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Monday, August 21, 2006

August 21, 1960: Wiretapping, Nixon's Original Southern Strategy and Truman's Change of Heart for JFK

An article in the New York Times Magazine by Anthony Lewis on this day in 1960 is entitled "Tangled Issue of Wiretapping." Lewis cites concerns by police and prosecutors about court-imposed restrictions on wiretapping and writes that "in 1940 President Roosevelt officially authorized wiretapping by the FBI provided that approval for each tap be obtained in advance from the Attorney General. That procedure is still followed." Concerning warrants he writes, "A judicial order for a tap is not like a search warrant, limited to a particular time and place and object; it may go on indefinitely, without the notice that a search warrant gives the suspect."

"I like Nixon for one reason: He's got guts. He's going to tell that louse over there in Russia where to go," a Greensboro man told a reporter for a story that appeared on this day in 1960. The man was a registered Democrat. No Republican has carried North Carolina since 1928, but Vice President Richard Nixon's trip here has Democrats conceeding the state is no longer safe.

Meanwhile, Senator John F. Kennedy, the Democratic nominee, was meeting with former President Harry Truman in Independence Missouri. Truman had boycotted the Democratic nominating convention in Los Angeles. He opposed Kennedy as too young and inexperienced. Truman predicted a Kennedy victory despite polls showing Nixon in the lead.