Today in NC State History: Spiro Agnew visits campus

October 26, 2013
By Bill Krueger

blog_series6NC State’s campus saw its share of anti-war protests during the 1960s and 70s, but students apparently threw out the welcome mat when Vice President Spiro Agnew came visiting on this day in 1973.

Agnew, a Republican, spoke at Reynolds Coliseum before a crowd of about 8,000, according to an account in the Technician. The story indicated that there were only a handful of protestors, less than had been been expected. Various signs in the coliseum welcomed the vice president with variations on “Spiro is our hero.”

Agnew, though, did not have kind words to say about the Democratic Party, saying it was no longer the party of the people.

agnewheadshot“The Democratic Party, my friends, is not the party we used to know — the proud party of Richard Russell, Harry Byrd and Jimmy Byrnes,” he said. “The whole country knows that’s true. It’s not even the party of John F. Kennedy anymore. It has been taken over by radical liberals, mainly those in the United States Senate. Now its guiding philosophy makes as much sense as trying to harvest tobacco in January.”

Agnew also used the occasion to sing the praises of his boss, President Nixon, and reminded the crowd that Nixon was strongly behind neighborhood schools and against busing.

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