Goodbye to Richard Nixon – 1974

By Steven Kant

On August 8, 1974, after months and months of Watergate hearings and news reports, Richard Nixon resigned the presidency. 

In Olympia’s west side neighborhood, a small group of residents gathered in the yard at the Blanco y Negro house to cook salmon and celebrate. We watched the action on a tiny TV as Nixon gave an address, walked to a waiting helicopter on the White House lawn, gave the victory sign, and then left us, at least for a while.

I remember that John Woo and Greg Falxa were present. John and Greg made silk screened posters in the house basement for many radical events. The Blanco y Negro house structure was later moved to make way for an office building. Greg went on to be a legendary printer, radio technician, and bat researcher. John graduated from Evergreen and moved to New York where he had an arts and film career in the Asian community. Members of Emma Goldman Collective and Alexander Berkman Collective were also present at the barbecue.

In 2018, the Southwest Olympia Neighborhood Association published a walking map to mark the sites of various attractions in the neighborhood. The Nixon barbecue celebration appears on the map as a rightful indication of the event’s place in local history.

Here’s a PDF of the map: