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Sunday, October 29, 2006

October 29, 1960: Truman Imagines 'Nixonland'

"Former President Truman has suggested that Vice President Nixon open an amusement park 'when he has to leave Washington on Jan. 20,'" the New York Times reported on this day in 1960.

"'I do not feel bitterness tonight toward Richard Nixon. I feel concern and a touch of pity. I have been wondering what he could do after the election returns are in. ... He is too young to retire and he will have to have some kind of a job. ...

"I think I have discovered what Mr. Nixon can do. He has considerable gifts of showmanship, and the ability to create all kinds of illusions. He should go into this amusement park business and open of of his own, which we could call Nixonland.

"One of the rules in Nixonland would be 'no cuss words' because of the children there. Of course, in Nixonland there wold be nothing to cuss about, because there our prestige would always be at an all-time high -- and we would all be morally, spiritually, economically and militarily stronger than anybody anywhere.

"Nixonland would also be very neat. In fact, it would be as clean as a hound's tooth. The first thing to do in Nixon land would be to take a ride on the Nixon train. This would go -- rather quickly -- through fifty-odd countries ... The end of this ride would be quite exciting, with howling Communist mobs, and all the passengers would have to be rescued by the United States Marines.

"Then there would be the Nixon trip up the Congo River, through Communistland. And you would see stuffed Communists poppoint out from behind every bush. And Nixon would stand in the bow of the boat and shoot them dead -- with blanks.

"Another popular attraction would be the great Nixon submarine ride to the offshore islands. This submarine would go to Quemoy and Matsu, but not to Cuba. In fact, there would be a rule in Nixonland agaianst mentioning Cuba. Anybody who mentioned Cuba would have to get off the submarine and swim home."

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