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Thursday, 10 April 2014 10:47

President Richard Nixon visited the Thumb 40-years ago today

(AREA) -- What were you doing 40 years ago today? Chances are, if you were a Thumb area resident, you were heading for Sandusky, Bad Axe or Cass City to see President Richard Nixon. The late President, who was in the midst of the Watergate scandal, visited the solidly-Republican Thumb area campaigning on behalf of Republican James Sparling who was in a hotly contested race with Democrat Bob Traxler to fill the seat of 8th District Congressman James Harvey, who had resigned. Nixon spoke first in Bad Axe and then in Cass City along the way to Sandusky. Nixon stopped to visit with well-wishers at many small communities in the Thumb including Wilmot, Lamotte Township, Snover, Decker, and Elmer. 

The President's longest speech, about 10 minutes, was here in Sandusky.

For 48 hours prior, law enforcement officers were preparing for the President's arrival. The secret service assigned officers on top of the buildings in Sandusky, schools were off for the day so students could see the president, and many merchants reported record-setting sales as thousands came to Sandusky. News persons including Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw were among the hundreds of media personnel that included all of major television stations in Michigan. Bob Traxler won the election and Nixon resigned from office 40-years ago in August.