiser and was in great demand.

The Vice President continues to blast the National Networks 
This trip was a pretty routine trip. The Vice President would motorcade from the airport to the Del Webb Townhouse where he would also stay and the event would take place. We would install all of our equipment there as well as installing the USSS Command Post and our radio base stations so everything would take place at one location.

Del Webb’s Townhouse in Phoenix AZ in 1970 
Vice President Agnew arrived made his speech and departed the following day. It was time for us to pack up and return home. I was leaving temperatures in the mid-eighties to the subzero temperatures in Greencastle PA.

When I returned from Phoenix I found out in Early March of 1970 that the Microwave Towers including Cannonball were going to be closed and all of us would be sent to other locations which were to be determined. This was to be accomplished by June and I would be assigned to the San Clemente Communications Detachment as the NCOIC of the San Clemente Communications Contingency Team. The CCT was a new concept that we would develop and refine once all of the team members arrived in California.

Vice President Agnew’s Trip to Newport Beach Ca (1970)

The Vice President at a Republican Fund Raiser

Vice President Agnew
Type Of Activity
Speech and Fund Raiser
Location
Location
Newport Beach CA
Date of Activity
 01 Nov 1970 
Coordinates
33°40′34″N 117°43′52″W

31 Oct 70 to Newport Beach CA-Political Speech and Fund Raiser

During the President’s visit to the Western White House in San Clemente we were on many occasions sent on side trips to support the Vice President who was also visiting southern California. The President had just returned from the Republican Rally at the Anaheim Convention Center where we were in the process of tearing down and packing our equipment, when we found out that we were to move and setup at the Newporter Inn in Newport Beach to support Vice President Agnew. The Vice President was to arrive on Nov 1, 1970 spend the night and depart back to Washington DC.

The Newporter Inn in Newport Beach CA
We had only one day to set up our radios, order and install the phones in the Vice Presidents suite and the USSS CP. We also had to set up a single circuit for Secure TTY Communications back to the Western White House Commcenter. Because the President was also visiting the local TELCO was available to work all of orders and completed them a few hours before the arrival the next day.

The Vice President arrived at the Orange County Airport (renamed John Wayne Airport) and motored to the Newporter Inn. The Vice President was scheduled to speak at a fund raiser that evening follower by a reception at the hotels pool.

Poolside Reception
On December 2nd the Vice President departed the Hotel and motored to Orange County Airport to return to Washington DC. Once the Vice President departed we packed up our equipment and returned to El Toro as the President was still in CA and it was Election Day and we had a lot of activity remaining before the President departs on December 4th to return to Washington DC.
With the President and Vice President both leaving Southern California as well as the White House Staff, mid term elections were complete and things were about to return to normal, at least for a few days.


The Vice President and Mrs. Agnew Vacation in Palm Springs (1970)

VP Agnew vacations in Palm Springs Ca.

Welcome to Palm Springs

Type Of Activity
 Communications Support Trips
Location
Location
 Palm Springs California
Date of Activity
 Nov. 19 1970 to Dec.  27 1971
Coordinates
 33°49′26″N 116°31′49″W

19 Nov 70 to Palm Springs CA with Vice President and Mrs. Agnew

The CCT was designed to be a quick response highly mobile unit.  We were deployed on several occasions to Palm Springs CA with the President and also provided the Vice President communications support on west coast trips and he would come to Palm Springs several times to play golf.  The Vice Presidents visits were usually pretty simple to set up and once finished required little activity because nothing was scheduled other than short motorcades to and from the golf course.

Our First visit as a team wasn’t until November of 1970. Vice President and Mrs. Agnew were scheduled to visit for several days and play some golf.  This trip was turned into a full scale deployment of the CCT including all of our equipment as if we were going on an overseas trip. The goal was to set up all of our communications equipment as quickly as possible and establish HF contact with Cactus and establish a phone patch with DCSU Headquarters at Camp David.

 Our Motel in Palm Springs 
As soon as we arrived and checked into our motel, we started to deliver equipment. Our first stop was the GTE Central Office where we would install the Switchboard and Comm-center equipment. This would become the base for telephone, radio, radio paging and data communications.
                                                       /          
 Edom Hill Radio Site                    
Our second stop would be a visit to Edom Hill where we had permanently installed Baker, Charlie and Sierra radio base stations. The San Clemente Detachment had placed these base stations here on President Nixon’s first trip to Palm Springs knowing that there would be many trips, and the only work necessary would be to power them up and test them.  The remote keying lines were ordered to terminate back at the GTE central Office.  We would return to final test everything once we were told that all of the keying lines were installed.

Our final stop that night was back at our motel to start the installation of the HF equipment in a room in the Motel. Early the next morning we would install the antenna on the roof of the Motel and started to power up the two AN/URT-23 SSB radios. I would spend the rest of the day establishing contact with Camp David, Collins Radio, Silver Dollar (Airborne Command Post) and other locations within the Andrews Airways HF system.  Successful phone patches were completed with various individuals and our activity was terminated.

The Hearst Residence Front Entrance   
The next day we visited the Hearst residence where The Vice President and Mrs. Agnew would stay on this visit.  We surveyed the residence and started to set up the USSS Command Post (CP). We completed a radio survey and headed to the Palm Springs International Airport where the VP’s arrival and subsequent departure would take place.

 Palm Springs International Airport
Vice President Agnew and Frank Sinatra Golfing in Palm Springs
Fore!!!!!
The Agnew’s spent several days in Palm Springs golfing with comedian Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra before they returned to Washington D.C. of course when they left we de-installed all of our equipment and returned to El Toro. We spent a total of 10 days in Palm Springs on this the team’s 


The Vice President at the 1971 Bob Hope Desert Classic (1971)

1971 Bob Hope Desert Classic

12th BOB HOPE DESERT CLASSIC at Bermuda Dunes Country Club

Type Of Activity
Golf Tournament
Location
Location
Palm Springs California
Date of Activity
 10 Feb 1971 to 14 Feb 1971
Coordinates
 33°49′26″N 116°31′49″

08 February 1971 to Palm Springs with Vice President Agnew 
                   
Three members of the San Clemente CCT were sent to Palm Springs set up communications at the residence of Frank Sinatra, where the Vice President would be staying while he was in Palm Springs.
                
 Frank Sinatra’s estate in Palm Springs 
We also conducted a radio survey of the Palm Springs International Airport where the VP would arrive and depart on Air Force Two, and finally checked out coverage at the Bermuda Dunes Golf Course

The Palm Springs International Airport
The 12th Annual Bob Hope Desert Classic was held  at the Bermuda Dunes Country Club ran from 10 February to 14 February 1971 with Arnold Palmer winning the tournament.

The Vice President golfing in the 1971 Bob Hope Desert Classic with Bob Hope
A great souvenir from the 1971 Desert Classic         
When the tournament was over the Vice President returned to Frank Sinatra's residence and the next day returned to Washington DC. We did what we always did removed the Communications equipment and returned to El Toro and wait for our next assigned trip.

Vice President Agnew Visits San Diego CA (1971)

The Vice President at a Republican Fund Raiser
Site of Vice President Agnew's Arrival

Type Of Activity
Speech and Fund Raiser
Location
Location
San Diego CA
Date of Activity
 01 Nov 1970 
Coordinates

05 Apr 71 to San Diego CA-Political Speech

The CCT was in the middle of another one of the Presidents working vacation at the Western White House. The day after the Presidents arrival I was sent to Los Angles to support the President with the presentation at the Samuel Goldwyn estate in Beverly Hills CA which lasted for only a couple of Hours.

Several days after my return I found out that the Vice President was planning a visit to San Diego International Airport. During his overnight stay he would speak at a Republican Fund Raiser and hold a Press Conference at the Airport.

Vice President Agnew talks to reporters
We set up our radios in the CP and at the Airport where we also had a number of Press Phones installed. I came down from San Clemente to work the Vice Presidents departure.  The Vice President arrived and addressed the Press, as he was leaving they surrounded him asking questions while the Vice President tried to board AF2.

When I returned home later that evening I found out that I was on the news just standing in the background while the Vice President talked to reporters. My moment of of fame lasted just 10 seconds and I never saw the clip.


Although the Vice President had departed southern California we still had the President in San Clemente for a few more days before everyone returned to Washington DC.

Frank Sinatra's Retirement Concert (1971)


Frank Sinatra’s Retirement Concert
 Frank Sinatra’s Retirement Performance

Type of Activity
 Indoor Theater Concert
Location
Location
 Ahmanson Theater Los Angeles, California
Date of Activity
 June 13 1971
Coordinates
 34°3′29″N118°14′50″W


09 June 1971 to Los Angeles Ca with Vice President Agnew

On June 13, 1971 – at a concert in Hollywood to raise money for the Motion Picture and TV Relief Fund – at the age of 55, Frank Sinatra announced that he was retiring, bringing to an end his 36-year career in show business. This concert was held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angles. I had no idea when I left San Clemente that I would be supporting this event all that I knew was that Vice President was coming to Los Angles. I was sent there to support Vice President Agnew, his staff and the United States Secret Service, who would be attending a concert at the Ahmanson Theater. 

Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the Ahmanson Theater
 Ahmanson Theater
Since this was a low Key event and no speech was scheduled for the Vice President there was very little publicity and only a few reporters covering the event, those that did were primarily from the entertainment community.  After meeting with the Staff and Secret Service advance people, and were briefed with the details of the VP’s itinerary this is when we found out that it would be Frank Sinatra’s retirement concert. After this briefing we proceeded to start our radio survey of the motorcade route from LAX at the arrival location to the Beverly Hilton and on to the Ahmonson Theater / Dorothy Chandler Pavilion complex. When the survey was complete and the base station locations were selected we ordered the remote keying lines from the Tel co. We installed a remote “Charlie” base station at LAX to cover the Vice President’s arrival and set up a remote “Charlie” base station back stage at the Ahmanson Theater to cover the concert, then connected both sites to the USSS CP at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. We then checked radio coverage inside and outside of the theater complex, the Hotel, LAX and the entire motorcade route to insure radio coverage in all areas that the Vice President would visit on this trip.

Frank Sinatra's retirement concert 
Inside the Ahmanson Theater where Frank Sinatra's retirement concert was held.
Although we would have to work that night, dress rehearsal took place that afternoon and we were able to sit in front row seats and watch them.  Dean Martin and the Gold-diggers, Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Don Rickles, Mitzi Gaynor, Barbra Streisand, Nancy Sinatra, Joe Namath, and Bobby Sherman. I was lucky to have saved the Program which helped me remember everyone who performed at this concert because there were so many. Although I do not remember Frank at the dress rehearsal, I was able to see his entire performance that evening!

The Program began with Princess Grace of Monaco (the former Grace Kelly) giving the opening remarks followed by the concert. Frank Sinatra was introduced by Rosalind Russell and began his performance by singing “All Or Nothing at All” , followed by “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”, I’ll Never Smile Again, a moving rendition of Ol’ Man River, That’s Life, Try A Little Tenderness,  Fly Me To The Moon , Nancy , My Way, The Lady Is A Tramp and concluding his performance with Angel Eye. His performance was fabulous by far the best of the evening.

The great thing about the concert was that all of the best known entertainers of the time were on the program, not to mention celebrities like Robert Wagner, Lucile Ball, David Jansen and Don Knotts that would be in the audience. 

Frank Sinatra’s retirement in 1971 
After the show we tore down the remote and returned to the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Vice President Agnew departed the next morning and returned to Washington DC. We then tore down the equipment at LAX, packed up the CP and gathered up all of our equipment, then returned to San Clemente. It was a great show, although Frank Sinatra made his comeback a little more than a year later! It was a great evening of entertainment, one that I will never forget.


Dedication of The Eisenhower Medical Center (1971)

Dedication of the Eisenhower Medical Center
The Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage CA
Type of Activity
 Hospital Dedication       
Location
Location
 Eisenhower Medical Center Rancho Mirage, CA
Date of Activity
 November 27 1971
Coordinates

November 27 1971 to Palm Springs with President and Mrs. Nixon and Vice President and Mrs. Agnew

The San Clemente CCT made many trips to Palm Springs in support of the President and Vice President. Most of the visits were only golf outings but, on November 27 1971 President and Mrs. Nixon attended the dedication of the Eisenhower Memorial Hospital and Eisenhower Medical Center in Palm Desert CA.; also in attendance were Mrs. Eisenhower, Vice President and Mrs. Agnew and Governor and Mrs. Reagan all of which had protection details that need access to our communications either directly or indirectly.

We had to install the CP and the WHCA Comm-center in a nearby hotel for the USSS and WH staff the switchboard was installed in the GTE central office in Palm Springs. There was a radio site on Edom Hill which overlooked Palm Springs Airport, The Medical Center and the Annenberg estate where the President always stayed. WHCA had installed Baker and Charlie base stations that we turned up when a trip was eminent. We also installed FM radios at the USSS CP, close to the speech site.

Bob Hope at the ground Breaking Ceremony 
Bob Hope donated the land for the Eisenhower Medical Center
We had to install the CP and the WHCA Comm-center in a nearby hotel for the USSS and WH staff. The switchboard was installed in the GTE central office in Palm Springs. There was a radio site on Edom Hill which overlooked Palm Springs Airport, The Medical Center and the Annenberg estate where the President always stayed. WHCA had installed Baker and Charlie base stations that we turned up when a trip was eminent. We also installed FM radios at the USSS CP, close to the speech site.

The President and the First Lady flew by helicopter from the San Clemente Compound helipad, to the Annenberg Estate, Palm Springs, California. The President and the First Lady motored from the Annenberg Estate to the Eisenhower Medical Center, Palm Desert, California.

Upon their arrival the President and the First Lady were greeted by Mrs. Bob Hope, wife of the comedian and President of the Board of Trustees of the Eisenhower Medical Center. The President and the First Lady, then accompanied by Mrs. Hope, went to the speaker's platform. Other guests seated on the platform were: Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew, Mrs. Spiro T. Agnew, Governor Ronald W. Reagan (R-California), Mrs. Ronald W. Reagan, Bob Hope, Comedian and Donator of the land for the Medical Center, Paul Jenkins, Member of the Board of Trustees of the Eisenhower Medical Center and A. Pollard Simons, Member of the Board of Trustees of the Eisenhower Medical Center.

President Nixon speaks at the dedication of the Eisenhower Medical Center
Remarks at the Dedication of the Eisenhower Memorial Hospital, Eisenhower Medical Center, Palm Desert, California.
November 27, 1971

Mrs. Eisenhower, Vice President and Mrs. Agnew, Governor and Mrs. Reagan, President and Mr. Hope [laughter],1 all of the very distinguished guests who are here on the platform and who are here in the audience:

When one studies, the history of civilizations, he finds that one of the most difficult problems every society has is to find an appropriate way to honor their great men. Sometimes a statue is built. Sometimes a building is named, a street, many appropriate ways have been found.

Mrs. Bob Hope was president of the board of trustees of the Eisenhower Medical Center.

In the case of President Eisenhower, so many ways would have been appropriate. Here was a man who in the whole history of war led the greatest armies to the greatest victory and so he could have been a man on horseback a military statue that could have been his memorial.

But, as the Vice President has so eloquently said, this is the most appropriate way to honor this man. It is what he would have wanted.

I recall, as Mrs. Eisenhower will, those last days in Walter Reed. And while physically he became weaker and weaker, mentally and spiritually he was stronger and stronger. I remember right to the last, where he wanted to go more than anyplace else in the world was back to Palm Springs. Oh, he loved Burning Tree and he loved Augusta and all the other places where he played golf, but his heart was here, here because of this place, the people that he knew.

And so from a personal standpoint, the man honored by this building, this institution, would have wanted it right here in this place, the place he loved so much.

But then, as we look at it in other terms, we find that President Eisenhower was a unique history figure, unique in the sense that he was a great leader in war--considering the size of wars, the greatest in history because of the armies that he led to victory--but also he had the opportunity, and met that challenge so well, to lead in peace. As President of the United States, he ended a war and kept America out of war for 8 years, and that is a great legacy for a man.

So this magnificent building behind us, the first of a number that eventually, probably, will be built here, memorializes this man who was a victor in war, but this man whose greatest contribution was to peace. And so this institution will be here to preserve life, not to destroy it, and that is what he would have liked and that is the way that we, very appropriately, honor him on this occasion and in the years ahead.

As we dedicate this building, I would finally suggest that we dedicate ourselves to the great challenges that lie ahead. We enter what we hope may be a period in which the United States can be at peace, not just for a few years, but perhaps for a generation; perhaps longer.

Building a generation of peace or a century of peace is, of course, a great task. But how we use that peace, what we do with it, is equally a very great challenge. We must see that America is physically healthy. This building and the men and women who will work in it will contribute to that goal.

We must see that America is economically healthy, and that means building a kind of prosperity that depends on peace and not on war; the kind of prosperity that we last had in 1955 and '56, when President Eisenhower was President.
And finally, building a people and a nation that is morally and spiritually healthy. The Eisenhower legacy speaks to that great challenge as it does to the others.

And so on this occasion, we as Americans, thinking of one of our great men, thinking of this institution that honors him, dedicate ourselves to the tasks ahead: of building a strong, healthy, vigorous America; meeting the challenge of building a world of peace for us, and for all people in the world.
_______________________________________________________________________________
Note: The President spoke at 11:44 a.m. at the hospital building.
Land for the Medical Center was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Hope, and funds for the nonprofit hospital were given by trustees and friends of the hospital. The hospital was the initial stage of a medical complex that will include research and teaching facilities.
_______________________________________________________________________________

On November 26, 1971, the White House released a fact sheet on the hospital.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Citation: Richard Nixon: "Remarks at the Dedication of the Eisenhower Memorial Hospital, Eisenhower Medical Center, Palm Desert, California." November 27, 1971. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=3237.
_______________________________________________________________________________

A private tour of the facility followed the dedication
There was also a small reception held following the dedication
When the Ceremony was over The President and the First Lady toured the Eisenhower Memorial Hospital with: Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower, Vice President and Mrs. Agnew, Governor and Mrs. Reagan Mr. and Mrs. Hope, and James M. Taylor, Executive Director of the Eisenhower Medical Center The President and the First Lady greeted a group of approximately ten medical and health publication editors and publishers.

The President and the First Lady accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Hope then departed the Eisenhower Medical Center and motored from the E1 Dorado Country Club, Palm Springs, California. I was driving the WHCA Press car and was included in the official motorcade, the President greeted persons along the motorcade route during a brief and unscheduled stop.  The motorcade then preceded to the dining room in the E1 Dorado Country Club, where he greeted, The Vice President, Governor Reagan, Frank Sinatra, and Mr. Hope among some other guests. The President had lunch and then the Presidential party n proceeded to the golf course to play 13 holes of golf.

     The President and Bob Hope enjoy a round of golf 
The Nixon’s return to San Clemente
I was monitoring radio traffic all afternoon and finally at about 4:30 pm the President and the First Lady left the El Dorado Country Club to the helipad at the Annenberg Estate.  The President and First Lady flew by helicopter from the Annenberg Estate, Palm Springs, California, to the helipad at the San Clemente Compound.

It was time to retrieve all of our equipment and return to our facility at El Toro MCAS.

The Vice President and Mrs. Agnew Visit Palm Springs (1971)

Support trip to Palm Springs Ca.
The Vice President and comedian Bob Hope enjoy a round of golf

Type Of Activity
Communications Support Trip
Location
Location
Palm Springs California
Date of Activity
 27 Dec 1971 to 4 Jan 1972
Coordinates
 33°49′26″N 116°31′49″W

27 Dec 71 to Palm Springs CA with Vice President and Mrs. Agnew

Vice President Agnew scheduled a golfing vacation in Palm Springs, which would include New Year’s Day of 1972. Three CCT members were sent to Palm Springs where we met with the Staff Advance and USSS agent to discuss the VP’s Itinerary. After checking into our rooms at the Motel we made a radio survey to insure coverage at Bob Hopes residence where the VP and Mrs. Agnew would be staying.

Since the arrival and departure of Air Force Two would be at the Palm Springs International Airport we also tested coverage at the terminal and the ramp where the aircraft would be parked.  We also checked out two golf courses for coverage, Rancho Mirage Country Club, and Tamarack Country Club. 
The Rancho Mirage Country Club
The Tamarack Country Club
The Vice President was to play golf with Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope during his stay.

Frank Sinatra’s estate at the Tamarack Country Club
Bob Hope golfing  with Vice President Agnew
All of the trips we made were pretty routine, but all of them were different in what we experienced. This was my final trip to Palm Springs and I will always remember the resorts and people that we worked with and how they made our jobs easier.

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
Location
Location
 New Orleans LA
Date of Activity
 24-25 April 1972
Coordinates
 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.