In 1971, near the middle of Nixon's first term, he approved a plan to install a White House taping system as a way of preserving an accurate chronicle of important discussions and decisions. Except for Nixon, three aides, and the Secret Service, no one knew about the listening devices.
There is no real way to categorize McLean's 'American Pie' for its hybrid of modern poetry and folk ballad, beer-hall chant and high-art rock.
Influenced by Pete Seeger and the Weavers, McLean proudly wore the mantle of troubadour in the early 1970s, when 'American Pie' topped the Billboard charts, and has never shed the cape.
What makes 'American Pie' so unusual is that it isn't a relic from the counterculture but a talisman, which, like a sacred river, keeps bringing joy to listeners everywhere. When 'American Pie' suddenly is played on a jukebox or radio, it's almost impossible not to sing along.
Broadcast radio was entering its own golden age during the Depression, with live programming on stations all through the day. Local stations needed singers, musicians, announcers, and whipcord personalities, along with Christian clergy to give prayers and pundits to speak on world affairs.
President Abraham Lincoln never lost his ardor for the United States to remain united during the Civil War.
Administration policies seem to tacitly encourage those who live below sea level in New Orleans to relocate permanently, to leave the dangerous water's edge for more prosperous inland cities such as Shreveport or Baton Rouge.
How one deals with the death of a loved one is a highly personalized affair. Some people weep for days; others take a hike in the woods or count rosary beads.
Knievel seemed braver and more brazen - and more unhinged - than any other athlete-cum-thrill-seeker of his era.
When we settled our country, the dark forest was considered in some ways evil and something that you needed to plow or, later, bulldoze. We now have a new understanding of the interconnectedness of ecosystems and the need for bird flyways and why all species matter.
It's very important that we keep these special, wild places. It defines the United States. Imagine our country without our national parks and our monuments. Here in California, imagine if you didn't have in Southern Cal the Channel Islands or the great Highway 1, Big Sur up to Point Reyes up to the Redwood country.
There were three Selma-to-Montgomery marches in March 1965, and Rosa Parks had missed the first one. Parks, whose act of civil disobedience sparked the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955, moved to Detroit two years later for safety reasons.
Richard Kerry not only was a pilot in World War II, but was a civil servant. He did not come from money.
Politicians wanted to mine the Grand Canyon for zinc and copper, and Theodore Roosevelt said, 'No.'
The myth-making about Appomattox started from the moment Lee left the courthouse on his horse to travel to Richmond.
Walter Cronkite had a golden rule for all wartime reporters: never self-aggrandize.
Although Cronkite had once crash landed in a Dutch potato field under enemy fire, he chose instead to focus on celebrating the liberation of the Netherlands at the hands of the Free Dutch.
Everybody trusted Cronkite because he reminded them of their favorite uncle or trusted family physician. Being square in the age of the Beatles made Cronkite retro cool.
February was always the cruelest month for Hunter S. Thompson. An avid NFL fan, Hunter traditionally embraced the Super Bowl in January as the high-water mark of his year.
The superhighway of celebrity and showmanship is filled with debris.