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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Voting brings out family history stories

My father’s family was involved in politics for as long as I can remember.  Many of my ancestors were mayors, city council members, in state legislature, and heavily involved with running local elections.  Dad has always told all sorts of stories about growing up as part of a family heavy into the politics of the local area.

Which is why I did a double take this morning when I heard a brand new story.  Remember, I know all his stories, have heard them over and over again. So, to surprise me with a new story is a real gem. 

Standing in the cold this morning with my father, husband, and the youngest kiddo dad remembered a story about his brother, President Nixon, and a campaign dinner in his hometown.

First of all, President Nixon campaigned in our little bitty town?  Whoa, how did I miss that!?  I knew about FDR coming through by train on his way to the dedication of the George Rogers Clark Memorial in Vincennes, Indiana but that was the only presidential visit I knew about.

The event was the Lincoln Day Dinner and former VP Richard Nixon was the speaker for the event.  Just a few days before he had announced his run for President in New Hampshire, which made this event even bigger.  It was held in the new school gymnasium, which was medium sized for Indiana schools seating just under 8,000 people in the bleachers. 

It seems his brother, who was at the dinner with my grandparents, wanted to meet the President. 
Article from the front page of The Indianapolis Star
printed on Sunday 11 February 1968
Or, just prove how easy it was to jump up on the platform.  So, he ran up to the stage, jumped on it, slid across the floor, and stretched out his hand to Nixon.  Then was promptly tackled.

Dad was in college at the time and the day after the even classmates and his professors alike were asking him if he heard what happened in his hometown.  Well, no he had not heard, and he didn’t know it was his brother until he went home to visit a few weekends later and his father told him what happened.

Of course, my researcher brain was going crazy.  I HAD TO FIND THIS ARTICLE!  I mean, they would have put it in the news right?!  Well, I have not found a trace of it yet.  It seems in 1968 they only reported the news… no fun at all.

Which means I am still looking for proof of the family story.  In the meantime, I will just have to read the articles about the event which occurred on 10 February 1968 in Washington, Indiana.  If you find something, let me know!

1 comment:

  1. A fun story! So glad the election triggered a memory you hadn't heard about in the past. And thanks for sharing it on Election Day.