Sunday, July 9, 2023

Cocaine in the White House? More Bread and Circuses

Lines of cocaine on a mirror. (Public domain)
So there's been a kerfuffle this past week over cocaine found in the White House, as if it has never happened before. The news story triggered the memory of an incident in which members of The Turtles snorted cocaine in the Lincoln Library. The band, famous for their pop hit "Happy Together," had been invited to play at Tricia Nixon's 
Rose Garden wedding. Though the coke activity never made the news, the perps did mention it in an interview later.

Another cocaine story during Nixon's tenure did make the news. In 1974, The president's personal secretary, Rose Mary Woods, was found to have cocaine in her possession. Ms. Woods had been Nixon's personal secretary for 17 years and was considered a close confidant of the president. Evidently she claimed she had accidentally ingested it while cleaning her desk with a cotton swab, which she then swallowed. The incident damaged her reputation and she later resigned. These events came at a time when the Nixon regime was already shaken from the ongoing Watergate investigation and less than two months later he would resign as well.

(EdNote: Ms. Woods was apparently complicit as the cause of the gap in the Watergate tape. She testified that she must have accidentally pushed the wrong button after a phone rang, thus erasing 18.5 minutes of the famous tape.)

For some reason I had it in my mind that cocaine would be more likely found in the Clinton White House. Yes, there were allegations, but no evidence other than hearsay. Actually, the two other prominent "cocaine in the White House" stories took place during the Reagan years. The first was a Secret Service agent who in 1982 was found to have cocaine in his possession. He lost his job over it. Four years later the illegal white powder was found in the White House residence. Press secretary Larry Speakes (great name for a White House press secretary) claimed it had been brought into the White House by a visiting foreign dignitary. 

It would be no surprise to learn that other instances have occurred. These did not find their way to the public airwaves, or the megaphone of social media.

Let's close out this episode with a couple cocaine related tracks from Bob Dylan's Tell Tale Signs and Johnny Cash, Live at Folsom Prison.

Links Here: 
Cocaine Blues  Bob Dylan, Tell Tale Signs
Cocaine Blues  Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison


LEWagner said...

The videos aren't available for me, I'm not sure why.

Willie Nelson claimed to have smoked marijuana up on the roof of the White House, and it's speculated that he was with Chip Carter, Jimmy Carter's son.
Anyway, I used to have a CD of Willie Nelson's 70th birthday concert, and now it's on Youtube. President Clinton was there to give an accolade.
Willie was smiling, then after Clinton was finished, he said, "Thank you Mr. President. Was that you and me on the roof?"
Clinton laughed out loud and gave Willie a thumbs-up as he walked off stage.
Here's the concert with the time-stamp set for Clinton's appearance:

Ed Newman said...

Yes, I came across that, too.
Of course most of congress and the presidents drank alcohol during Prohibition, which made a mockery of the laws that they passed and lawmen enforced.
Has the war on drugs gone on. a little too long??

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