Lincoln's Front-Row Seat to History

By Emma Fidel And Jane Hwang - 2013-08-27T22:31:28Z

Photograph by Bettmann/Corbis

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Nixon's Late Night

Around 4 a.m. on May 9, 1970, President Richard Nixon decided to visit a group of young protesters camped out at the memorial. They were protesting the shootings at Kent State University, where four students had been killed by the National Guard five days earlier. In 2011, the Nixon Presidential Library released tapes of Nixon describing his interaction with the bleary-eyed protesters: "I hoped that their hatred of the war, which I could well understand, would not turn into a bitter hatred of our whole system, our country and everything that it stood for," Nixon said on the tape. "I said, I know you, that probably most of you think I'm an SOB. But I want you to know that I understand just how you feel."

Here, Nixon talks with Barbara Hirsch, 24, of Cleveland, Ohio, left, and Lauree Moss, of Detroit, Mich.