A documentary taped in 1972 at the 30th Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida. It was the first independent videotape ever broadcast on national TV. The tape focuses on several aspects of the convention including the support Nixon received from young Republicans, the media coverage of the event, and the protests inside and outside of the convention. The end result of the spectacle was the nomination of Richard Nixon for President and Spiro Agnew for Vice President.
0:35Copy video clip URL TVTV graphic dissolves into a shot of a TV.
0:45Copy video clip URL Young people rehearse “Nixon Now” song. Intro Credits.
2:15Copy video clip URL “Right on, Mr. President” button. People cheer for Nixon at the convention, chanting “Four More Years!”
2:54Copy video clip URL Young people shout various cheers for Nixon outside building.
3:21Copy video clip URL Young protesters chant “Hey Hey Ho Ho Tricky Dicky’s Gotta Go.”
3:33Copy video clip URL Young people chanting “Four More Years” in the convention hall.
4:06Copy video clip URL Student Nixon supporters on a bus claim that their support for Nixon and cheers are not dictated by campaign leaders.
5:11Copy video clip URL Angela Harris, YVP Press Secretary, defends young people supporting Nixon. Students paint signs for Nixon.
6:00Copy video clip URL Nixon supporter uses a bullhorn to directing young supporters as a bus arrives.
6:38Copy video clip URL A bus of Nixon delegates arrives and greets an Elephant mascot.
6:48Copy video clip URL Ronald Reagan gives a speech to young Nixon supporters, telling young supporters not to be like other young people.
7:26Copy video clip URL Flamingo Park: Anti-Nixon youths go wild and argue with one another. Two agitated young people’s comments about Jesus and drugs spark a fight. Button: “Acid Amnesty Appeasement Vote McGovern.”
8:53Copy video clip URL A Man gives orders to young Nixon supporters about how to greet Nixon’s plane.
9:20Copy video clip URL A young girl from Florida expresses her excitement about seeing Nixon. She’s a Nixonette. Button: “Get to know a Nixonette.” She explains what she does as a Nixonette, and how recruiting is carried out (mainly in sororities).
10:16Copy video clip URL A woman directs the Nixonettes on how to serve people during a large party.
11:01Copy video clip URL Nixon’s children arrive at a party, much to the excitement of young party-goers.
12:04Copy video clip URL A man asks for an autograph from Julie Nixon Eisenhower. She talks to an interviewer about her plans to travel across the country campaigning for her father, campaign parties, and the youth for Nixon. Button: “One of 250,000.”
13:20Copy video clip URL Tricia Nixon Cox describes her father as the youth candidate and talks about the demographics of the youth for Nixon. She talks about students supporting her father’s choice to end the draft and her father’s position as a peacemaker in the world in his trips to China and Russia. She says that the anti-war, anti-Nixon youth represent the minority of America. She suggests that it takes more courage to stand with the majority than with the minority.
16:01Copy video clip URL Nixon’s son-in-law Edward Cox talks to an interviewer about his role in the upcoming campaign. He answers some policy questions and abruptly ends the conversation.
18:20Copy video clip URL An NBC news announcer introduces convention coverage saying it was “brought to Americans by the Gulf Oil Company.”
18:50Copy video clip URL Cassie Mackin with NBC news talks to Skip Blumberg about the convention. She says that the convention looks very packaged for the public, but that it’s the press’ duty to stick with the convention.
19:40Copy video clip URL NBC news correspondent Douglas Kiker talks about his coverage of the evening’s events. He says he would prefer to cover the delegates on the floor.
20:45Copy video clip URL Tom Pettit talks about the press’ coverage being a TV program fighting the intended TV program of the planned convention.
21:08Copy video clip URL Mike Wallace discusses the evening’s coverage, asserting that a single night doesn’t allow enough coverage of the events. Wallace speaks against advocacy reporting, even if the convention is pre-packaged.
23:58Copy video clip URL Herb Kaplow from ABC comments on predictability of convention.
24:39Copy video clip URL Roger Mudd from CBS refuses to talk to Skip Blumberg.
25:32Copy video clip URL Skip Blumberg plays the Convention Drag on his harmonica. A man on the floor asks to see press credentials.
26:15Copy video clip URL Display of news reporters.
26:37Copy video clip URL Reagan speaks to young people about his irritation at Walter Cronkite not standing for the National Anthem.
27:56Copy video clip URL Walter Cronkite defends his inability to stand for the National Anthem during news coverage, due to his job responsibilities. Cronkite explains his hope that his press coverage isn’t influenced by outside opinions on his behavior.
30:17Copy video clip URL Young Nixon supporter argues against a newspaper article claiming that young Nixon supporters are “a propaganda mill for the National Republican Committee.”
31:14Copy video clip URL Cronkite asserts that people should consult multiple news sources and question the validity of each of them.
31:51Copy video clip URL Tom Bell, YVP organizer, talks about the musical line-up for the evening.
32:15Copy video clip URL Nixon talks about how to “buy Sammy Davis Jr.” by doing something for America, then is hugged by Sammy.
32:40Copy video clip URL Sammy Davis Jr. explains he can’t stay for the convention because he is going back to work in Vegas.
33:28Copy video clip URL Button: “Vietnam Veterans Against the War.” Shot opens on Ron Kovic, a handicapped Vietnam veteran and activist, being helped into his car from his wheelchair. “I joined the Marine Corps in 1964, and I felt that I had an obligation to serve my country at the time. I felt that – I was really gungho – I felt like I was doing the right thing. I was for Goldwater in ’64. And when I went to ‘Nam, I began to see Napalm babies, began to see United States’ genocidal policy in Vietnam, the fact that we were murdering civilians, babies. Then I spent seventeen months in the Veterans Administration Hospital, and I saw men who were twisted and crippled by the war, men who had lost their legs and arms, paraplegics, quadraplegics. I saw Nixon cut back $100 million in expenditures to the V.A. hospital system, and completely forget about the veterans who came back from the war.”
34:30Copy video clip URL Holding an upside-down American flag, the Vietnam Veterans Against the War march down the street, facing off with a line of police.
35:00Copy video clip URL Having blockaded the entrance to the Convention Center, police refuse a Congressman admission until he shows his identification. “You really don’t know who I am?”
35:30Copy video clip URL Vietnam veterans talk to the Congressman about treatment of returned veterans in the US. “You’ve got a government that fears you, if you can believe that. The police don’t fear you… most of those guys fought in Vietnam, they’re just as decent as you guys.” Ron Kovic complains that he’s been arrested several times for protesting the war, despite his large sacrifice he made to his country.
36:30Copy video clip URL A WWII veteran, watching the protesters, complains about their actions. He claims that these particular soldiers must have been “all hopped up on drugs” in Vietnam. “How many guys got killed because these guys were hopped up?… What were these guys doing? They were nothing in the army… They weren’t protecting the guy next to them. They were flying. So they weren’t doing a goddamn thing.” He shows off his war injuries and claims to have accepted his injuries without blaming anyone. Hudson Marquez asks, “Don’t you think there could be a time when there aren’t going to be any more wars?” “No, that’ll never come in nobody’s lifetime.”
37:48Copy video clip URL A group of middle-aged women watch the protest and complain about the disrespectfulness of the Veteran protesters. “I think it’s awful. I really do.” “I’m not for it also. My son was in Vietnam, and if he can come home and go along with the establishment, I’m sure they can too.” “Especially when they fly the flag of the enemy.” Maureen Orth asks, “Have you talked to these people to find out what their issues are at all?” “We understand a lot aren’t from Vietnam… They’re just here with the group, but they’re not really Vietnam Veterans.” “Do you feel they have the right to dissent?” “Definitely. Of course. That’s the American Way…. But it’s rather treasonable to fly the enemy’s flag.” Later, one of the women says that she doesn’t believe that the protesters pose any physical threat to women, but another woman disagrees. “I think they have an ulterior motive when they do this. I realize they’re dissenting and they have a perfect right to dissent, but I have a feeling that they are looking for confrontation with the police. They are absolutely looking for it…. They are aimless creatures.”
39:45Copy video clip URL Maureen Orth interviews a senior citizen. “I belong to a generation that is the most patriotic group in the whole United States. If the 30 million older people – over 60 years of age – in this country would get together and stand up and bear witness to the values and standards by which they’ve lived and which made this country great, we wouldn’t have this kind of nonsense going on.”
40:40Copy video clip URL Several jumpy zooms out on the Convention Center mark the transition away from the street protest.
40:57Copy video clip URL A country music band plays at a party.
41:18Copy video clip URL Clement Stone talks about throwing parties for the Republican party and the sure lead of the Republican Party in the presidential election.
43:18Copy video clip URL Button: “Italians for President Nixon.” A well-dressed Italian-American man complains about protesters. He says he would shoot people for burning the flag. He claims that poverty doesn’t exist in the US. Makes some racist remarks about interracial marriage and broken families. He says Nixon will be remembered as the best president in history.
45:45Copy video clip URL Buttons: Slovaks, Irish, Italians, Germans, French for President Nixon.
46:07Copy video clip URL The Reagans and other wealthy Republicans arrive for a private boat party.
47:15Copy video clip URL Maureen Orth catches up with Henry Kissinger leaving the party and asks him whether, if the polls show Nixon winning in a landslide, if they would start surprise peace negotiations before the election. “We don’t care what we are doing to domestic politics. I think that we’ll be moving at whatever pace we’ve established.” “How come it has taken four years to bring peace in Vietnam? “Because it’s a very complex problem and it doesn’t depend only on us.” “Are you having a good time here?” “Very good time.” “How are the girls?” Slyly: “They’re very pleasant.”
47:46Copy video clip URL The camera moves down a line of eerily silent, dead-eyed, ghoulishly painted protesters while a fiddler and drummer march down the line playing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
49:11Copy video clip URL On the Delegates’ Bus. A man passes around a petition to “prosecute Jane Fonda to the fullest extent of the law for giving aid and comfort to the enemy.” “Jane Fonda? Oh! Where’s your pencil? They really should…[laughs].” “With pleasure!!!”
50:18Copy video clip URL Button fades in and out: “McGovern for President of North Vietnam.”
50:20Copy video clip URL Back in the convention center, Ray Bloch & His Orchestra rehearse for the ceremony.
51:16Copy video clip URL Out on the streets. Anti-Nixon protesters plan a nonviolent sit-down to keep the delegates from entering the building at the 17th street gate.
51:40Copy video clip URL At the entrance, the delegates are alarmed by the security guard’s warnings to hurry up and get inside before they gas the protesters. “Calm and easy, slow and easy… There’s plenty of time, nothing to worry about.”
52:20Copy video clip URL Douglas Kiker advises the TVTV crew about how to deal with Tear Gas. “Never wash your face or your eyes with water… Apple vinegar… And also take a handkerchief and wet it with it and hold it like this [over your mouth]… Makes a world of difference.”
52:54Copy video clip URL Outside the convention hall, Girl Scouts holding flags rush to get in, seemly in a panic.
53:00Copy video clip URL Inside, a group of Southern delegates indignantly complain to reporters about the violence of the anti-Nixon protesters. “No difference at all if you are a lady or a man. They come right in regardless of who it was. Throwing eggs and everything… Right now they are essentially non-violent. But they are in a mood where they can turn violent just that quick.”
53:40Copy video clip URL Some very young delegates seem even more outraged. “They don’t have any right to do this. And I think they should just take the National Guard and just turn it loose on them right now. That’s what they’re here for, isn’t it?” “We might end up with something akin to Kent State on a larger scale. But it would be worth it.”
54:10Copy video clip URL Back to the same Southern delegates. “The troops should be brought in right now and they should be quieted down and moved off the streets.” A particularly nebbish-looking man in a bow tie quivers that “people need to be protected, so that we can leave here without fear of our lives… If that’s any indication of the violence that they want to achieve, then God help the people that are still outside.”
54:40Copy video clip URL Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts continue to run into the convention hall with their flags, upon the insistence of the security guard.
55:41Copy video clip URL Protesters stand outside gates while the “Star Spangled Banner” is played on a bugle.
56:03Copy video clip URL Cut straight into the same phrase of the “Star Spangled Banner” being sung inside the convention hall by some bright-faced young singers onstage.
56:34Copy video clip URL The song ends, and the camera cuts to Ronald Reagan applauding from the audience. Reagan makes his way through the crowd, shaking hands and being congratulated by supporters.
57:38Copy video clip URL The official nomination of Richard Nixon is announced, camera shows Pat Nixon and daughters applauding.
57:51Copy video clip URL Richard Nixon accepts nomination from the podium. Button: “Nixon’s the One!”
58:16Copy video clip URL As the crowd applauds, the camera cuts to Ron Kovic (somehow inside the convention). In tight close-up he shouts to the podium, “Stop the bombing! Stop killing! Stop the war!” The camera turns in circles showing the large groups of security sent to deal with the protesters’ presence, and back around to Kovic who slumps in his wheelchair with his head in his hands. He sits up and whispers almost to himself, “Tell the truth to the American people.” The camera barely picks up the whisper amid the noise of nearby delegates applauding. Other Vietnam veterans begin to yell again and Kovic, framed in an extremely tight close-up, looks directly into the camera lens and loudly says, “Stop killing. Stop killing human beings.”
58:53Copy video clip URL The celebration on the podium continues uproariously. Kissinger poses with an applauding child in a suit.
59:10Copy video clip URL Celebratory balloons fall from ceiling. The previously meek Southern delegates pop them with surprising intensity and vigor.
1:00:10Copy video clip URL Camera tracks out of empty convention hall over chants of “Four More Years.” Camera pulls out of television for closing credits.
1:01:35Copy video clip URL End of tape.