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Residents saddened by Nixon resignationby Julia Carey,
Yorba Linda Star August 14 1974 page 1
According to the 38th President of United States, the “long national nightmare of Watergate is over,” but for many Yorba Lindans, there is a lingering feeling of sadness at the ending of the political career of Richard Nixon.
In the city that was the former President's first home, feelings on Nixon's resignation last week ranged from disappointment to a conviction that the 37th President of the United States had been hounded out of office by an unsympathetic press and liberal elements in Congress.
The prevailing feeling seems to be one of sadness—for the country, for the city of the President's birth and for the man who has served the United States as President for the past five-and-a-half years.
Roy Knauft, a member of the state Republican Central Committee who served as Yorba Linda City Chairman for the Nixon campaign in 1968 and again in 1972, commented, “My wife and I are both very saddened by the resignation of President Nixon. We're just sure that in making this decision, he's doing what's best for the country.”
Yorba Linda Mayor Dale Chaput stated, “I feel sort of sad for the city, because he was, of course, a strong point for us to be proud of, when he was president. I would have to say that he did things that were impeachable, even though I supported him. He did things that he shouldn't have done while he was in office. I think his resignation is appropriate.”
“Part of the problem is that power is starting to be amassed by an individual. He's been in office so long he gets the whole machinery behind him,” added Chaput.
Roland Bigonger, the man who became Yorba Linda's first mayor in 1968, the same year Nixon stepped up to the Presidency, commented that the resignation was for the good of the country. “There's got to be a purging of this country,” noted the former mayor/councilman.
“I think that Congress treated him quite fairly. I thought the House Judiciary hearings were quite fair. I also felt that the press has made disclosures, I would venture to say, however, that the press has raised many innuendoes and references without foundation; and that may not have been fair,” Bigonger said.
Another former mayor, councilman Whit Cromwell, noted, “We're very disappointed that this had to happen to our country. I think we're just disappointed in the way the whole thing has been handled and the way everything has turned out.
“Anytime we put faith in any one man or group of people and that faith isn't upheld, we can't help but be disappointed,” added Cromwell.
“I have about the same feeling that I had on the day that Pearl Harbor was bombed,” Cromwell continued. “It was a feeling of disbelief and I had a fear that the country might not make it. And yet my faith in our country and our way of life told me that it would. The fact is that for quite a few days I don't think that we really have had a Congress or a President. I think that our country had just been going along without a President because there's been such a turmoil.”
Hoyt Corbit, a Yorba Linda resident since 1911, was outspoken in his defense of the former President. “I think he's been treated unfairly all the way through,” stated the long-time Yorba Lindan. “I still think Dick Nixon's a fine man. Sure, he's probably made some mistake. Who hasn't?”
Another pioneer resident, who was living in Yorba Linda at the time Richard Nixon was born in the small white house off of Yorba Linda Boulevard, was Chauncey Eichler.
“I'm just terribly disappointed in the outcome. . . . This Watergate business is sickening. . . . It's a very sad day indeed,” he said last week. “I've always admired him (Nixon) and I still do. I have supported Nixon in the past and I still do. If he was to run again I'd support him again. I still feel that way.”
Other residents were less sympathetic. Councilwoman Carolyn Ewing noted, “I think that legally, from what has been presented land from what he has admitted to, that the evidence is there. He would not only be impeached but convicted by the Congress. I really believe that it's time that he resigned. Even his most staunch supporters have deserted him,” she stated.
(The resignation) . . . “indicates to me that the system does work, that we do have the ability to remove even those in high office and yet maintain our national government,” she continued. The government's going to go on. We are not going to see everything fall apart around us.”
No Yorba Lindans have expressed to Star reporters any feeling of vindictiveness or bitterness toward Richard Nixon. Most have expressed an attitude of forgiveness toward the man who confessed “errors of judgment” Thursday night. Many still see him as a great President who made momentous strides in foreign policy and kept their sons out of Vietnam. Most are ready to let the Watergate nightmare fade into the past and to stand behind the new President and his pledge and to “bind up the internal wounds of Watergate.”
Gerald Ford spoke for many Yorba Lindans in is prayer: “May our former President who has brought peace to millions find it for himself.”
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