Eisenhower and Nixon Meet in Wheeling

Wheeling Intelligencer
September 25, 1952

Highlights Of Ike Visit

By Paul Burig
Of The Intelligencer Staff

More than 4,500 people, according to state and county and city police officials, crowded Stifel Field to welcome Dick Nixon last night. And the yell that went up when he stepped from the plane was evidence of the high regard in which the assembly held him.

When Dick Nixon's DC-6B landed on Stifel field it was the first time such a large ship set down at Wheeling. And it was the first time a non-stop flight had been made from Denver to Wheeling.

A special salute goes to the police officers whose duty it was to guard Ike and Nixon, escort them from place to place and watch over their well-being while they were guests in Wheeling. The police escort of Sgt. Leo Stutz, Reece Blair, Ike Ashbaugh, Paul Eddy and Charles Albus did yeomen duty getting Ike to and from the airport last night in the face of heavy traffic without a mishap of any type.

Sheriff Warren Pugh of Ohio county, and Sheriff Richard L. Hogg of Brooke county swapped stories. Sheriff Hogg had a lonely vigil; he guarded the stairway to the Ike-Nixon conference room for more than an hour and the women's room was on the same floor as the conference room.

Most of the people who went to the airport got a double-barreled surprise. Most of them knew Nixon was coming in but when Ike showed up the crowded [sic] flowed around his parked car to see the General and his wife, Mamie.

An incongruous sight: a pinball machine, loaded down with milk shakes, sandwiches, cameras while newsmen phoned in stories from nearby booths.

A patriotic sign: I Like Ike and All American Dick Nixon was much in evidence as a comely lass carried it from place to place.

Ike and Mamie took it easy in their car while waiting for Nixon. The rest period took the place of the "wash stop" at the McLure hotel.

Black coffee and beer were the mainstays of the crowd at the airport restaurant. And the cool winds sweeping the field caused the brisk trade. But in seconds the counter was deserted as word swept in that Ike had arrived.

Warwood residents, some of them, at least, had a long wait trying to get across the street last night while Ike's cavalcade and the hundreds of other cars were coming back to Wheeling. It was a solid-line of cars for blocks.

The speech no one heard: when Mayor Schuck presented the key to the city to Eisenhower. No public address system had been installed and only those within a radius of about 10 feet heard the Mayor.

Most unpleasant task of the evening: Rush Holt when he announced to an audience that had been waiting two hours outside the station that Eisenhower would not make the scheduled ride to the hotel. Holt said Ike had to go to the airport to meet Nixon.

Just before Rush Holt made his announcement a man appeared at the front of the B&O station with a gleaming hairless dome. A short man back in the audience craning his neck over the crowd said "there he is, I see him. I can see his bald head."

The people who picked the wrong spot: When Eisenhower was presented the key to the city it was noticeable that the waiting room of the B&O station wasn't nearly filled while the square in front of the station was. The outsiders were waiting for an exit that didn't occur.

An advance Ike man working on arrangements for last night's speech commented in the middle of the struggle to organize a workable schedule that on these jobs you do a week's work in a day and when you are all through everything turns out all right even though no one was in the right place at the right time.

Chief of Police M. A. Baumann was faced with an almost impossible problem yesterday as plans were changed and changed again concerning the itinerary of the Eisenhower cavalcade. With over a hundred special police assigned to the task the changes threw the police schedule into a state of turmoil.

The reception committee at the Market street entrance of the McLure hotel looked like the proverbial bride who was left waiting at the church. However, a large number of state and local candidates were available to pound a few ears when the occasion arose.

A man slightly under the influence who was standing in a corridor of the McLure hotel in the crowd waiting for Eisenhower to arrive watched three ladies walk by. With thick tongue he said, "Eisenhower just arrived."

When Ike failed to make his appearance at the McLure a lot of press and radio scouts looked as though they had had their typewriters pulled out from under them. The problem was, "where to now."

The operations room of Stifel Field with its myriad of gadgets normally would have attracted a good crowd, nosing around and asking questions. But last night it was the only place which was not a madhouse. Few knew the source of information of Nixon's plane could be learned in that room.

Government and Politics