Wednesday, April 7, 1971 - 10:52pm - 11:08pm
Richard Nixon, Rose Mary Woods
White House Telephone


Operator: I have Miss [Rose Mary] Woods calling you, sir.

President Richard Nixon: Yeah? All right, fine.

Rose Mary Woods: Hello.

President Nixon: Yeah.

Woods: Hi. Wanted to tell you a couple of more things. One, [Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman] Admiral [Thomas H.] Moorer just called. He just has returned, you know, from Turkey.

President Nixon: Yeah. Yeah.

Woods: From the CENTO [Central Treaty Organization] meeting. And he wanted me to tell you that he called to express his appreciation and he felt that all the military people would appreciate what you did, what you really said about all the efforts over there. He, as a matter of fact— [nervous laugh] I get tears in my eyes, I'm sorry—but he just thought it was so great. And he said, tell you everything's going to be all right.

President Nixon: Sure it is. Sure.

Woods: He said he thinks that you struck just the right note.

President Nixon: Good.

Woods: Just the right note.

President Nixon: Good. Good. Good. Well that's good.

Woods: Then I had a call from [Hollywood producer] Paul Keyes.

President Nixon: Paul Keyes. Oh, yeah. Old Paul.

Woods: And he said, “Tell him that was one of the best speeches he ever made.' Every—he thought it was marvelous. He thought that the calm, low voice was absolutely beautiful and necessary for people, that it was terribly important that because of the way you spoke and the tone of your voice, as well as what you said . . . and he went on. And he could of—he almost repeated the speech. He could tell you, you know—

President Nixon: Yeah.

Woods: —what you said, but he said it was really the low voice, the low tone of voice and, and he was—he particularly liked the way you ended it.1 He also liked several of the other phrases. One of them was the one that “uniting the nation,” “uniting our own nation” [unclear]. But he, he couldn't say enough about—

President Nixon: Good.

Woods: —the whole tone of what came over, the attitude, what came over the air.

President Nixon: Good. Good. Good.

Woods: He was just thrilled.

President Nixon: Well—

Woods: I wanted to let you—I won't bother you with any more calls tonight because—

President Nixon: Yeah. You didn't—you haven't heard from any cabinet officers, have you?

Woods: Well, yeah.

President Nixon: Except for [Attorney General John N.] Mitchell and—

Woods: [Secretary of State William P.] Rogers and Mitchell.

President Nixon: That's all. I know. The rest of them are—

Woods: That's all the Cabinet officers I [unclear]—

President Nixon: Hell, they're all running away. I know. I know. But that's OK. OK.

Woods: Well, maybe not. Maybe a lot of them wouldn't you know—

President Nixon: Nah.

Woods: Let's face it, a lot of them might not want to talk to me.

President Nixon laughs.

Woods: Most of them would.

President Nixon [dismissively] Ah!

Woods: If they were big, they would, but—

President Nixon: No. [unclear]

Woods: —a lot of little guys [unclear].

President Nixon: That's right. Well, fine. I'm glad that Paul felt that way.

Woods: Oh, he was so thrilled. And he just wanted you to know that, for the whole country—and Admiral Moorer was, was great.

President Nixon: Good. Good.

Woods: And, and your speech was, and—

President Nixon: Fine.

Woods: —what you did with that ending [laughs]. You keep telling me that I'm hard-hearted or that I say everything's great, but it was absolutely beautiful.

President Nixon: Well, actually, it was pretty good, actually, at the last.

Woods: It was.

President Nixon: Because I did—that took me a lot of, many hours to get that [unclear]—

Woods: I know that.

President Nixon: And nobody knew I was going to do it, either.

Woods: No one knew you were going to do it. And I sat here with tears streaming down my face—

President Nixon: I think every—

Woods: Now, I watched it with Louie—

President Nixon: Oh, Louie?

Woods: Yeah.

President Nixon: Oh. Oh, great. What'd he think?

Woods: And he wanted you to know that he thought it was one of the greatest speeches you've ever given.

President Nixon: Wonderful. Good.

Woods: He left. He stayed—he was here, I don't know, he was just in town and out—he stayed—you know, he never asks to talk—

President Nixon: I know. But he liked it?

Woods: He said “Just tell him—” because I [unclear], I said, [unclear] “just tell him it was a great, great speech. He stood up. He was just great.”

President Nixon: Good. Good. Well, Louie is—

Woods: So—

President Nixon: Louie is one of our few real good friends [unclear].

Woods: He is. Because he never asks—

President Nixon: There aren't many. Well, I know, but there aren't many that were with us when it's really low.

Woods: There aren't too many like that. He was with us—

President Nixon: That's right.

Woods: —all through the tough times.

President Nixon: OK, hon.

Woods: OK.

President Nixon: Bye.

Woods: All right. Good night.


1 At the conclusion of his 7 April 1971 television address on Vietnam, Nixon dramatically set aside his written copy of the speech and delivered a rehearsed “ad lib” conclusion. He told how Marine Sgt. Karl G. Taylor died rushing a machine gun nest to save his fellow soldiers in Vietnam. His little boy, Kevin, attended the White House ceremony where Sgt. Taylor was honored posthumously with the Congressional Medal of Honor. Kevin saluted President Nixon. (↑)

Original tape courtesy of the Nixon Library. This transcript is a working draft. Please let us know if you find important errors.