Wow! Forty years?
1974 was a big year for me. My mother was pregnant with my baby brother, Destin, who would be born November 4, sharing this date with the wedding anniversary of President & Mrs. Lincoln. Yes, that was big to me: a baby brother sharing a Lincoln anniversary date.
I was also preparing to move to the second floor of Washington Elementary School where the 4th thru 6th grade classes were located. I was looking forward to having Mrs. Diana Lane for 4th grade, and Mrs. Garnetta Brugger for 5th grade. It turned out these two teachers would not only become two of my favorites, but also integral to so many areas of my career, and adult life.
Two weeks prior to President Nixon’s resignation speech, my grandparents took me to Norfolk, Virginia to visit my Uncle Ron who was in the Navy. It was also my first visit to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Washington’s birthplace, and a return visit to Colonial Williamsburg.
We then traveled to Washington, DC where Congressman Hillis (IN-5th Dis) gave us a tour of the US Capitol Building, and we walked over to the Supreme Court where Chief Justice Earl Warren was lying in state. As we returned to the Capitol Building with Congressman Hillis, and his aide, a limousine pulled up, and on the steps of the Senate, I got to meet and chat with Vice-President Ford.
In early August 1974, we were vacationing in Myrtle Beach. I was in the swimming pool when my mother came to the balcony and told me to hurry up to the motel room. She knew I would want to hear this speech because... well, I followed the Watergate Hearings on television after school. The next morning, we held off going to the beach until President & Mrs. Nixon left on the helicopter, and President Ford was sworn in.
For a nine year old history geek, those few weeks in 1974 were incredible!