The Night Nixon Hung Out With Hippies at the Lincoln Memorial

President Richard Milhous Nixon was a strange man- even his most ardent defenders and he has many would have to admit that. Awkward. Poor people skills. One of the strangest episodes of his presidency happened in the early morning hours of May 9, 1970- 50 years ago today. Nixon sneaked out of the White House by walking down to the Lincoln Memorial at 4:55am in the morning- just hours before a large anti-war protest was to begin. Nixon woke his valet Manolo Sanchez and asked him to come along on a visit. He went down to the Lincoln Memorial and talked with about eight demonstrators- pictured above. The group increased to about 50 as the word got around that Milhous was there chatting with students. Nixon then left with the parting words “Go shout your slogans on the Ellipse. Just keep it peaceful.” Hours later 100,000 demonstrated peacefully in the anti-war event organized by the New Mobilization Committee to End the War In Vietnam. It was just one of many demonstrations that took place that day in the United States.

The Story of the Really Weird Night Richard Nixon Hung Out With Hippies at the Lincoln Memorial


  1. Just imagine if you were a hippie tripping and then seeing Milhous come out. You would have sworn it was part of the trip.

    • I bet the secret service never got over that one. What was he thinking? I think it say a lot about the kids down there that they didn’t tear him apart! They probably were too shocked. Imagine if they had cell phones- if they didn’t get a selfie to prove it. sending someone a text saying Nixon was down there talking to us.. no one would believe it.

    • As bad with people as he was…I can’t believe he even tried. I don’t know whether to give him credit or it was another motive involved.

      I could see someone like Carter trying that…but not Mr Anti Social. It’s just bizzare.

    • I read this somewhere year ago- I can’t remember where- what did he talk about with the hippies? He asked where they were from- someone said Ohio and he talked about Ohio State and what a great football team they had… stuff like that. The hippies thought he was crazy. Just awkward small talk…. Its funny back at one time a president would walk out of the White House and go shopping etc. No one bothered them. Again can’t recall who it was that said it but -without the secret service today a president wouldn’t last a day.

    • Awkward small talk is exactly what I would imagine. At first I wondered if the pot smoke drifted in the Whitehouse and got to him.

      No way could a president step anywhere unprotected today. I didn’t know they would go out like that. When did that stop? At which president? I can’t imagine shopping for milk and seeing Trump walk by lol.

      I’m reading an ebook written by Mimi Alford. No way could someone get by with all of that now without someone catching it. with the media of today.

    • I read where Truman who was a big time walker would go for a walk- I am sure the secret service was with him though but still. That couldn’t have been highly planned like everything is that a president does today is… Remember Bush the Elder and how people made fun of him while campaigning about the cash register scanner- of course he didn’t know he had been VP for 8 years even the VP lives a life of seclusion…. The best book I’ve ever read on a presidential election is one from the early 90’s- What It Takes by Richard Ben Cramer. In the first chapter about Poppy Bush- its 1986 and he’s going to throw out the first pitch in Houston at the All-Star Game. It goes through all the details that had to be taken care of to get him to Houston- to the ballfield -etc… when I first read that it blew my mind the details of it. Had to be planned to every small detail.

    • You don’t think of that stuff…just planning to throw out the first pitch…wow….I can’t imagine what they go through for a simple outing. When the President comes to Nashville they block roads they won’t use and I’ve heard of decoys…which I understand.

      You would live a secluded life…irconic…President or Vice your world would be tiny.

    • they had that trip to Houston down to every step he’d take- every person he would be in a room with… the number of steps he would take… the planning began weeks ahead of time.. checking out anyone in the Houston area who had ever made threats before to see what they were up to…the thing is they talked about how others had rebelled against this- GHWB did whatever he was told to do- he knew the secret service had a job to do-and he wanted to make it easy as possible for them.

    • I could see where a President would get tired of that…he is only human but he was right to do what he was told to do. That kept him and them safer.
      I could see Clinton and Obama being a little harder to look after…they seemed more sociable…though I could be wrong.

    • I think Clinton especially would have been difficult to keep track of. The thing about GHWB everyone at the WH who he came in contract with no matter how low the position they held was- he knew them by name- their family sitution etc. Seems like he had a real interest in people…. they said Herbert Hoover and his wife- the WH help was told to disappear if they saw them coming their way.

    • There is no sense in being that way to people…like Hoover. I could see not wanting to be too familiar I guess but that is going too far.
      Yea no one could keep up with Clinton…I think the nicest one I’ve seen…the one most down to earth was GWB…I didn’t always agree with him but seeing him in his last year and afterward…he seems like a nice person.
      This is a tad off topic but…Do you know why RR took the solar panels down? I’ve read different things…one that he said it made us look weak…that I really didn’t understand but that probably wasn’t it.

    • I don’t know if you saw it but PBS this week had a 2 part American Experience on Dubya- I have watched the first part – those who know him say what you said- that his personality didn’t quite translate to big crowds as it did to one on one with people or small groups. He’d be a guy I would like to watch a ballgame with. Hoover- his personality seemed a lot like Nixon’s- awkward… someone once said of him- he did great things but wasn’t a great man.

    • No I didn’t catch that. I recently saw an interview with GWB I believe on Jimmy Kimmel (I think). He was a hoot…he really was. He talked about taking Tricia Nixon on a date in his purple Gremlin. He was promoting his book…He would have been a great baseball commish

      Thats a good description of probably a lot of people…did great things but not a great man.

    • My reply vanished…I hope this is not doubled…No I didn’t catch that. I recently caught an interview with GWB on a talk show and he talked about taking Tricia Nixon on a date in his purple Gremlin that was arranged by his dad. He was really a hoot and funnier than the host. He would have been a good baseball commissioner.

      That probably would describe a lot of men…did great things but wasn’t a great man.

  2. In 1965 the Republican Party held a three day convention on Miami Beach. Florida having booked three adjacent very prominent hotels for the events. I was able to attend the whole week and on June 18, 1965, I was one of about a hundred that attended a luncheon where Nixon was the guest speaker. I got to shake hands with him. I turned 16 years old that day, my birthday. In 1968 I shook hands with him again in the rope line at Tampa Airport and again at Miami International Airport rope line in 1972. Despite his shortcomings he is the president I would want to be in office at a time of any kind of national or international crisis.

    • I like poking fun at him- but I admit he did have his strengths. If only the paranoia hadn’t been so strong. He was a very knowledgeable president. He did his homework.

    • Thanks– I wonder what he was thinking- you are right he was taking a big chance- if they wanted him- he was there for him to go after.

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