This week in Nashville history: More of Morton, plus Nixon in ’60

Eighty years ago this week, venerable Nashville Banner scribe Marmaduke Morton continued his 12-part series on “The Colorful Eighties in Nashville,” reflecting on the city he had encountered as a cub reporter a half-century earlier.

5 Oct. 1930: “President Cleveland, Former President Hayes and Other Visitors — Old Theaters and Actors — Bathing Beauties.”

When [women] went to the seashore they were allowed to go into the surf in bathing suits. These suits were of flannel, red or blue, with baggy legs drawn together at the ankle with a puckering string. In one of these bathing suits a girl looked like the devil. A boy was allowed to put his hand under her body after they were in the water, and hold her up while she learned to swim. It generally took her a long time to learn.


6 October 1960: Nixon in Nashville.

My father shot this footage, and it includes my late mother handing a bouquet of yellow roses to Pat Nixon. She and Dad were always highly committed, free-market Republicans, and I recall them as being stalwart defenders of Nixon during Watergate until the bitter end.

Also visible in the film are Mom’s sister, Connie Forehand, shown as part of the welcoming party at the airport, and the late Jimmy Bradford of brokerage house J.C. Bradford & Co., seen near the aircraft. [Addendum, 24 Oct 2010: Aunt Connie IDs other “Nixon Girls” who attended the event with her as Sheila (Mrs. Sydney) Keeble, Dede (Mrs. Jake) Wallace and Carlene Hunt Thym.]

About Tom

I'm an old news man, any way you look at me. Not as old in years as some local journos I much admire, but committed to bringing old news from Nashville's deeper past back to life.
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1 Response to This week in Nashville history: More of Morton, plus Nixon in ’60

  1. Pingback: Why Women Took So Long to Learn to Swim in the Olden Days « Tiny Cat Pants

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