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“God Bless America”

 

Colonel Quincy Collins USAF, spent 7½ years as a POW in North Vietnam.  During his confinement, he wrote the “POW Hymn,” a prayer for strength and a reaffirmation of loyalty to their country.  A chorus of 35 POWs sang this moving song at the start of the White House dinner honoring the POWs.
Later in the evening, Irving Berlin, the composer of “God Bless America,” took the stage to lead the assembled crowd in the singing of his much-loved song.  Berlin, who had just celebrated his 85th birthday, was in poor health.  But as President Nixon recalled several years later:
As he began the first notes of his most famous song, his voice came out loud and strong.  Many now wept openly as we repeated the stirring and simple verse over and over until, at the end, some of the men almost seemed to be shouting so that the words could be heard all the way to Hanoi: “God bless America, my home sweet home.”


Gown and Tuxedo

On display is the President’s tuxedo and Mrs. Nixon’s pink chiffon gown as designed by Ferdinando Sarmi.  Tuxedo and gown, gift of Julie Nixon Eisenhower, Richard Nixon Foundation collection

 

 

 

For more information, contact us at 714-983-9120 or Nixon@nara.gov.

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