Possible Airshow time capsule message of greetings from U.S. President Richard Nixon, August 1970

Possible Airshow time capsule message of greetings from U.S. President Richard Nixon, August 1970

By Steve Stewart

The following text has been reconstructed from historical clues, and may well represent the message from Richard Nixon in 1970, and sealed in the time capsule to be opened on August 7th this year. 

“My fellow Americans” Greetings from Richard Nixon 37th President of these United States of America, and from History. In 2020 I trust that History is still well taught, and that for all of North America and the Free World, the godless threat of Communism from the Soviets and from Red China and from Cuba has disappeared as thoroughly as did European Imperialism, German Nazism, and Japanese Imperialism.

I greet you all as Americans because I believe in the great tide in the affairs of men that carries human progress forward, under God. These United States in 1970 are still locked in battle against communism in South East Asia and other places, as part of our great struggle that has lasted over decades, and has taken many forms. But we see the light towards which we travel. We, the free peoples of the world, have chosen to ride that tide of history at its flood, and it will take us, and all humanity, onwards to a brave new world, that has such people in it as love their fellow man.

The North Vietnamese have realized the need to negotiate, and we expect a peace with honor soon, which will bring our boys home. They will be welcomed back into the bosom of America as heroes who have done their part.  But for you, dear readers in 2020, that is already history. You will also know what happened next, and I pray that we will be successful with the next steps in our plans. We will make a direct approach to the leaders of Red China, and in this we are being guided and helped by our great friend Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada. We will start in a small way and work up slowly, and in time we hope that China will be welcomed into our great community of nations and once again be part of that global interchange of ideas, people and things which characterizes our way of life. Our dialogue with the Soviets in Moscow has never completely broken down. The talks to limit strategic weapons are very promising, and in time their numbers might be actually reduced. Nobody should live with the constant threat of imminent and sudden destruction which has already overshadowed a generation of humanity. Communism can not be beaten by military efforts alone. It is an evil system that thrives on fear and conflict. But it is an empty and hollow system, and it will collapse from within.

Our vision is for a better world – protected not just from war but also from the self-inflicted evils of hippie culture, drug use, materialism, atheism and selfish consumerism. Just a few days ago I signed into law a new agency to protect our world from those who damage and use up its resources in their quest for personal riches, with no thought for future generations. Once again, we aim to start small and gradually build. When you read this, I hope the Environmental Protection Agency will be an established arm of government, as respected as is the Presidency itself. The resources of this planet are finite. Our space programs have made us all dramatically aware of that, and the biggest challenge for this generation is to preserve our planet for the good of all mankind.  I am particularly concerned by our dependence on oil, which, as it is depleted will lead to unprecedented rivalries for its control.  Here in North America we import our oil because it is cheaper than developing our own plentiful resources. It might take some crises of supply to raise its value and make it worth extracting our own. In this I include Canada. (I hope that by 2020 the borders between Canada, the current United States as they now stand, and Mexico are no longer of significance, that trade and people can pass freely throughout this great continent, and that we stand united as a continuing beacon of a hope that has been realized; a recognition of our shared prosperity and values. I started by greeting you all as fellow Americans, because truly we are, and the visions of our founding fathers I hope by now are realized.) Canada’s oil resources are vast, but difficult to extract and distribute. I know that Mr Trudeau wants to develop them for the benefit of all Canadians. But we need to use up our oil reserves less rapidly, process and distribute them more cheaply, and raise their value to make the effort worthwhile.

It has taken me many years to reach my present office. My second year in office is still only half complete and there are many other things to achieve as well as those already mentioned. You, readers in 2020, will know how things have turned out – where we were successful and where we failed.  I have pledged to not shirk from the tasks ahead, and to do my utmost to carry them through, whatever it takes. We have already achieved valuable goals, and started towards others. Not all will be achieved in just one term.  It will take time to deal with the Soviets and with Red China, and for the fruits of our environmental initiatives to appear. I have a long view of history, it is the only valid view – a man should not be judged on just one thing, but on his total record.  I will stick the course, and I know that we will need to return this administration to office to complete a second term. That is not our focus at present, but it will start to become so next year. For a President, a campaign is a distraction from the core job, but this is our democratic way and it keeps us accountable to the American people. Many dedicated people will eventually work on that campaign, in many capacities, some more visible than others. We will monitor progress, while continuing to work on the things that matter most, for which we were elected. I have unquestioned confidence in our people, their abilities, their motivations and their dedication.

Today’s event celebrates the creation of Canada’s first National Air Show. But it was not created by an edict of national policy. Canada is the true north, strong and free, an equal partner with the US in NORAD, and we share the value of individual and community enterprise. This show was created by the people of Abbotsford. They, and the people with whom they shared the vision, created the show from nothing, in less than ten years. The United States has helped. Aviators from Washington state have always been involved, and our Navy, Air Force and Coastguard almost every year. The United States is proud to be associated with this community. Over that same decade we have had aerospace projects of our own, to which Canadians have made essential contributions. Just one year ago the Apollo missions placed a man on the moon and returned him safely to Earth. We stand at the dawn of a new age of Discovery and Enterprise; a challenge to boldly go where no man has gone before. Our industries have developed unparalleled missile defenses. And our civilian aviation has developed aircraft of such capacity that the eternal dream of flight shared by every man can now be realized.  I look forward to an age when ordinary men and women can travel regularly and in safety across the oceans of this world, to further the bonds that bind us together – the old world and the new. We gladly acknowledge the presence of the RAF at this show: the British, with whom we share so much, and to whom we owe so much. Their Concorde project flew last year and I know that all Americans will welcome that beautiful and amazing aircraft once it enters service. The Russians are its first rivals, and there will be others, but few are likely to look as good as Concorde.

In 1970 we can not imagine how the world will look in 2020 and how it will engage with aviation. No-one in 1920 could imagine the world as it is now, or how aircraft have developed. Perhaps you will all have electric flying cars. Perhaps there will be world peace. Perhaps the iron curtain and bamboo curtain will just be memories. And perhaps you will have forgotten the names of Nixon and Trudeau. War and defense have been a spur to aviation, but it is not aviation or the other capabilities of our armed forces that cause war. War is created in the soul of man, through ignorance, and want, and greed, and the lying promises of evil men. But it also creates heroes; who dream of using the technologies created by war, to end war and in the pursuit of peace and prosperity. That would be the dividend of peace. I was born into a poor Quaker family in California, but I am proud of my Navy service, and I am just as proud of every man and woman who serves to protect the rights and freedoms we all enjoy, and we are proud that some of them are at this air show. I know that Canada will continue to welcome them and other Americans, in the spirit of a shared love of flying. Until the generation of our fathers, to fly was just a dream, and had been since the beginning of time. This show celebrates that dream, and brings it closer, within reach, and into reality. I hope that the aims of those that created this air show are still held dear in 2020, and that, although your aircraft may be completely different from those we now know, you are still making aviation possible for ordinary men and women, and inspiring the dreams of children not yet born.

Let me sign off by expressing my hope that you, all future Americans, remember my terms as President kindly. I hope in future years to look back with pride on our achievements. Finally, I hope that you now live in a caring world, more free of hunger, want, war and threat of war, than ever before in history; that you acknowledge and respect what we hope to have achieved; and that you take continuing inspiration from the American belief in Truth, in Honesty, in dealing with Reality as it is, in our love of Peace, our Acceptance and Tolerance of all peoples, and in the true Democracy that established and continues to guide our great nations.


Richard Nixon
37th president of the United States of America


To be sealed on August 7th 1970 for fifty years, and opened on August 7th 2020

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