President Nixon on Tuesday (February 12) compared his own Watergate ordeal with the vilification heaped on a famous predecessor ar the White House, President Abraham Lincoln.
GTV & SV Nixon flanked by military officers walks towards memorial (2)
SV Crowds applaud as Nixon enters
SV & MV Lincoln Memorial statue (2)
Sv Nixon at rostrum
CU Nixon speaking
REPORTER: "As the 37th President came to pay homage to the 16th, comparisons were inescapable. Both men were veterans of a divisive war, both subject of domestic controversy. One dead for a century, the victim of an assassin's bullet, the other still filling history's pages. When he spoke, President Nixon seemed to feel that kinship keenly."
NIXON: "When we examine the American Presidents, it becomes quite clear that no President in history has been more vilified or was more vilified during the time he was President than Lincoln. Those who knew him, his secretaries, have written that he was very deeply hurt about what was said about him and drawn about him. But on the other hand, Lincoln had that great strength of character never to display it, always to stand tall and strong and firm, no matter how harsh or unfair the criticism might be."
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Background: President Nixon on Tuesday (February 12) compared his own Watergate ordeal with the vilification heaped on a famous predecessor ar the White House, President Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Nixon, speaking on the 165th anniversary of Lincoln's birth, said he would follow the example of this great Civil War leader by refusing to quit under fire.
Mr. Nixon ostensibly came to praise President Lincoln for carrying through his aims, despite hostile political and newspaper opposition, and for leading the Union to victory over the southern Confederacy in the Civil War. But political commentators were quick to notice the parallels he drew between his own career and Lincoln's.
A section of Mr. Nixon's speech is preceded by a brief commentary by Television News Inc. reporter, Charles Lord. An alternative is provided overpage.