Nixon and Graham though the voice of Haldeman

Billy Graham and Richard M. Nixon, arm-in-arm, wave to the audience during "Billy Graham Day," Charlotte Coliseum, October 15, 1971.  H. R. Haldeman appears to be next to Pat Nixon.
Billy Graham and Richard M. Nixon, arm-in-arm, wave to the audience during “Billy Graham Day,” Charlotte Coliseum, October 15, 1971. H. R. Haldeman appears to be next to Pat Nixon.

Yesterday on WUNC’s program The State of Things, host Frank Stasio interviewed Carolina Public Press reporter Jon Elliston, who has listened to the H. R. Haldeman audio diaries recently released by the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library.  On Wednesday, November 12th, the Carolina Public Press website published Elliston’s article about the Billy Graham–Richard Nixon alliance as revealed on Haldeman tapes. During the interview, Stasio and Elliston briefly discuss Haldeman’s diary entry for “Billy Graham Day” in Charlotte on October 15, 1971.
Billy Graham speaking during "Billy Graham Day" in Charlotte, North Carolina, 15 October 1971.
Billy Graham speaking during “Billy Graham Day” in Charlotte, North Carolina, 15 October 1971.

As you might expect, Hugh Morton was there.  He was located stage left, slightly elevated and slightly forward of the podium—either seated in the audience just behind the press photographers platform or on the platform behind the television cameras.  He photographed using 35mm cameras loaded with black-and-white negative and color slide films, and was switching lenses.  Two of Morton’s color images appear in the book Making a Difference in North Carolina; those two original slides, however, are not in the Morton collection.
Several of the black-and-white negative frames are double exposures, but it’s difficult to say if they were intentional or accidental.  Broken sprocket holes on the film suggest Morton experienced a camera failure during the event. Below is one of the double exposures that produced an interesting result: Nixon and Graham’s sculpted face (from an unveiled historical marker) appear to be looking at each other.
P081_NTBR2_002482_11
Postscripts
In recent months we’ve run two blog posts related to this time period, when Hugh Morton was an undeclared candidate for governor in the Democratic Party: the Governor’s Down-East Jamboree in Atlantic Beach in mid September, and The National 500 NASCAR race on October 10th in Charlotte.  Billy Graham Day was just five days after the race.
In addition to Morton’s photographs of the Billy Graham Day, the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives also holds forty-two 35mm slides by Charlotte Observer Chief Photographer Don Sturkey.
Richard Nixon’s speech can read at University of California, Santa Barbara’s “The American Presidency Project” website.

5 thoughts on “Nixon and Graham though the voice of Haldeman”

  1. The double exposure, intentional or not, made for a great image. Many times when mistakes or failures happen the image is unusable. In this instance the mistake or failure enhances the image.

  2. Thanks, Chris, I agree. To be historically neutral, though, I didn’t want to imply it was intentional by presenting it as if it was intentional.
    Back in my youth I won an award for a photograph I made using a posterization technique where you make three different monotone negatives on lithographic film from one continuous tone original negative, then expose one sheet of paper separately for each of the monotone negatives. While making the print I put the paper in the easel the wrong way for one of the three exposures. The “mistake” was terrific, and thankfully I didn’t throw it away then go back and make it the “right way.”

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