In 1968, on this day New York Mayor John Vliet Lindsay attended the premiere of The Green Berets a blockbuster movie based on the eponymous 1965 book written by author Robin Moore.
The Green Berets
From the "Jamaica Bay" timeline by Ed & Chris OakleyThe decision to attend had been hellishly difficult for Lindsay. As the liberal Republican candidate for the upcoming Presidential election, he had received a very public invitation from two of the stars of the movie, the conservative actors Ronald Reagan and John Wayne. Both men had been outspoken in their criticism of the centrist direction the GOP had taken ever since the "Glorious Disaster" of 1964 when Barry Goldwater was comprehensively beaten by a landslide.
The Face-off at the Cow Palace had been the climax to a set of disasters that had befallen the GOP in California. In the Gubernatorial Race of 1962, former VP Nixon had been beaten by liberal Pat Brown who later told the press (during the convention) that "the stench of fascism is in the air". In order to be a credible candidate, Nixon had been forced to assurance doubtful Californians that he would not be running for the White House again. And Ronald Reagan had been forced to withdraw due to a sudden illness.
But of course Lindsay was a master of disasters, widely admired for his inspirational leadership after the "Jamaica Bay" Hurricane hit his native New York. And by sheer coincidence, Nixon retreated into private life, recently becoming a senior partner in the leading New York law firm Nixon, Mudge, Rose, Guthrie & Alexander. They had become close friends, and it was a measure of the value of their relationship that Nixon insisted on accompanying Lindsay to The Green Berets. It was just one of a series events where the former VP added platform support for Lindsay that would be crucial to his victory over Hubert Humphrey in the fall. Of course that support though would eventually become a liability when Nixon was compromised by the Bay of Pigs thing (on the day of the Kennedy assassination, he had met with Pepsi-Cola executives with big business interests in the sugar plantantions in Cuba).
This post is an article from the Jamaica Bay thread developed by Chris Oakley.