Yes, the same Richard Nixon.
Do you keep up with the library’s Special Collections and Archives blog? If that’s a no, you may have missed archivist Leith Johnson’s “Pick of the Week,” which depicts then-Vice President Richard Nixon’s momentous visit to Wesleyan on October 18, 1956. Here’s your bi-weekly reminder that an institution of higher learning can change a lot in 50 years or less, and that Martin Benjamin ’57 once looked like this.
Shot by Fraser M. Lyle ’58, the above photo finds Tricky Dick on a Connecticut campaign stop less than a month before Eisenhower securely won reelection:
The Argus reported that Nixon spoke to about 400 students who crowded around him on High St. Suzy Taraba included this photograph, taken by Frazer M. Lyle ’58, in her recent presentation on alumni gifts of archival materials to the University Relations major gifts team. This photograph is particularly remarkable because it’s a color print, something that is rare among our photographs from this time period.
You’ll note that every sign that’s visible in the photo is in support of the Republican ticket. No word on whether any Stevenson supporters were silenced and assaulted in the crowd, which is what happened to a crew of Republicans 36 years later, when a certain other vice-presidential candidate made a campaign stop at Wesleyan.
Martin Benjamin ’57 did not immediately respond to a request for comment.