Huge Crowd Greets Nixons Here
Vice President Cheered Wildly
October 25, 1960
Huge Crowd Greets Nixons Here
Vice President Cheered Wildly
Vice President Richard Nixon with his pretty wife, Mrs. Pat Nixon, was greeted by “the biggest crowd that ever was assembled in Wood County” at the Wood County Courthouse this morning.
It was a crowd, variously estimated at from 8,000 to 15,000 persons, that jammed Court Square, clogged the area between the courthouse and the county jail and filled Market Street from the courthouse almost all the way to 4th Street.
Vice President Nixon was given a deafening cheer when he and his wife arrived shortly after 10 o’clock. And the crowd cheered him repeatedly as he spoke.
He won a special cheer from the great crowd of high school students when he mentioned the excellence of the Big Red Band and Parkersburg High School’s football team.
It was Lt. C. E. Winans of the Parkersburg Police Department who estimated the crowd at 8,000. Lt. Russell Mowery of the Police Department said it was “big enough to fill Stadium Field” and that would mean a crowd of nearly 10,000.
State Senator Joe Handlan, who was master of ceremonies, declared “this is the greatest crowd that ever has been assembled for any purpose in Wood County.”
“This is one of the most important elections ever held, because it determines your future, the future of the world,” Vice President Nixon stated in asking the support of the audience. He said “we have faith in the American ideals and want to work for them and keep them.”
He told of his visits to Europe and Russia and added that “while the Soviet Union might be a great threat he is confident we will win as we are on the side of freedom, justice, ideals and most of all ‘we have faith in God.’”
“We represent these faiths and ideals, not only for ourselves but for the world,” he stated and continued:
“America must be strong and deal with world problems without losing our heads. We must get over our inferiority complex about the United States to win this peace, which might not be an easy one.”
Nixon said his party could provide leadership which the opposing one could not. “I am here to stand up for West Virginia and its citizens. It is not the depressed and backward state that some would have you believe,” Mr. Nixon stated and added “we are concerned about the people involved, those thousands of school children, the future Americans, I saw lined up along the streets as I came into your city.”
“It is important that we have good jobs, good hospitals and the like.
“We need a president with experience, one like Eisenhower, who can keep the peace without surrender.
“Henry Cabot Lodge and I for the past seven and a half years have sat with the President, who has avoided war without surrender, although Soviet Premier Khrushchev tried to push us around, which he never will and never got away with.:
According to Nixon the road to war is surrender and weakness.
At Marietta, where he spoke earlier in the morning to a crowd estimated at about 5,000, and here Mr. Nixon said that Kennedy’s policies towards the Castro’s Cuba were allowed to prevail “a mistake of tremendous magnitude” would result.
Expanding his discussion the speaker said, “There are new frontiers ahead for America, but Sen. John F. Kennedy is not prepared to cross them.”
Nixon got encouragement for his get-tough tactics with Kennedy from Ray Bliss, Ohio Republican chairman. Bliss said Nixon’s chances in Ohio are looking up. He predicted the GOP nominee will carry the state.
The nominee himself predicted that the Republicans will surprise their opponents by carrying West Virginia.
“Here today I see what really is one of the greatest rallies in our whole campaign,” Mr. Nixon told the crowd and added, “It is an inspiring thing to start off the last two weeks of the campaign.”
During his early remarks he also paid tribute to “my friend, of long standing, Gov. Underwood, whom I have watched through the years rise above the average. He added: “I predict that he would be a great United States Senator for the nation. He has provided leadership as governor as his record sets forth.:
Mr. Nixon’s wife, Pat, received ovations equal to those for her husband.
She wore a wine red wool dress, small matching velvet hat, with a grey coat.
The roses in the bouquet, presented to her by Mrs. Marjorie Nicely, president of the Women’s Republican Service League, matched her dress and hat.
The Parkersburg crowd, as that in Marietta, stamped their feet, clapped their hands and moved about to keep warm in the early morning temperature in the low forties.
This was Nixon’s second visit to West Virginia during the current campaign. He had made an earlier appearance in Charleston.
Parkersburg High School’s Big Red Band marched down Market Street at 9 o’clock and took its places at the north side of the platform which had been erected on the jail-side of the courthouse.
Senator Handlan opened the preliminary program at once. He introduced the local Republican candidates, including J. S. Powell, who is candidate for State Senate.
Then he introduced Harold Neely who is Republican candidate for governor and Clyde Pinson who is Republican candidate for Congress from the Fourth District. Both spoke briefly.
Governor Cecil Underwood and Mrs. Underwood arrived with the party that included Neely and Pinson. Governor Underwood spoke for a few moments. He decried the nativity of Mr. Pinson’s opponent for Congress and he indicated that he felt the Democratic candidates for governor and U. S. Senate were making promises that they could not keep.
Between introductions the Big Red Band played and the crowd stamped and clapped. It was a crowd of about 5,000 to start with but it grew fully twice as large when Vice President Nixon and party arrived.
The sub-freezing but bright weather kept the crowd moving to keep warm. Senator Handlan led the crowd, many of them youngsters, in several cheers, saying he hoped it would help them keep warm.
A corps of red and white clad girls, wearing Nixon hats, formed a cordon at the steps to the platform to greet the Vice President and his wife.
The accompanying press corps, traveling in three Greyhound buses from Marietta, included such luminaries as Merriman Smith of the United Press International and Jack Bell of the Associated Press.
Charleston news representatives who were her for the event were Herb Little of the Associated Press, Dick Toren of United Press International, Vint Jennings and Bob Mellace of the Charleston Daily Mail.
Among those seated with Vice President and Mrs. Nixon on the platform were: John C. Butcher, chairman of the Wood County Republican Executive Committee; State Senator Joseph M. Handlan; Gov. and Mrs. Cecil H. Underwood; Secretary of Interior Fred A. Seaton; John D. Hoblitzell Jr.; Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Pinson, Huntington; Mr. and Mrs. Harold Neely, Secretary of Department of Health, Education and Welfare Arthur S. Fleming; U. S. Senator Hugh D. Scott, Pennsylvania; Undersecretary of the Treasury Department Fred C. Scribner Jr.
Daniel Louchey, chairman of the State Republican Executive Committee; Carl Weimer, state fire marshal and Mrs. Weimer; Litz McGuire, Martin V. Chapman, Huntington; Mrs. Pearl Harmon, Bluefield, national committeewoman; Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Powell, St. Marys; Mrs. Dorothy Heinzer, Charleston, president of the West Virginia League of Republican Women; Dayton Stemple, Philippi; E. Franklin Pauley, Charleston; Mrs. Marjorie Nicley, H. R. DeBussey.
Judge Donald Black, Gorda Wilson, Howard Perine, Mill Creek; Elmer H. Dodson, Charleston; Judge George Whaley, Delegate Spencer Creel, Robert Goldenberg, Jack Miller, Frank Harrison, Lawrence W. Burdette, Miss Beatrice Wheeler, former president of the Republican Women’s Service League and one of the party leaders in the state.
Nixon’s visits in Parkersburg and Marietta were between two major appearances, in Pittsburgh, Pa., last night and in Cincinnati, this evening.
His train arrived at Williamstown at 8:30 a.m. and there he was met by West Virginia and Ohio Republicn [sic] leaders and taken in a motorcade across the Ohio River for his appearance in Marietta.
Concluding his talk there a motorcade of Wood County Republicans, headed by John C. Butcher, county Republican chairman, and others brought him to Parkersburg.
About 11 o’clock Mr. and Mrs. Nixon with members of their party again boarded the train for Cincinnati. En route he will speak briefly at several Ohio cities.
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