Week VI: Richard Nixon And The Axis Of Evil
The article does seem to discuss the protests. Funny enough, they actually use the same bridge article I looked at. If I remember correctly, what happened was that among the four proposed bridge ideas, I read later articles that seemed to indicate that the second one was used, I’m pretty sure. It was either the second one or the third one.
The article has many of the same protests that were discussed, mostly because they use the same sources as me. The most notable one is the one discussing the bridge protests from the Georgetown students.
What I found interesting was the article’s writing about how Nixon disapproved of the bridge from the day he entered office. I instead remember that he wanted the bridge until he realized that it was going to be more costly because of the increasing protests on the bridge. Then he decided to switch to the side of the protestors.
My personal theory was that Nixon supported it before he became president, but after becoming the president, it became easier for him to get pass the holding of funds by the Kentucky state senator, so he later changed sides. I guess he could be kind of like a populist.
This article I found online supports my argument: https://boundarystones.weta.org/2018/11/07/no-bridge-three-sisters
“The disruptions did not change the expected outcome. The council voted 6-2 to approve the bridge and comply with the 1968 Highway Act, even as several members expressed remorse and ‘personal anguish’” over the decision. One said, ‘we are all painfully aware that [this] is no longer just a transportation issue but one that strikes at the very heart of the operation of this city.’ Despite commendation from President Nixon, who supported subway construction and saw the bridge approval as a means to achieve it, Chairman Hahn lamented that the council ‘had no alternative.’”
The interesting part is that Nixon viewed subway construction as possible through the bridge’s approval. I’m not quite sure about how that would work. Maybe I’m just reading it wrong.
The article mentions at the bottom that once Nixon became president, he began to petition Congress for ways to get the funding back from the Kentucky senator. My other theory is that Nixon was against the bridge but liked the court ruling in favor of complying with the 1968 Highway Act. Then the Highway Act would be able to support his new plans for the subway. All he had to do was get rid of the bridge, which would later happen.
Throughout the entire story, it seems like Nixon is very supportive of the subway system of D.C.
Regarding the hearing, I decided to search for five articles focused on this hearing. I filtered them all by 1972 since that seemed to be after the hearing in December of 1971. Here’s my summary for each of the articles.
Fall Hearing On 3 Sisters Is Revealed (out.pdf) (news item written by a reporter):
This article reveals that the plan is to have a second hearing in the fall over the Three Sisters Bridge. It was revealed that work on the bridge was blocked in 1971 by the Court of Appeals.
House Clears Path To Build 3 Sisters (out1.pdf) (news item written by a reporter):
The House last night approved a bill to stop construction of the Three Sisters Bridge, failing by a vote of 173 to 125, removing the clause. Funny enough, the article also kind of confirms my thoughts about Nixon wanted to please Natcher, as it says that Nixon wanted the bridge to be built last year to please Natcher and get the funds to be released.
Three Sisters: Back to the Drawing Boards (out2.pdf) (news item written by a reporter): The Supreme Court refused to hear the case, with Chief Justice Burger strangely suggesting the circuit court had possibly upset Congress, and Congress could do as they please. Instead, it was sent back to the circuit court with the provisions that John J. Sirica possibly reconsider his finding in 1970 that hearings had been held six years earlier (possible wrong?) and the case be sent to the Secretary of Transportation. After reading all these articles, they seemingly confirm my suspicions about Nixon. It seems that Nixon had plans to possibly build the bridge to gain the support of the senators. However, once he was able to find a way to get the funds away from Natcher, Nixon stopped supporting the bridge.